England v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 27, 2014

A catch not given, and plenty dropped

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the Group 1 match between England and Sri Lanka

The reprieve

England had made an encouraging start, removing Kusal Perera to a dubious glove down the leg side, and Jade Dernbach was finding some movement in the heavy atmosphere. His first ball to Mahela Jayawardene was a perfect length, squared up the batsman and flew towards point where Michael Lumb held a fine, low catch. Or so it seemed. That wasn't how the third umpire viewed the pictures after Jayawardene stood his ground. Steve Davis ruled there was doubt, as is so often the case with TV pictures, but on this occasion few who viewed the images could quite fathom the decision.

The first boundary

It was not a classic innings from Tillakaratne Dilshan, who continues to battle for form, but there was the odd classic shot. None more so than his first boundary, a perfectly executed scoop - which, of course, carries his name - when he went down on one knee against Tim Bresnan. He later played another off Dernbach and there was even the odd smile of appreciation from an England player or two.

The first drop

Jayawardene had just top-edged a six off Tim Bresnan and attempting another pull a top edge this time looped towards mid-on where Dernbach found himself. He had oodles of time to steady himself under the ball and prepare for the test of catching a slippery ball. It was one he failed as the ball burst through his hands.

The second drop

It was then Dilshan's turn for a life. This time it was a short ball from Broad which he pulled towards deep square-leg and he could barely have picked out Bresnan better. Perhaps, to Bresnan, it looked like a bar of soap coming his way as it slipped through his grasp.

Yes, the third drop

Bresnan. Again. Jayawardene carved a full toss from Dernbach towards deep cover. This time Bresnan did have to run to his right but should still should have held on. Dernbach, perhaps remembering his earlier error, barely showed a flicker of emotion.

The over

Under lights, on a humid evening with dew around, Nuwan Kulasekara was always likely to be a handful and he proved so straight away. After keeping Michael Lumb scoreless for four balls the left-hander charged and missed before Kulasekara took Moeen Ali's outside edge first ball with a perfect length delivery which nipped away and went to second slip.

The over II

Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan had given England's chase some stability with an excellent century stand, but they still needed some big overs if they were to chase down 190. Hales duly delivered in the 15th of the innings as Ajantha Mendis, who has not had the hold over England of other unorthodox spinners, was taken for 25, which included three sixes. By the end of the over, England really believed.

The flutter

Yet, with such a step chase there was always the risk one over could sway the game. For a moment that appeared to have come for Sri Lanka when Kulasekera returned for the 17th, claiming Morgan and Jos Buttler while conceding just five runs. It left England needing 34 off 18 balls and Lasith Malinga had an over left, but they did not let the game slip away.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chris on March 28, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Hales got England out of jail. Broad's authority in the field was weak. He did nothing to prevent the meltdown of dropped catches, wides & height no balls. His natural reaction is to sulk rather than show grit & presence. SL have 3 better captains who weren't even captain. Presumably Bresnan is in for batting, as he his fielding isn't up to much. And then there's Dernbach. If we have to field a Saffer, surely it should be Pietersen.

  • bira on March 28, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    Well Stuart Broad is hardly the person to complain about the umpire not giving it out!!! Remember the Ashes mate!

  • udendra on March 28, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    And what about the bad decision given to Kusal Perera? They even bother to show replays of it. It was clearly not out!

  • John on March 27, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    I think that it's safe to say that Perera wasn't out but you can certainly understand why the umpire gave it, because it certainly looked out in real time. As for Jayawardene, there was nothing on any replay that I saw to suggest that he wasn't out and I've seen more dubious catches given, so I can only assume that that was a makeup call, even if subconsciously so. That would have affected England but is still no excuse for such poor catching thereafter. A slippery ball wouldn't have helped either but again is no excuse for four drops, a complete miss and Buttler's probable missed run out. After all they did for SL, England probably deserved that one stroke of luck for Hales.

  • Rakesh on March 27, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    England deserved to win after that sorry decision from the 3rd umpire giving reprieve to mahela else SL would have been folded within 120. Justice prevailed.

  • Android on March 27, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    Well you can't blame just England for the poor fielding and the dropped catches. It's been below par throughout the tournament. Not even Australia or South Africa have managed to keep their relatively high fielding standards. The game between Bangladesh and West Indies was over the top though.

  • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    if SL can take away anything from this match...DROP MEDIS! that 25 run over was what really took the game away from SL and no doubt Herath would have done better. well played to england, disappointed as a SL fan, but hopefully they will bounce back against NZ

  • Siva Kumar on March 27, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Well played England and Alex Hales. He just showed everyone else how to handle Mendis and Malinga to some extent. Its time that Sri Lanka play Herath inplace of Mendis. England have great momentum now heading into crucial matches.

  • John on March 27, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    Steve Davis's decision was poor. Has he never been told that TV pictures of low catches exaggerate the nearness of the ball to the ground? In any case the ball looked at least three inches off the ground - in reality it was probably six inches clear. There was no need to ask the third umpire and no need for him to look at the footage for longer than 30 seconds. It was beyond a shadow of a doubt a clean catch. The only people who didn't realise were the umpires.

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