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3rd Test, Nottingham, June 02 - 05, 2006, Sri Lanka tour of England
231 & 322
(T:325) 229 & 190

Sri Lanka won by 134 runs


Muralitharan's brilliance destroys England

Muttiah Muralitharan wanted to make what might be his final Test in England one to remember. He achieved that in stunning fashion at Trent Bridge with a haul of 8 for 70 as Sri Lanka stormed to a 134-run victory to level the series

Sri Lanka 231 and 322 (Sangakkara 66, Kapugedera 50, Panesar 5-78) beat England 229 and 190 (Strauss 55, Muralitharan 8-70) by 134 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Muttiah Muralitharan was outstanding on the fourth day with figures of 8 for 70 as Sri Lanka stormed home © Getty Images
Muttiah Muralitharan wanted to make what might be his final Test in England one to remember. He achieved that in stunning fashion at Trent Bridge with a haul of 8 for 70 as Sri Lanka stormed to a 134-run victory to level the series, ripping through England with a mesmerising spell which brought back memories of his first Test in this country - when he took nine at The Oval in 1998.
Muralitharan was on for all ten - having previously twice fallen one short in Tests - but that feat disappeared when Matthew Hoggard was run out. His third nine-for also went begging when the last wicket fell to Sanath Jayasuriya, but that will be of little consequence to Muralitharan who just beamed with pride having steered his team to a stunning result. Once he'd got started on England, breaking the encouraging opening partnership of 84 between Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss, there was no stopping him. He claimed six during the afternoon session as England went from hopeful to hapless.
The target of 325 always left England a mountain to climb, although they started positively with Strauss and Trescothick making steady progress either side of lunch. Jayawardene went into a holding pattern for all his bowlers, apart from Muralitharan and it was surprising to see relatively defensive fielding settings. But Sri Lanka have had a gameplan and stuck to it during this match.
The tactic of keeping England quiet worked in the first innings and Jayawardene was banking on the same method second time around. The plan came together in fine style. Muralitharan duly made the breakthrough when Trescothick played back to another perfect doosra that skidded through and clattered the offstump. He was unsure at first, appealing for lbw, but quickly joined his team-mates in celebration.
Sri Lanka should have had another moment to enjoy when Alastair Cook, on 1, thin-edged Jayasuriya but Kumar Sangakkara couldn't hold on. However, they didn't have to wait long before Muralitharan created mayhem. Before the clatter, Strauss registered his first half-century of the series from 88 balls; but you sensed that something was about to give.

Marcus Trescothick is cleaned up as Muralitharan's first victim of the innings © Getty Images
In a very similar manner to his first-innings dismissal at Edgbaston, Cook was trapped by the doosra then Strauss departed as his edge bounced off Sangakkara's glove in the direction of slip. While England had Kevin Pietersen at the crease - damaged hamstring and all - there was still hope. Not for long. Pietersen won his battle with Muralitharan hands down in the first two Tests; here it has gone convincingly the other way.
Pietersen sashayed down the pitch but only succeeded in getting a faint glove - via pad - to short-leg. It was the strike Sri Lanka wanted but more was to come when Andrew Flintoff fell to a thick inside-edge to complete a miserable match with the bat. Tillakaratne Dilshan made it a hat-trick of catches with the best of the bunch when Paul Collingwood jabbed down on the ball, got the bottom of the bat, and it bounced up from the toe of his boot. Dilshan lunged forward and to his right to get his hand underneath the ball to take a sharp catch. The wickets came in such a rush that each celebration hardly had chance to die down.
Geraint Jones became No. 7 for Muralitharan and all eyes were turning to the magic complete set - achieved only twice before in Test cricket by Jim Laker and Anil Kumble. But it wasn't to be when Hoggard was brilliantly run out by Chamara Kapugedera from midwicket with only a single stump to aim at. Jon Lewis quickly joined the procession back to the pavilion and it appeared that Muralitharan would finish how he started in England - with a nine-wicket haul.
However, after some defiant and loudly cheered blows from Monty Panesar, Jayasuriya capped his comeback Test with the final wicket and Sri Lanka could celebrate one of their greatest triumphs. Panesar's late boundaries - including a swept six off Muralitharan - completed an encouraging performance on a personal note after he'd earlier secured his first five-wicket haul. But the day was all about one man - who never knows when he is beaten - and a team that carries the same fighting qualities.
Marcus Trescothick b Muralitharan 31 (84 for 1)
Played back, beaten by the doosra
Alastair Cook lbw b Muralitharan 5 (104 for 2)
Another doosra, hitting top of middle
Andrew Strauss c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 55 (111 for 3)
Outside edge, parried by Sangakkara, pouched by slip
Kevin Pietersen c Dilshan b Muralitharan 6 (120 for 4)
Came down the pitch, possible glove to short leg
Andrew Flintoff c Dilshan b Muralitharan 0 (120 for 5)
Thick inside-edge to short leg
Paul Collingwood c Dilshan b Muralitharan (125 for 6)
Toe of bat, onto toe of boot, brilliant low grab at short-leg
Geraint Jones b Muralitharan 6 (132 for 7)
Beaten through the gate by conventional offbreak
Matthew Hoggard run out - Kapugedera (136 for 8)
Sharp pick-up and throw from midwicket
Jon Lewis lbw b Muralitharan 7 (153 for 9)
Sharp offspinner, hitting leg
Monty Panesar lbw b Jayasuriya 26 (190 all out)
Missed a sweep

Chamara Kapugedera c Cook b Plunkett 50 (287 for 8)
Sharp clip, hit short-leg's knee and caught on rebound
Lasith Malinga b Panesar 22 (320 for 9)
Bowled round his legs
Muttiah Muralitharan c Strauss b Panesar 2 (322 all out)
Launched to long off

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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