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3rd Test: Sri Lanka fight back scoring 154/1 trailing England by 254 runs

Posted on 10 June 2016 by admin

3rd Test – 2nd day at stumps:
Sri Lanka 162 for 1 (Silva 79*, Karunaratne 50, Kusal Mendis 25*) trail England 416 (Bairstow 167*, Cook 85, Woakes 66, Herath 4-81) by 254 runs

Sri Lanka fight back with the bat after Jonny Bairstow's 167 helped England to imposing first-innings score in third Test at Lord's. England innings came to an end topping the 400 mark once again. Rangana Herath had 4 wickets and Suranga Lakmal took 3 wickets.

Sri Lanka openers did well by been together for 100 runs before Dimuth Karunaratne, 50, was out. Kusal Mendis came in and held on to his bat with a fine unbeaten knock of 25. Kaushal Silva, 79* batted brilliantly for his innings in 46 overs. Silva and Mendis face a deficit of 254 runs with the top order still to come.
Many predicted that Lord's would provide Sri Lanka with the most favourable conditions in which to state their credentials – but runs don't score themselves and they've made a fine fist of responding to England's 416. That might well turn out to be below par and, bar a few lives for Jonny Bairstow, the visiting bowlers could be pretty happy with their efforts, too.

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3rd Test: Jonny Bairstow rescues England on opening day of third Sri Lanka Test with first century at Lord’s

Posted on 09 June 2016 by admin

Jonny Bairstow continued to make 2016 a year to remember after another wonderful hundred rescued England’s opening day at cricket HQ. A first Test ton at Lord’s to go with the one he scored on his home turf of Headingley, and his maiden hundred in Cape Town has made it the perfect year so far. And while other red-heads like Ed Sheeran might not be enjoying it quite as much, for this fiery star things couldn’t be going any better. Not only is he churning out the runs at a remarkable rate of knots, becoming just the second England stumper behind Les Ames to score two tons in a series, he is doing it when they are most needed. (Courtesy: Mirror).

GettyJonny Bairstow bats

Jonny Bairstow plays a shot during the opening day

 

 

GettyAlastair Cook raises his bat and celebrates scoring a half century

Cook raises his bat and celebrates scoring a half century but was later out for 85

 

It was 83-5 when he made his intervention at Leeds, and here on a flat pitch in the London sunshine, England were somehow reduced to 84-4 when he strode to the middle to dig his team out of a hole with Alastair Cook , who looked nailed on for a ton until he missed a straight one on 85. Fifty-plus partnerships with Cook, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes made sure England regained some of the initiative at 279-6 at the close of day one, and boy did they need the in-form Bairstow.

“It has been an amazing few weeks,” said Bairstow. “And hopefully it continues for many years.

 

AFP/GettyNuwan Pradeep celebrates taking the wicket of James Vince

Nuwan Pradeep celebrates taking the wicket of James Vince

 

 

GettySuranga Lakmal appeals for LBW to Joe Root

Suranga Lakmal appeals for LBW to Joe Root

 

“To get a hundred at a packed Lord’s and the ovation when I got there is something I’ll never forget, it was a pinch-yourself moment with goosebumps.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing though for the 26-year-old, who takes the game to the opposition in the style Matt Prior used to.

He was dropped at mid-wicket by Shaminda Eranga on just eleven and when he stood dozily outside his crease after an appeal on 44 he would have been run out by Kusal Mendis had his throw been any good.

Bairstow could also have been given out lbw on 56, but he rode his luck to cash in with a vital hundred that bettered the 95 he made at Lord’s against South Africa in 2012.

 

GettyNick Compton makes his ground as Sri Lanka attempt a run out

Nick Compton makes his ground as Sri Lanka attempt a run out

 

“It’s not my fault they dropped it, that is the nature of cricket,” added Bairstow. “And I was happy that I was able to stay for an extended period.

“My first thought was why didn’t I do that four years ago! Those five runs loomed over me for a few years and I had many people who speculated whether I could do it or not, so it is nice to put the record straight.”

 

GettyAlastair Cook is presented with a silver bat to commemorate his 10,000 test runs by ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss, Chairman Colin Graves and Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison

Cook was presented with a silver bat to commemorate his 10,000 test runs

 

Consistent top order runs has become a long-term problem for England, with an over-reliance on Cook and Joe Root, and a lower order to bail them out.

Since January 2015 England’s top five have scored 10 tons between them while Australia, the No.1 side in the world have made 26 from four fewer matches.

And for Alex Hales and Nick Compton it was a day to forget , both playing loose shots to fall for 18 and one respectively, while James Vince probably fell to the ball of the day.

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2nd Test: England score 310 for 6 wkts at close of play – day 1

Posted on 27 May 2016 by admin

Outstanding catching compensates for innocuous bowling.

SA’ADI THAWFEEQ reporting from England – Courtesy: Daily News.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews pulls off a blinder of a catch at slip to send back England opener Alex Hales for 83 on the opening day of the second Test at Chester-le-Street, Durham on Friday. AFP

DURHAM: Brilliant Sri Lankan catching in cold conditions was the feature of the first day of the second Test at Chester-le-Street here on Friday where England winning the toss and batting first finished on 310 for six wickets.

Of the six wickets Sri Lanka took during the day four were due to outstanding catches.

Skipper Angelo Mathews’ blinder of a catch at slip to send back Alex Hales for 83 was the top of the lot. The England opener offered a full blooded cut off left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana and as the ball flew off the edge Mathews dived to his right and held the ball one-handed.

Sri Lanka’s brilliant catching compensated for the Lankan bowling which was too friendly on the slow pitch where the odd ball kept low.

Dimuth Karunaratne picked up a fine catch at slip to send back Alastair Cook for 15, denying the England captain his milestone of becoming the first Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs. Cook started the day requiring 20 to reach the landmark but fell short by five when he was dismissed for 15.

Unless Sri Lanka put up a good first innings total, and make England to bat again in the second innings Cook may well have to wait until the start of the third and final Test at Lord’s on June 9 to get to the milestone. At Leeds, England batted only once and won the Test by an innings to go one-up in the three match series. Suranga Lakmal who replaced the injured Dushmantha Chameera pulled off a stunning catch at deep square leg when Nick Compton offered a full blooded pull with his score on nine.

The fourth catch of the day was held by Lahiru Thirimanne at short cover when James Vince drove at Siriwardana and the fielder diving to his right pulled off a ripper.

Sri Lankan bowling in these conditions looked harmless but their persistency paid rich dividends as they managed to prize out six England wickets.

Joe Root was the other England batsman to miss out on a hundred when he popped up a simple catch to Kaushal Silva at cover with his score on 80.

Hales and Root added 96 and Root also shared another half century stand with Vince. But each time England looked like running away with the game Sri Lanka managed to pull back and pluck a wicket.

Nuwan Pradeep was the pick of the Lankan bowlers finishing with three wickets for 69 including that of Jonny Bairstow the man of the match at Leeds with a career best 140. Bairstow fell to the second new ball attempting to slash at Pradeep and giving Dinesh Chandimal a straight forward catch after scoring 48 off 57 balls.

With Moeen Ali who was unbeaten on 28 at the close, Bairstow added 70 for the sixth wicket. Chris Woakes who replaced the injured Ben Stokes was not out eight.

Like Cook, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was also left seeking his 300th Test wicket. Herath created some problems for the batsmen with his guile and flight but England managed to overcame it and deprive him of the milestone. Herath is shy of one wicket from becoming the third Sri Lankan bowler to get to the mark.

Siriwardana considered to be the man with the golden arm justified his selection ahead of Dasun Shanaka with two wickets – both to excellent catches by Mathews and Thirimanne.

In the gloomy morning it looked as if Sri Lanka had got it all wrong when they left out Shanaka for the left-arm spin of Siriwardana, but later as the day progressed and the wicket started to get slow and keep low it seemed a good choice.

It seems the Lankans whose fielding had dropped drastically in recent times have worked hard in this area and the results are showing on the field.

The overcast skies gave away to bright sunshine during the final session of play. The forecast for the next two days is for good weather.

 

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England v Sri Lanka: Peter Moores’ side to play in the Lord’s Test looks strong, certainly in terms of batting

Posted on 10 June 2014 by admin

Given that Ben Stokes is not quite back to his best – and seems to need a rap over the knuckles that he broke when punching a dressing-room locker in Barbados – this is as good a Test side as England could pick to launch the new era.

The batting has depth, if not class, with Stuart Broad – the maker of a Test century – going in at number 10. Given such depth, it will be a let-down if England are bowled out twice by Sri Lanka’s ordinary pace attack and lose either of the two Tests.

Some might say Michael Carberry is unlucky to lose his Test place after keeping up his end so long last winter against Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris; and that, although he will be 34 in September, he is only a nipper by comparison with Australia’s new left-handed opening bat Chris Rogers.

On the other hand Rogers, when he gets set, goes on – and while Carberry has made big hundreds in his county past, he has lost the knack. He did not reach 70 once in the last Ashes series, and only once this season, in all formats, has he passed 70 – not a powerful statement of his case for retention.

Peter Moores, moreover, always likes to have a left-handed and right-handed opening combination to disrupt the line of the opposition’s new-ball bowlers. And Carberry did nothing to further his case in his two games for England this season: an innings of six in the one-day international against Sri Lanka, and seven in the T20 international.

Sam Robson, by contrast, has been showing the ability of late to “go big” with five centuries for the England Lions during the winter. The first two, against state second XIs in Australia, were not much to email home about because the standard was ordinary. But three centuries in Sri Lanka, two of them in the ‘A’ Test series, made as powerful a case as an opening candidate could make.

Peter Moores' England Test side, with three new caps, will have plenty of batting potency and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – Courtesy: The Telegraph (U.K.)

Robson, in his seventh season in English cricket, bats at his best in a style which is the best of both worlds: he looks to bat all day, like an old-style English pro, a Cook or a Boycott, but he is also assertive in accordance with his Australian roots. He looks to put pressure on the bowler after “giving him the first hour”, in the old pro’s phrase, of reconnaissance.

Robson is lucky to have his Test debut on his home, or at least adopted, ground, and if he goes well against Sri Lanka he will have two of his first four Tests on his home ground. Carberry has been unlucky, in similar proportion. But, ultimately, he painted himself into a corner in Australia by not learning how to push his ones and twos.

Moeen Ali is the second of England’s three new caps, and while at the moment he is a batsman who bowls, England need him to evolve into a complete all-rounder. England are back to “the dark ages”, as Tom Moody would say, as far as spin bowling is concerned post-Swann – except for Moeen Ali, who has a doosra in his offspinning repertoire.

The doosra is still viewed with disapproval by officialdom in England, and unofficially banned, but the time will come when England are playing abroad, perhaps in Asia, and need such a bowler In the meantime Moeen Ali has to show that at number six he can make Test centuries.

Chris Woakes has come on significantly as a bowler since his debut in the fifth Test last summer, when he batted capably but was below Test-standard in his bowling. If Stokes has to be rapped over the knuckles, then Woakes is the right replacement, now he stands up strongly at the bowling crease and hits the mid-80s mph consistently.

Liam Plunkett is more likely to be a 12th man. You would not want to have two pace bowlers – Chris Jordan, the third new cap, well-deserved after his white-ball displays, and Plunkett – who could have trouble with the Lord’s slope and bowl erratically. Jordan, from the Pavilion end, and Woakes, from the Nursery end, would make a steadier combination.

Like all teams coached by Peter Moores, this one will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to the point of zealous in their fielding. Matt Prior has done just enough to recover from his Achilles injuries to return and orchestrate England in the field. Whether this team has the class, wisdom and street-fighting qualities to overturn Australia little more than a year from now, only time will tell.

 

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