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MrB

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
17,501
Location
Desk
Bell & Prior putting on a great partnership under the circumstances. A long way to go yet but you never know.
 

MrB

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
17,501
Location
Desk
What's the deal with overs remaining? Minimum 21 but is there an option for more if these two are still in?
 

BILLERICAY BLUE

RoseTinted Brigade Member⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
12,010
Location
Have a guess....
I'm not sure it will get that far now that the seamers are back on, bad light has normally kicked in at about 11.30. If not I think they go to 12.00 or 90 overs, whichever happens last
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Southchurch Village
But barring rain or a minor miracle England look like heading to Kandy 1-0 down and with major doubts over their best batsman and bowler.

You predicted correctly!

The standard of our current bowling attack isn't great if Hoggard is our best bowler. He is always steady and worth his place in the team, however he shouldn't be relied upon as the star man if the team is to be successful. He's more of a third or fourth bowler like he was in 2005 rather than a strike bowler I think.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,325
Location
London
I expected a feeble England batting collapse but it turned out even more painful than that.

A good start was essential. The captain and the nightwatchman basically had to bat the first half-hour/hour to give England the platform.

Losing vaughan early was definitely not in the plan, but he got the faintest of edges after only a couple of overs and England were staring at defeat. Anderson, who unlike on day 2 and last night, didn't move his feet at all, soon followed when Vaas cleaned him up and England were 27-3. KP and Bell looked to rebuild but KP got done by a shooter from Fernando which bowled him off his inside edge and we were starting to wonder if we'd last until lunch. Collingwood didn't help by playing a loose drive and was caught in the covers. England were 90-5 and Murali had barely had a bowl.

Ravi came in and picked his first test boundary when he expertly drove between the keeper and second slip, but otherwise looked assured, even hitting Murali out of the attack by hitting 3 boundaries in an over off him with shots all around the wicket. But he was adjudged lbw to the retiring Jayasuriya despite looking to have got outside the line. In then came the under pressure Matt Prior to accompany Bell with defeat looking imminent. Prior played impressively, cover-driving particularly well as the partnership with Bell passed 50 and then 100, thoughts began to turn to whether England could even win it. The target was nearly in double figures, and if England could halve that they could then have a dart in the final few overs.

At about 4pm Sri Lanka took the new ball, surprisingly opting to keep Murali on at one end, and that did the trick, when he got one to turn past Matt Prior's defences and clip off stump. The consensus was that the wicket had fallen 20 minutes too soon. England needed Ian Bell to deliver and just see off the now fired-up Lankans. Bell unfortunately again failed to rise to the challenge, and Murali castled him, leaving England frantically trying to waste time. There had been a few spots of rain, but not sufficient to take the players off, but everyone was well aware that England had only to survive until 5:15pm when the light had got too bad every night. The Lankans opted not to have their drinks break whilst a foray onto the pitch from another random dog (Asad Rauf's guide dog?) wasted a little more time. With Sidebottom and the dogged Hoggard at the crease there was still a chance, but Asad Rauf intervened triggering Sideshow despite a blatant big inside edge that was obvious from the stands and just horrific from the replays. The decision brought disbelief, England had got so close and to lose it like that was just painful. Hoggy tried to string it out, calling for treatment and then a runner which all wasted time as the shadows got longer and covered the pitch, but it was only a matter of time and Malinga delivered the final blow when he yorked the injured all-rounder, leaving the England fans to wonder what might have been as we failed to hold on by about 15 minutes.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
YB - an awesome set of reports. Thanks for the coverage; really enjoying it. Keep it up for the remaining Tests if you can, and in the meantime, enjoy your diving on wrecks (sounds like the sort of thing a young man would do in an expat nightclub...!).

And no, I am not in the least bit jealous that you get to sit in the verdant splendour of Kandy...

Srilanka_kandy_lake.jpg


...while I get to drive a desk in rain-swept Britain...

MessyDesk.gif


:cry:
 
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