Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day Four: England vs Sri Lanka, Third Test

In a shock to everyone (although if you're going by Shane Warne's face, it probably didn't have a shocked face on. Yes, yes, I know he's denied the rumours), the Test match begins on time! Here's hoping the rain stays away long enough for England to pull off a victory. Before that though, here's day four from the Rose Bowl. 
Jimmy starts the day looking like he's a man on a mission. He gets 8 off the first over of the day.

Meanwhile down at the other end Ian Bell, the man with the average that makes Alastair Cook's  127.66 against Australia look like a poor effort, continues his superb run of form.  

He goes to 50 with a boundary off Quackmal.

Jimmy's night watchman effort comes to an end as he nicks one off of Welegedara to Jayawardene behind the stumps.

England are 236-4 and in comes Eoin Morgan.

After taking a few overs to get off the mark, Morgan continues where he left off at Lord's. Here he hits a straight drive off of Perera (who has grown a bit from yesterday)

It goes to the boundary for four.

A while later, Morgan hits a cover drive off of Welegedara which goes for four...

Bringing up his 50. He hopes to go one better than Lord's and score his second Test century for England.

Ian Bell, who seems to be like an overly loyal dog that Sri Lanka can't shake off, reaches his century with a single into the leg side.

Bell celebrates his ton. TMS are convinced that his run of form is because he's got married. I'm  convinced it's because he got his elusive maiden Ashes ton back in January. Or because he's finally living up to his potential. 
England look set to declare soon as some of the team have disappeared off the balcony. Lakmal bowls  one to Morgan...
Who is struck on the pad...

And given out LBW by Rod Ducker.

Morgan's not convinced and decides to review the decision.

And he successfully reviews the decision as the ball is shown to have pitched just outside leg stump. Rod Ducker is forced to overturn his original decision and England remain on 351-5.

However, Morgan decides to try and up the run rate and comes down the pitch to Lakmal. 

He gets a nick through the keeper and England are 373-6.

Bell carries on down at the other end, but Prior hits one off Perera (returning to his normal self...)

Straight to the fielder at gully. England are 374-7.

All eyes quickly turn to the dressing, after Prior's window gate incident at Lord's. This time he jokes about by pretending to throw his bat at the window, thankfully sparing any Hampshire members from a different kind of shower. 

Soon after Broad, also on a duck, skies one...

And is caught in the deep.

Strauss decides enough is enough and would rather have a go at Sri Lanka than lose any more wickets. With rain expected tomorrow, England declare on 377-8. Bell finishes not out for the third time this series and his average is a fantastic 331. England have a lead of 193.

Sri Lanka face a tricky spell just before the tea break and the new ball bowlers of Jimmy and Tremlett go past the outside edge a few times. However, the Sri Lankan openers survive. On 25-0 though, Thirimanne gives the dressing room a scare by hitting one off Tremlett and offering a difficult chance to Ian Bell at short leg...

Bell manages to get a tip of the wing to it...

But the centurion cannot cling on and Thirimanne survives.

Anderson manages to pick up the wicket of Paranavitana in the next over. He edges one into the slips...

And is caught by Jimmy's cricketing other half, Graeme Swann. Sri Lanka are 25-1.

Sangakkara and Thirimanne begin to build a partnership, until Thirimanne edges Tremlett to Strauss at slip.

It brings to an end the 61 run partnership between the debutant and his temporary skipper, and Sri Lanka are 86-2.

Mahela Jayawardene comes in, but unfortunately for him and Sri Lanka his poor run of form in England continues. He gets a cracking delivery off Broad that catches the shoulder of his bat...

Which Prior duly takes the catch of behind the stumps. Sri Lanka are 110-3.

Sri Lanka finish the day on 112-3. Sanagakkara is 44 not out and Herath is in as night watchman. Sri Lanka will be hoping for rain. England will be hoping to snare Sanga early and hope that the tail is in an agricultural mood. 
Like I said, here's hoping the weather stays away because we could be in for an exciting conclusion to this damp affair of a Test match and, ultimately, series. By the time duck cricket day 5 goes up, we'll know the outcome, but fingers crossed that England can win the series 2-0. 

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