Friday, June 10, 2011

The Lord's Test: Day Five

Would England go for broke in the morning with the bat, declare and push for victory? Would Dilshan be able to bat? Would Sri Lanka do a Cardiff? These were the burning questions that were on the lips of everyone making their way to Lord's for what could have been another exciting conclusion to an England Test match. Would England be able to pull another victory out of nowhere?

No. Turns out that the match was a massively underwhelming draw and the thing to grab the headlines was on the cricket, but a smashed window in the home end of the pavilion. Here's day 5 of the Lord's Test, duck style.

Pietersen reaches a half-century. He is desperate for three figures, having not scored a century since the double hundred in Adelaide.

He charges down the pitch to get the single (the ball is overthrown, but he can't turn round for a second)

And is congratulated by his partner, Cook.

Both Pietersen and Cook then begin to play innings that Bob Willis would describe as 'Trottesque'.  They defend, presumably selfishly, so that their names can get on the honours board. Cook, who is in the form of his life at the moment and had got out for 96 in the first innings, gets a lucky escape as he chops a ball from Herath...

Which goes horribly close to the stumps, but ends up going for four. The warning signs are there.

Pietersen prepares to face Herath. The ball that comes next is not so much a weakness, but very much unplayable.

It pitches outside leg and then spins into Pietersen's off stump.

Pietersen departs, but he has been 'got out' rather than him getting himself out. England are 244-3 and Ian Bell comes in. England fans hope that he can up the tempo of the innings, because Cook is still scratching his way to another century. 

Cook finally reaches his ton with a glance...

But there is no declaration from the England balcony and England carry on.

However Cook, looking to up England's run rate, attempts to take on Herath (now in a funky hat and sunglasses. The sun came out, obviously...)

He's stumped, but Ducktrove, unlike a Bell run out that would've been out had it been referred, goes upstairs just to check.

It's a close one, but Aleem Dallard decides that Cook did not get his bat in in time. England are 305-4.

Morgan comes in, but he does not last long.

He skies one off Fernando and is caught.

England are 312-5 and there's still no declaration.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Bell is playing all kinds of shots. Here he goes for some kind of duck crab shot, which ends up squirting off round the corner. 

Prior thinks there's a single.

There isn't. The Other Jayawardene picks up the ball and throws...

And Prior is gone. England are 319-6.

Prior storms off the field. Bell does not make eye contact with him. Moments later a hole appears in a window...

Windowgate Scenario 1: Prior comes in and places his bat down, but it bounces and smashes the glass.

Windowgate Scenario 2 (where it's Trott's Fault): Prior comes in, incredibly annoyed and looking to take it out on all things Warwickshire. Unfortunately for Jonathan Trott, he happens to be inside the England changing room, rather than on the balcony. 

Prior, in frustration, throws the bat at poor old Trotty, causing it to bounce off of him...

And into the glass. It rains down on some unhappy MCC members. 
There is the other scenario of the magic glove, but I don't have my cricket gloves up here and I don't think my blue fingerless gloves are as good. We can always pretend that Trott's the glove here. Anyway, back to the duck cricket.

Bell reaches his 50 with a sweep.

Broad edges Fernando behind leaving England 335-7. 

And Strauss finally declares, as England have a lead nearing 350. England have about 60 overs to bowl Dilshanless Sri Lanka out.

But first, there is the pressing matter of resolving Window Gate. Strauss, clasping his wings together like an exasperated counsellor, watches as Prior makes his apologies to the slumbering MCC members. One injury is reported as a female MCC member had her ankle cut, but there are unconfirmed reports about the amount of casualties involving spilt wine.

Apparently there's still a cricket match on at this point, but everyone's too busy with window gate. 

Tremlett manages to snare Sangakkara as he chases a bouncer and cuts it...

Straight to Eoin Morgan, who takes the catch above (or on in this case) his head. 

Sri Lanka are 13-1 and anything could happen if they get another couple of wickets.

After tea, Mahela Jayawardene and Paranavitana rebuild from the early loss and put on a 50 partnership. Soon though, Jayawardene hits a Broad delivery into the cordon... 

And is caught very well by Pietersen. I couldn't get his funky glasses in duck size, sadly. But if you saw what Chris Gayle wore during the Twenty20 World Cup in England (I think, or it might've been the Test series, I can't remember), it was like those.

Sri Lanka are 66-2. England just need wickets. However, the review system does not come to England's support. Swann has one to Samaraweera, rightly, overturned as the ball was not spinning enough.

So Strauss brings on the bowling legend that is, Jonathan Trott. If he can't win Big Bob's heart with his batting, surely his bowling can?

He gets one to pitch in line and hit Paranavitana in front of the stumps. 

He's given out and Sri Lanka are 96-3. 

However, Paranavitana decides to review the decision, because he doesn't want to be out to Jonathan Trott. 

Unfortunately for him though, there's three reds and he's on his way back to the pond. 
 Can England pull it out of the bag? 
In short: no. Before the final hour begins Strauss decides to shake hands. Sri Lanka finish on 127-3. Did England want to win or did they just want to shut up shop and protect their 1-0 lead? It's hardly the attitude of a team aiming for number one Test side in the world. 
So, the match ended with most of the expectant fans going home disappointed. One of the fans went home with a plaster on her ankle. With the news that Dilshan has a broken thumb and that he is a doubt for the third Test, England will help to wrap up the series down in Southampton, especially with the news that Jimmy Anderson might be fit. But the question is, who to drop? Broad has been expensive and not picking up wickets. Finn has been expensive but picked up a couple of wickets. Broad has the batting. Finn doesn't really. And, in terms of duck cricket, because of the overlap of the Jimmy duck being Finn in a cover for a drink, it'd be better if Finn goes...

Anyway, 16th June is the start of the next Test, down at the Rose Bowl. I'll be free of exams, so because I'll have nothing better to do until I finally return to my beloved Suffolk for the summer on 2nd July, expect the return of Duck Cricket then... 

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