Monday, July 18, 2011

5th ODI: England v Sri Lanka

Cricket returned to the north again as Sri Lanka's tour of England finally came to an end on July 9th. The Test series was blighted by the weather, the Twenty20 was one sided and so far, the ODI has seen four one-sided matches. What would the final match of the series bring? I managed to watch the first 14 overs of Sri Lanka's innings in a bar in Ibiza before my friends decided they were hungry and we had to leave. 

Both teams had changes. For England, Broad made way for Patel. For Sri Lanka, my heart was broken as Prasad was brought in for the injured Quackmal. They also got rid of Kandamby and brought in Karunarake  Anyway, here's what happened:
England won the toss and decided to bat first. Kieswetter starts where he left off down in Nottingham by hitting Kulasekara for a 6. 

Down at the other end, Cook looks a bit more reserved than he did at Trent Bridge. However, he manages to hit a four off Dilshan, who opens the bowling with himself.

However, Cook soon goes for 31. 
He decides to come down the pitch to Randiv...

But ends up being stumped by Sangakkara. There is no repeat of the mammoth opening partnership of the previous ODI and England find themselves 85-1. In next is the man of all seasons, Jonathan Trott.
Kieswetter soon follows his captain back to the pavilion. 

Prasad manages to bowl Craigy K for 43 and England find themselves 87-2.

Pietersen follows. He nicks one off Prasad...

And is caught by Sangakkara. 95-3. 

Trott is joined by Eoin Morgan and England begin their rebuilding process. 

Trott cracks a four to the boundary off Kulasekara. 

The inventive Morgan also joins Trott by reaching the boundary with a beautiful reverse sweep off of Mendis.

Trott hits a single off Randiv...

And reaches another ODI 50. Bob Willis' teeth take a grinding.
Morgan soon joins Trott on a half century with a cut for a single.

However, on 57, Morgs comes down the pitch to Dilshan. 
He finds himself stranded and is stumped by Sangakkara. England are 213-4. 
Ian Bell comes and goes. 

He chips one up off of Randiv...
And he's caught by Kulasekara. England 222-5.
Jonathan Trott follows Bell soon afterwards. His dismissal is an unfortunate one.
It hits his pads and bounces up. Trott tries to kick it away...
But ever since he was a young duckling, his football skills haven't been that great and the ball hits leg stump. He's bowled for 72 and England find themselves 233-6. They have to be careful to keep wickets intact for the remainder of the 50 overs.
Samit, having almost run Trott out before he departed, soon goes as well. 

He takes on Randiv...

But is caught by Angelo Mathews, who decides to tease Randiv by almost dropping it. 
Bressie Lad soon follows as he mistimes a hack...

And he's caught by Sangakkara. 

Bressie Lad's wicket gives Randiv a 5 wicket haul and it also means that England are 243-8.
Bressie Lad's wicket means that Swanny is joined by the love of his life Jimmy. They bring up the 250 with a single, but soon the partnership is broken as Swann is run out.
Anderson hits one to Dilshan and Swann sets off for a single that isn't there.

In desperation, Swanny turns round, but he's in no man's land as Dilshan gets the ball to Kulasekara quickly...
Who duly knocks off the bails. Swann is out for 5 and England are 253-9. Dernbach joins Anderson and England finish their innings on 268-9. In their innings, England only hit 14 boundaries (13 fours and 1 six), but they took the singles and ran well. Apart from Swanny.
The debutant, Karunaratne, gets off the international mark with a four off Anderson.

But they prove to be his only runs this match as Bressie Lad soon finds his edge...

And the ball nestles in the wings of Trott at first slip. Another early wicket for Sri Lanka as they find themselves 7-1.
Dilshan soon follows. 

He hits one round the corner off Bressie Lad...

Straight down the throat of Jade Dirtbag at fine leg. Sri Lanka find themselves 12-2 and it's a horrible start to their pursuit. 

Jayawardene receives a hug let off as he decides to emulate his captain. 

Dirtbag seems to have it...

But unfortunately for England, the chance is split and Jayawardene gets a life. 

Fortunately for Dirtbag and England, Jayawardene decides to take pity.
He mistimes a shot off Anderson...

And is easily caught by Captain Cook on the edge of the inner circle. Sri Lanka find themselves 29-3 and the fans at Old Trafford begin to wonder whether it's going to be another one of those matches. 
Chandimal is the next duck in and he decides that if he's going to help Sri Lanka get anywhere near England's target, then attack is the best form of defence. 

He smacks Bressie Lad down the ground for a six...

And then follows it up with another one off Swanny.

The six brings up the 50 partnership between him and Sangakkara. 

Chandimal reaches his 50 with a couple of runs off Dirtbag.

He celebrates his half century, but he knows that his job is only half done. (Cricketing clich├ęs galore this post, sorry) 
But Swann soon tears him apart as he comes down the pitch...
And gets stumped by Craigy K. It's a bowl for Sri Lanka as they find themselves 123-4.
And Sangakkara, on 48, soon joins Chandimal back in the pond.

He chops on a delivery from Bressie Lad and his wicket means that Sri Lanka find themselves 131-5.
Angelo Mathews and Mendis come together and Mathews, deciding that the game is nowhere near over, sticks it to England. 
Here, he hits a four off Dirtbag.

Soon he finds himself reaching a deserved 50. 

Bresnan cannot reach the ball and Mathews reaches his half century with a four. 
After the two batsmen socked it to Patel, Patel finally got his revenge and a crucial wicket. Mendis, on 48, goes for the big shot...

(The sellotape holder is a blue version of The Point. Obviously...)
But instead ends up hitting it straight down KP's throat.

And with that, wickets start to tumble. Kulasekara succumbs to James Anderson...

Eoin Morgan takes the catch to leave Sri Lanka 245-7.

Randiv is desperate to keep the duck who's getting the runs on strike. 

Mathews gets a single to Swann, but Randiv believes there's two there...

Swann throws it in to Anderson, who notices that Randiv is way out of his ground...
Randiv cannot get back in time...
And Craigy K does the rest. Randiv goes for a diamond, which puts a dampener on his five-fer. 
Malinga decides that it's boom or bust time and gets off the mark in style.
He hits a six off Jimmy and it goes into the stands. 

But then a crafty slower ball from Dirtbag finally pays off. 
It fools Mathews into a mistime and he hits it up in the air...

Where Bressie Lad takes the crucial catch to leave Sri Lanka 252-9. England are on the brink of a series victory, but Malinga and Prasad might have something to say about it.
Or not. Dirtbag gives Malinga a taste of his own medicine by flattening his middle stump. England win by 16 runs in what turns out to be, without a doubt, the most exciting match of the series. The win also means that England win the series 3-2. There's still problems, but hey, it's a win.
England celebrate the series victory.

Cook, named man of the series for his many runs (again) is watched by Athers as he lifts the series trophy (daughter of a playgroup leader) and celebrates with his team. 
And that, my duck cricket followers, is the end of the Sri Lanka series. I'm sorry it's a week late, but I've been so busy for the past few weeks. I don't know what day it is, but it'll say at the top of this post, so that's quite useful.

I'll be back on Thursday for the start of the hotly anticipated series against India. I'm off to Lord's on Friday after a spur of the moment ticket buy, so watch out for, hopefully, some more cricketers meeting their duck counterparts. I'm taking a carrier bag of some of them. I'll see how it goes. I don't think Lord's consider them "a nuisance", provided that they're not wearing any funny hats...

Will England become number one? Stay tuned for the duck cricket action of England's bid... Sorry, I'm sounding like a Sky Sports advert here. See you Thursday. 

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