Sri Lanka v England: second Test, day one – live! | Sport
WICKET! Perera c Root b Anderson 6 (Sri Lanka 7-1)
What on absolute earth! Perera decides that it makes perfect sense to mooch down the track at a new ball brandished by Test cricket’s leading quick, looking to lummox over the top … but he edges to one, where Root takes an excellent catch above his head.
4th over: Sri Lanka 7-0 (Thirimanne 1, Perera 6) There’s a soupçon of swing here for Cuzza, more than in the first match, and his second delivery induces a false shot from Perera, who edges into his pad. He’s got a lot of barnet going on has Cuz, a huge wad swept across his heed, which doesn’t seem like what you’d want in this weather; he’ll never feel the benefit when he gets back to England, or something. Anyhow, Perera bludgeons his fifth delivery down the ground like Bill Sykes with a hangover; that’s four, and a single into the leg side follows.
3rd over: Sri Lanka 2-0 (Thirimanne 1, Perera 1) Anderson’s fifth ball, the 17th of the innings, allows Thirimanne to bunt down into the off side and they take a run, the first of the innings, then Perera does likewise.
2nd over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Thirimanne 0, Perera 0) That was a good ball, swinging away then nipping back in, but did just a bit too much. Another maiden.
NOT OUT! UMPIRE’S CALL ON THE STUMPS!
About two-thirds of it was hitting off stump, about five-sixths of the way up; that was extremely close, about as close as you’re getting without seeing the finger.
Did it come back enough? It looked close, I must say, and there was no edge…
2nd over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Thirimanne 0, Perera 0) In bustles Curran, angry face on, and his first ball, swinging, rapping Perera on the pad; there’s an appeal, it’s rejected … and England go upstairs!
1st over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Thirimanne 0, Perera 0) I wonder if England will be rotating Anderson or Broad in India, once Stokes gives them a natural fast-bowling option in their middle-order; I wonder if they’ll back their spinners against a superior batting side. Anyway, Anderson gets grooving, shaping the ball away, only his first two deliveries force Thirimanne, who made a place-saving ton in last week’s second innings, to play.
Email! “Here’s the TMS link for all us vagrants and ne’er do wells that don’t live within the range of a UK radio mast,” says John Parkinson.
Thanks for that; dig in people.
That England team, then. I’m surprised Mark Wood is playing a second slog in a row, and also surprised he’ll not be supplying reverse in India. Otherwise, it’s pretty much as expected; I’m looking forward to watching Jimmy Anderson bowl because what clown wouldn’t be, especially when we need to make the most of him while we can, and I’m interested to see how Jack Leach and Dom Bess so. They were good in the second innings last week but got away with it in the first. That won’t happen for them again.
These days, I find that my eyeballs sweat pretty much every time I watch an interview with any young sportsman. Here are Nasser and Robert Key with the extremely impressive Dan Lawrence.
Right, I’m going to mix myself a hot water and lemon and hope that SkyGo on my computer rights itself; otherwise it’s a bout of phone-squinting. Action coming up in 19 minutes.
Sri Lanka 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Lahiru Thirimanne, 3 Oshada Fernando, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (captain), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Ramesh Mendis, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lasith Embuldeniya, 11 Asitha Fernando.
England 1 Dom Sibley, 2 Zak Crawley, 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Joe Root (captain), 5 Dan Lawrence, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Dom Bess, 9 Mark Wood, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson.
We already know that England are making just the one change, Anderson coming in for Broad; that means no place for Olly Stone, who’s been bowling well in the nets, we’ve been told.
Sri Lanka leave out Kusal Mendis, Hasaranga and Shanaka; Ramesh Mendis comes in for his debut, with Suranga Lakmal coming in to lead the attack and Oshada Fernando also making the XI.
Sri Lanka win the toss and will, of course, bat!
“It’s a really good wicket,” says Dinesh Chandimal, who hopes his team do better than last time. Joe Root thinks England played well last week, but this week is a different challenge.
In times of misery and crisis, people take joy in the most peculiar things. OK, in times of joy and exultance, people take joy in the most peculiar things – beards, risotto and tight tracky bums, for example. But those are, when all’s said and done, consensual activities, whereas what we’re currently up to, whether baking bread, putting on clothes or looking after our children, are activities forced upon us by circumstance.
So the return of Test cricket was really something, a distraction, a balm and a friend. But even with everything we know about it and everything it’s given to us, the blessings with which it continues to shower us are staggering in both their bounty and their profundity.
The first match between these sides was a slow-burning belter and there’s every chance that the second will be as good if not better. Sri Lanka should have Suranga Lakmal back, and know that a merely sensible first-innings batting effort might have secured them the win last week. England, meanwhile, are absolutely ganserheyt with confidence and starting to look like a decent little team. I cannot wait for this.
Play: 10am local, 4.30am GMT