England on defensive against punchy Sri Lankan middle order
Tea: First Test, day two, Cardiff
Match score: Sri Lanka 316-6 (Perera 19*, P Jayawardene 69*) Full scorecard
Session score: Sri Lanka 107-2 Sri Lanka win
England endured a frustrating afternoon session, embodied by Stuart Broad’s increasingly exasperating and desperate attempts to take his 100th Test wicket.
Having had the best of the morning, Andrew Strauss took the odd decision to bring Jonathan Trott on straight after lunch. The desire to keep things quiet until the new ball was due six overs after the interval, England leaked 35 runs in 20 minutes. Trott’s six overs of modest medium pace went for 29 over the session.
James Anderson did strike in the first over with the new ball, squaring up Thilan Samaraweera, who edged to Graeme Swann at second slip. But their only other success was a lucky run-out when Trott deflected a drive from Farvez Maharoof on the stumps.
In most other respects, England were out of luck with edges flying wide of fielders and battles lost with the decision review system. Broad trod a fine line between appealing to the umpire and assuming a wicket had already been taken.
For Sri Lanka, Prasanna Jayawardene, the wicketkeeper, outshone his better-known namesake with the sort of breezy half-century that can have far-reaching effects.
John Stern is a former editor of The Cricketer
Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_John