Ashes-winning batsmen pick up where they left off in the winter
Tea: First Test, day three, Cardiff
Match score: England 148-2 (Cook 71*, Trott 49*) trail Sri Lanka 400 (Paranavitana 66, Dilshan 50, P Jayawardene 112) by 252 runs Full scorecard
Session score: England 101-1 England win
Alastair Cook passed fifty for the fourth successive Test innings as England’s homecoming Ashes heroes finally gave the sparse but imaginatively-dressed Cardiff crowd something to cheer.
After another delayed start, play got underway at 2pm and nightwatchman James Anderson went to the 11th ball of the day. He can now expect a few weeks of rehabilitation after it was revealed he has a grade one side strain. He will almost certainly miss Lord’s and is a doubt too for the third Test at the Rose Bowl.
But once the prolific partnership of Cook and Jonathan Trott was resumed, England enjoyed serene progress. The pair put on 544 runs together in the Ashes last winter and they brought up another century – their fourth in five innings – here from the last ball before tea.
Such was his assurance, it was a major shock to see Cook play a false shot when he slashed at a wideish one from Thisara Perera. Sri Lanka’s attack looked as innocuous as it had the previous evening. England’s batsmen are fighting themselves as much as the opposition.
John Stern is a former editor of The Cricketer
Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_John