England struggle for wickets in the gloom
Tea: Second Test, day three, Lord’s
Match score: Sri Lanka 372-3 (Paranavitana 65, Dilshan 193) trail England 486 all out (Cook 96, Bell 52, Morgan 79, Prior 126, Broad 54; Welegedara 4-122) by 114 runs Full scorecard
Session score: Sri Lanka 28-1 Draw
Tillakaratne Dilshan received a double blow in a rain-shortened afternoon session of the third day at Lord’s. First, he was left wringing his right hand after another painful clanging on his right them. Then, he left with a rueful smile after falling seven runs short of a maiden Test double hundred.
Sri Lanka captain Dilshan had defied the discomfort, having been struck on the thumb on 55 by a rising Chris Tremlett delivery yesterday. But a second blow from the towering Tremlett forced a stoppage and second application of the physio’s magic spray. He will have the damage assessed this evening, after declining a scan on Saturday.
It took a delivery that ran back down the famous Lord’s slope, clipped trousers and then stumps, to end his seven-hour effort. Steve Finn doubled his match tally in the process.
But the England attack sorely missed the recuperating James Anderson – who has pledged to be back from a side strain for the third Test at the Rose Bowl – or another swing exponent in overcast conditions.
Too often the one-dimensional pace trio were excessive in length or lacking in direction, hours after wicketkeeper Matt Prior pledged an improved showing.
“Things don’t always go perfectly to plan in Test cricket. But the thing I know about this team and its character is that we’ll come back tomorrow even harder, even better prepared and even more ready and willing to hit the mark again,” Prior said, after England managed a solitary breakthrough in 63 overs yesterday.
When they gave it chance early on, there was plenty of aerial movement on offer – unfortunately mainly after ball had passed bat. The lack of control was highlighted when Finn, operating from the pavilion end, shoved one so far down the leg-side that Prior did well to fingertip it to the rope at fine-leg.
England’s one morning success was the removal of Dilshan’s predecessor Kumar Sangakkara, who, having gloved one down the leg-side agonisingly wide of wicketkeeper Prior’s grasp in Broad’s second over of the morning, extended his wretched form in Tests in this country.
A nibble at a Chris Tremlett delivery, the fourth with the second new ball, dropped Sangakkara’s English average to 27.64 – an extraordinary statistic when compared to his stellar career return of close to 57.
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