England put Sri Lanka in and take early wicket before rain returns
When play did get underway, it must have been how Rod Bransgrove, the Hampshire chairman, had envisioned it, with the Rose Bowl bathed in sunshine. It didn’t last long, but the 13 overs we saw were enough to see James Anderson’s value to England.
The two Sri Lankan left-handers, Tharanga Paranavitana and debutant Lahiru Thirimanne, were very watchful of Anderson’s duplicitous swing. Take it away, bring it back in: Anderson can do it at will. Thirimanne, eventually, couldn’t resist a poke at a full-pitched outswinger and was caught by Andrew Strauss at first slip two balls before the returning rain took the players off for lunch.
Anderson and the rest of the England team had earlier been sure of a wicket when Paranavitana played inside the line of the ball but a review provided no hard evidence of an edge, although Snicko suggested a feather. Trust in Aleem Dar may be the motto of that. Certainly the Indian board would agree.
Stuart Broad, on the other hand, was wasteful with the new ball, too short and off line, Matt Prior again busy down the legside. The only four of the morning came when Broad gave Paranavitana room to cut.
This looks a good, true pitch, with excellent carry to the keeper. Former Hampshire man Chris Tremlett, who got a cheer when he replaced Broad, will be a tough propostion for the Sri Lankans.
But he will need to get on the field which, at the moment, does not look likely. The rain is sweeping across the grounds, the floodlights are on, the hills in the background are fading from view and there are lots of empty seats. Pity.
Benj Moorehead is staff writer for The Cricketer