Eng v SL live: Tremlett’s happy return, Rose Bowl, day two, tea

Tremlett takes six as Sri Lanka wilt

Tea: third Test, day two, Rose Bowl
Match score: Sri Lanka 177-9 (Fernando 33*, Welegedara 7*, P Jayawardene 43; Tremlett 6-42) Full Scorecard
Session score: Sri Lanka 96-5 England win

When you have bowling conditions like these, and batsmen as obliging as Sri Lanka’s, then rain delays hardly matter. At this rate, we may only need half a dozen sessions to complete the match.

Take Thisara Perera’s dismissal. Perera, as we saw at Cardiff, likes to get on with it. But here he needed to stay with his partner, Prasanna Jayawardene, batting beautifully at the other end.

In one over of short stuff from Chris Tremlett, Perera heaved and missed, heaved and top-edged to fine-leg – where Jonathan Trott misjudged a swirling dipper – shaped to heave but opted out, heaved again and was caught behind off a thin top-edge. It was as if Sri Lanka had plucked a baseballer, stuck a cricket bat in his hand and said ‘here, have a go’.

Rangana Herath was marginally less embarrassing, caught by James Anderson at fine leg to another reckless shot. The wicket was Tremlett’s fifth of the innings (Thilan Samaraweera pushed a full one shaping away to gully in the second over of the day). This is quite a homecoming for Tremlett on his old ground. Anytime he wanders close to the boundary an applause ripples out.

Throughout the session Jayawardene played what Geoffey Boycott would call ‘proper’. Most of his runs came in front of square, some of them peachy drives. Admittedly batting became easier as the ball got older.

As the dark clouds came over, Graeme Swann performed his first-over trick and induced Jayawardene to sweep clumsily to deep midwicket. Stuart Broad – wicketless, smoldering and out of form – must have been at tipping point. Tremlett then returned to have Suranga Lakmal first ball, a head-high delivery being helped on to Matt Prior.

A curious survivor was Dilhara Fernando, who is 33 not out from 41 balls. Fernando’s feet are held down by rocks, but he has good hands and gave the tail a bit of a wag. Then the brollies went up. Will they go down again today?

Benj Moorehead is staff writer for The Cricketer

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