So England have pulled off the most unlikely of victories by an innings and 14 runs despite rain upsetting proceedings yet again on day 5 in Cardiff. With James Anderson’s side strain deeming him unable to bowl, England were left with a three pronged attack to try and triumph. With four batsmen averaging in the mid fifties, a flat pitch and only 53 overs left to do it, you could be forgiven for thinking day 5 might have just been a point-scoring exercise. But England had other ideas. Here are the marks out of ten for both the English and the Sri Lankans.
England Marks out of Ten
Andrew Strauss – 7
Strauss missed out with the bat scoring only 20 in England’s only innings. But his hands were like buckets all test as he amicably took over the reigns in the Collingwood position of slip to Swann. He took four catches in the match – equal to Matt Prior. The change of ends for Chris Tremlett after tea on day 5 was an inspired piece of captaincy to boot.
Alastair Cook – 9
With England up against it having lost Andrew Strauss early, Cook continued where he left off from the Ashes with a solid 133 and an unforgiving partnership with Jonathan Trott that made the Sri Lankan bowlers look pretty feeble.
Jonathan Trott – 10
He is nothing short of a run machine. His double hundred was the man of the match winning performance. His mode of accumulating runs appears to polarise opinion and he might not be the most pleasing on the eye at times but Jonathan Trott has an unbelievable temperament and technique that accounts for his escalating test average currently at 66.77.
Kevin Pietersen – 4
It seems harsh on a batsman to judge their test by only one innings but nevertheless it appears that KP is in denial about his hoodoo against innocuous left arm spinners being dismissed lbw for 3. In his early career he stamped his authority on Shane Warne – arguably the most dangerous spinner in the world. Yet despite a great knock in Adelaide he still finds himself getting out to bowlers that seem to pose very little threat as Herath’s figures of 1-115 for the match would suggest. Granted, the mode of dismissal was unfortunate as the umpire originally gave it not out before UDRS intervened. But these are the kinds of dismissals that are more common these days and KP seems very susceptible to.
Ian Bell – 9
So pleasing on the eye and in a purple patch of form, Ian Bell’s century was majestic. The timing of the knock was exquisite too as 103 off 159 balls was the tempo required once a lead was established. His sprint off the pitch as England declared possibly set the tone for things to come.
Eoin Morgan – 7
A brief cameo in the match for Morgan was all we have to go on after he got the nod over Ravi Bopara. I expect him to cash in later in the series.
Prior – 7
Didn’t bat in the game but kept admirably as he always seems to. You cannot fault him or praise him so a 7 seems like a logical number.
Broad – 8
Broad appeared to be very rusty once play kicked off after the rain on day 1. As the match progressed he did pick up some vital wickets and appeared to get into the groove. He recorded fairly average figures in the first innings despite beating the bat on countless occasions. In the second innings, England were all over the Sri Lankans and Broad’s (2-21) aggressive spell of short stuff after the tea break proved crucial to England’s victory.
Swann – 9
He proved yet again why he is considered the best spinner in world cricket today. Figures for the match of 7-94 were England’s best and the dismissal of Sangakkarra at slip in the second innings was one large nail in the Sri Lankan coffin.
Tremlett – 8.5
Without a doubt England’s unluckiest bowler in the first innings to record unflattering figures of 1-81. Once given the new ball in the second innings, Tremlett took the bull by the horns and produced a scintillating display (4-40) to dismiss both the Sri Lankan openers and the other danger-man Maheyla Jayawardene. His length was unerring and the Sri Lankans didn’t know whether to play back or forward.
Anderson – 8
The pick of the England quicks in the first innings (3-66) and will be sorely missed if he doesn’t make the next test at Lords following his side strain. Possessed the mastery of the Dukes ball once more, just how he’d mastered the Kookaburra down under 5 months previous.
TOTAL = 87.5/110
Sri Lanka Marks out of Ten
Tharanga Paranavitana – 7.5
Batted admirably on the first morning considering English bowling conditions in May. Negated the swing of Anderson and the England attack for over four hours in a gutsy knock. Will be disappointed knock to produce a similar knock the second time around as Tremlett dismissed him twice in the match.
Tillakaratne Dilshan – 7
A half century in the first innings and the wicket of Jonathan Trott meant that Dilshan came away with ok figures in a generally dismal test match for Sri Lanka. You would have thought a counter-attacking Dilshan in the second innings could have dampened England’s slight hope of victory with few runs and little time to play with. It’s hard to pick holes with his captaincy with such an impotent attack and the way in which he was let down by his two most senior bastmen.
Kumar Sangakkarra – 4
25 runs in the entire test match is frankly a diabolical haul for someone who averages 57 in tests and is considered by many to be the most underrated ‘great’ in the game today. He played some loose shots in the second innings when the situation didn’t call for it. A very generous 4 here.
Maheyla Jawardene – 4
Eclipsed by his namesake and only scoring 19 runs in the match, this was a poor showing from a senior figure in the Sri Lankan side. Looked to be playing with soft hands against a pumped up English attack in the second innings, getting a Tremlett jaffer could be his only defence.
Thilan Samaraweera – 7
After a streaky yet impressive 58 in the first innings Samaraweera would be immensely disappointed with his mode of dismissal in the second innings as his shot was completely unjustified given the circumstances. He managed to chop on against Swann against a ball that didn’t bounce and was too close to try and cut.
Prasanna Jayawardene – 8
Consummately answered the question marks about whether he was a test batsman by top scoring with 112 in the Sri Lankan’s first innings. Kept well throughout which reassured us of his credentials behind the stumps. Couldn’t translate his form in the first innings to save the match.
Farveez Maharoof – 4
His 1-92 pretty much says the story of his test match. Maharoof is clearly not a test match number 7 as well as his 16 runs in the match would contend.
Thisara Perera – 4
No wickets in the match indicate how impotent Perera was with the ball. He scrapes a 4 thanks to some good counter-attacking batting down the order with scores of 25 and 20 respectively.
Rangana Herath – 4
Match figures of 1-115 really sum his game up as with the other Sri Lankan bowlers. Got the prized wicket of Kevin Pietersen but never looked like taking a wicket after. His idiotic dismissal in the second innings would not have please his captain Dilshan. Another generous 4 possible because of his 25 in the first innings.
Ajantha Mendis – 4
Arguably the most threatening of the Sri Lankan bowlers but ultimately still only recorded 1 wicket in the game. Didn’t get dismissed in the match which I guess is kind of bitter sweet for a number 10 in an innings defeat.
Suranga Lakmal – 4
Having witnessed his first few overs, Lakmal did appear to possess some talent. But as with the rest of the Sri Lankan attack, he was unable to exert anything out of a pitch which offered a little bit for the bowlers.
Sri Lankan Total 57.5/110
Liked this post? You should subscribe to our email updates - why subscribe.