The Lord’s Day
I didn’t post yesterday because I was In London all day, at Lord’s cricket ground for Day 3 of the Third Test between England and Sri Lanka.
Here’s the view of “The Home Of Cricket” we had from the Grand Stand just as play was starting;
It was cloudy all day but there were no interruptions to play for rain or bad light. It also remained very warm and humid all day, surprising so for early June.
The lights did come on later, when England batted, along with the usual ridiculous announcement that they were there to “augment the natural light rather replace it”. If anyone can explain what that means I’d be very grateful.
Perhaps the clouds didn’t actually make it dark, but instead just augmented the darkness that was already there?
Anyway, Sri Lanka’s batsmen started the day on 162 for 1 chasing England’s first innings total of 416. The batsmen had looked well set on Friday evening but they lost batsmen Mendis and Silva before they had augmented their overnight scores. Matthews quickly followed, but Chandimal, Perera and Herath added useful runs; the latter led a charmed life, scoring a lot of his runs off the edge, but he also hit some powerful shots.
In the end Sri Lanka’s innings folded quickly, going from 288 for 7 to 288 all out as the tailenders failed to cope with the movement generated by “English conditions”. They must have been disappointed to add only 126 for the loss of nine wickets, but batting was far from easy against Broad, Anderson and (especially) Woakes, who bowled very accurately. England’s first innings lead was 128.
England’s 2nd innings commenced after the tea interval. Alastair Cook was unable to bat, having received a knee injury in the field, so Nick Compton stepped up to open the innings with Alex Hales. Compton has been in poor form since returning to the England side and he never looked comfortable, eventually falling for 19. He may not play for England again. Root and Vince also departed quickly, the latter clean-bowled first ball for a golden duck.
That brought England’s first innings hero Johnny Bairstow in, and he and Hales steadied the ship. There then followed a dull passage of play in which England batted cautiously, wary of losing further wickets, and Sri Lanka, wary of conceding runs, bowled defensively and were in no hurry to get through their overs.
Bairstow was looking quite comfortable as the final session drew to a close, but suddenly he was out, for 32, making his aggregate for the match 199.
Finn came in as night watchman and survived a couple of overs to take England to 109 for 4 at the close. Only 235 runs were scored and 13 wickets fell.
So England go into the 4th day with a lead of 237. I reckon if they can get another hundred runs or so they will win this game but, as I write, on Sunday morning, it’s raining at Lord’s.Follow @telescoper