Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rain Comes to England’s Rescue

Kevin Pietersen(above) scores an unbeaten 46 as England draw with Sri Lanka in the second test at Colombo

A sensible 46 run fourth wicket stand between Paul Collingwood and Kevin Peterson along with half centuries from Vaughan,Cook and Bell with shades of rain saw England avoiding a loss of the second test,three days after Jayawardane’s men imposed a 88 run defeat on Englad at Kandy.The match ended in a draw despite some good batting from (Mahela)Jayawardane and (Michael) Vandort,along with superb bowling from Murali and Malinga.

Alister Cook(right) cracks a half century to put up a century stand with captain Vaughan against Sri Lanka in the first innings

Earlier on day 1,(Michael) Vaughan won the toss and chose to bat first on a track that was moderately flat and assisted the batsmen on the first day.The match progressed well with a century partnership between openers Cook and Vaughan.The duo put on 133 for the first wicket,untill Vaughan chipped a Muralitharan delivery to be out caught by Vandort.The scoreboard which once read 167/1 at the end of day’s play read 258/5-with Collingwood batting on 49 and Prior on 10. Once again Muttiah Muralitharan proved his heroics by taking yet another 5 wicket haul ending up with figures of 5/116 England's first innings total ended at 351 despite fighting half centuries from Collingwood and Prior.

Mahela Jayawardane(left) & Michael Vandort share a 227 run partnership to put up a decent total in the first innings

Sri Lankan first innings started off with a flare with Sangakkara and Tharanga edging out to Prior of the bowling off Sidebottom only to find themselves reeling at 22-2.Then came the 227 run partnership between (Mahela) Jayawardane-who played a captain’s knock,missing out on a double century by 5 runs and (Michael) Vandort(who scored 138).This was followed by a 128 run partnership involving Mahela Jayawardane and Chamara Silva(49).Adding to this was (Prasanna) Jayawardane’s 79 and Fernando’s 36 which saw Sri Lanka posting up a decent total of 548/9.England well aware of the expectations,started up brilliantly in the second innings-with confident batting from the openers,until bad light ended fourth day's play with England at 48/0.

Muttiah Muralitharan(left) celebrates after getting the wicket of Ian Bell-the offspinner returned with figures of 5/116

With draw looking a certainity on the fifth day,the question was as to how long would England stand up to Sri Lankan
bowling of the likes of Murali and co and as to how many wickets will the Srilankan bowlers be able to pick up to end as unofficial winners.Finally,the day witnessed some swashbuckling batting from the blades of Vaughan and Cook-who once again put up another century partnership(107 ).With three half centuries-from captain Vaughan,Cook & Bell along with Peterson’s fighting 45(from 79 balls) ended the day’s play when rain interrupted with England finishing with 250/3,saving some face after losing the plot in the first innings.Mahela Jayawardane was adjudged the man of the match for his captain’s knock of 195-which also saw him cross him the 7000 run mark in his career surpassing Jayasuriya's tally of 6793 runs,to become the leading run scorer for Sri Lanka in tests.

The clouds linger over the SSC in Colombo, before the rain fell to force a draw, Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo
Brief Scores:

I Innings:
England 351 all out-Cook 81;Vaughan 87;Prior 79;Collingwood 52;Muralitharan 5/116
Sri Lanka 548/9-Mahela Jayawardane 195;Vandort 138;Prasanna Jayawardane 79;Sidebottom 3/100

II Innings:
England 250/3-Cook 62;Vaughan 61;Bell 54;

MoM : Mahela Jayawardane

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