Cricket – Second Day Report
Match position: Sri Lanka, following on, trail England by 206 runs with 10 wickets remaining
It is difficult to think how the day could have gone much better for England yesterday. England took their first innings score to 298 with sensible batting apart from weak shots from Ali and Broad. As England took to the field, there is always some concern that, with so much in the bowling side’s favour, England’s attack may try too hard, lose focus and bowl too fast and short.
Happily this was not the case and Broad and Anderson bowled with great skill and control. The mainly inexperienced Sri Lankan batsmen had no answer to the movement and bounce from the home team’s strike force.
Not surprisingly, the biggest batting contribution came from the experienced captain, Angelo Mathews, who was unlucky to be given out LBW as he was clearly hit outside the line of off stump. Still his 34 ensured we were able to collect on our bet of top batsman in the Sri Lankan first innings, meaning we got the double up with Bairstow being the top English batsman. A very profitable start to the test series indeed!
It’s a very rare event nowadays but England decided to enforce the follow on, presumably the decision was made with one eye on the weather. Certainly the forecast for today is not encouraging with showers or prolonged periods predicted during the hours of play. Sunday does look more positive and it would be very disappointing if there were not sufficient time available for England to secure victory.