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  • Andrew Cork

Cricket England v Sri Lanka – Third Test Match Third Day Review

Match situation: England in their second innings lead Sri Lanka by 237 runs with 6 wickets in hand

Exchange odds:

England – 1.54

Sri Lanka – 13.5

Draw – 3.5

Met Office weather forecast

Sunday – cloudy with outbreaks of rain

Monday – sunshine and showers

Well what a difference a day made. On Friday the England attack looked toothless as Sri Lanka made serene progress on what looked a batting friendly pitch. However, it was all change on Saturday very much from the word go. Woakes dismissed Mendis and Broad removed Silva both without adding to their overnight scores.

England were on top and had a great morning, taking five wickets while Sri Lanka could only add 56 runs. Herath and Perera steadied the ship and took the total to 276 but once Herath was removed by Broad, the Sri Lankan innings subsided rapidly to 288 all out.

The England opening batting line up had to be revamped as Cook was at hospital being x-rayed after he took a nasty blow on the leg when fielding at silly mid-off. Fortunately nothing was broken but he will no doubt be incapacitated if he bats at all.

Initially the revised opening partnership of Compton and Hales looked comfortable and were scoring freely. However, with the score on 45, Compton’s weakness outside the off stump was exposed by Eranga as he edged a regulation delivery to the keeper. Root then got a scuttler and Vince misjudged a cut-backer (fairly classic Lord’s dismissal) and suddenly England were 50 for 3. Compton face told a story on his trek back to the pavilion that he was at the last chance saloon and he would not be batting for England at the next test match.

Bairstow and Hales steadied the ship, taking the score to 101 before Bairstow had a rare lapse in concentration to be bowled through the gate attempting a loose back foot drive.

The third test is, therefore, building up to an exciting climax. The pre-lunch session looks to be crucial as it will have a huge bearing on Sri Lanka’s target. Let us hope the weather doesn’t intervene significantly and allow the match to take its natural course.

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