Cricket England v Sri Lanka – Third test match fourth day review
Match situation: Sri Lanka require 330 runs to win with all 10 wickets remaining
England – 2.86
Sri Lanka – 34.0
Draw – 1.58
Met Office weather forecast
Monday – mainly dry and cloudy with some rain between noon and 2 pm
Sadly, a significant proportion of yesterday’s play was lost to the weather and this has meant that the game has had to be engineered to try and ensure there is a result on day 5.
Sunday was still a fascinating day’s play with all the ebb and flow that comes from test cricket. When England did resume their second innings, the early loss of Finn reduced them to 120 for 5, a lead of 258, good but not great. The injured captain, Alastair Cook, then joined Hales and they took the score to the relative calm of 201 though this was not without incident.
Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, who had not perhaps been getting much luck with a number of marginal calls, umpire Rod Tucker mistakenly called a Pradeep delivery a no-ball. This ball went on to keep a bit low and bowl Hales. Subsequent replays showed that it was a fair delivery but, of course, once the call had been made, there was no recourse. Herath was also getting the ball to turn quite sharply and was beating the bat fairly regularly.
Sadly for Hales, he couldn’t go on to capitalise on this extremely fortunate reprieve and make a hundred as he was eventually trapped LBW by Mathews for 94.
Cook, accompanied by Ali and Woakes took the England score on to 233 for 7 before declaring and leaving Sri Lanka needing to get 362 runs to register the win. This run chase, if successful, will be a record for Lord’s.
Sri Lanka had a tricky 12 overs to survive in the late afternoon but, as happened in the first innings, the England bowlers did not maintain a disciplined tight line and length and the two openers made it to the close of play with relative ease with 32 runs on the board.
So we come to the final day of the test match series and the calculations are simple. Sri Lanka need 330 runs to win and England need 10 wickets. The weather forecast isn’t too bad so let’s hope that nothing gets in the way of an exciting and unequivocal finish.