It’s stumps on Day Three and Lankans have done well to give themselves a good chance of even winning this encounter. The pitch has already shown some signs of turn and facing Rangana Herath won’t be easy at all. Meanwhile, England’s aim will be to find breakthroughs on the fourth morning with new ball due in seven overs. Lead 106 runs
48th Test fifty for Mahela Jayawardene and the lead for Sri Lanka is inching closer to the three-figure mark. Jayawardene was close to departing after he was yorked by Plunkett but the review for leg-before showed the ball clipping leg stump and umpire’s call of not out saved the batsman.
Jayawardene and Mathews have been looking to play their shots post Sangakkara’s dismissal. Short spell for Liam Plunkett, but Moeen Ali continues from the other end. Earlier, Mathews played a lovely punch off the backfoot for four.
Till now all wickets picked by Moeen were of Sangakkara but he bags a new one now. Thirimanne bowled by a beauty from Moeen. The one that got Sangakkara was straight and this one turned enough to beat the bat. King pair for Lahiru Thirimanne. He has been dismissed twice in three balls without scoring.
OUT! L Thirimanne 0(2)
Big wicket for England. Sangakkara is fuming with himself for playing that shot. Moeen was bowling his third over of the innings. This was bowled round the wicket and Sangakkara went for a defensive push to smother the spin with his pad first. Umpire Steve Davies raised his finger. Sangakkara opted for a referral and it was hitting bang on the middle stump.
OUT! K Sangakkara lbw Moeen 55(103)
Mahela-Sanga are tormenting the English bowlers. But if England have come close to picking any wicket it has been against Mahela. Jayawardene played a smooth cover drive against Anderson and in the following over was beaten by an awkward bounce from Broad, the ball ballooned in the air after deflecting from the glove. Thankfully for Mahela, it falls just short of the gully fielder. After persisting with pacers since tea, Cook brings Moeen Ali in, four from it. The lead is now 56 runs.
Most runs in International Cricket: 35357 SRT 27483 Ponting 25535* SANGA 25529 Kallis 24542* JAYAWARDENE 24208 Dravid 22358 Lara
World Record for Kumar Sangakkara: Becomes the fourth player to score seven fifties in a row. Only Andy Flower, Everton Weekes and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have achieved the feat. Sangakkara got to his fifty with a neat flick for boundary and moved to 51. His has been in sublime touch this series.
Sri Lankan pair of Jayawardene and Sangakkara looking pretty settled in the crease. Jayawardene is being tested with a few short balls but he has kept his calm so far. There was a loud appeal for leg-before in the 49th over off Broad. But there was a massive inside edge.
And we’re back for the final session of the day. Liam Plunkett will open the bowling after Tea. Four runs off the over. Jordan opens the bowling again. Just two off that one. Plunkett again. And four more to Sanga through covers. Jordan again. And it’s a maiden. Plunkett continues. Just four off that over. Here comes Chris Jordan again. Short, wide, four. Good shot from Mahela. Broad again. Two off the over.
Jordan and Plunkett bowl the last two overs before Tea. Just five runs come off those overs. So Sri Lanka head to Tea at a comfortable 99 for two. They trail by just nine runs, with their two best batsmen at the crease. The final session should make for interesting viewing!
Broad again. And it’s a maiden over. Liam Plunkett continues. Just two off that one. And it’s Broad again. Strays on to Sanga’s pads, gets hit through square leg for two. Five off that over. Moeen Ali comes on now. Decent first over from Moeen, England must be dearly missing Swann! Here’s Plunkett again. AND HE BREAKS THROUGH! Plunkett gets his second, Karunaratne out caught behind. This was short and quick, the ball brushes the glove en route to the keeper and he has to go. Mahela Jayawardene comes in now. Short ball, Jaya goes for a pull and gets a single to get off the mark.
OUT! D Karunarate 45(110) c Prior b Plunkett
Jordan continues. Short and wide, Karunaratne slashes hard at that, gets four. England trail by just 47 now. And another bowling change. Stuart Broad comes on. Sanga sees him off, it’s a maiden over. Jordan continues, he’s had a long spell so far. Just a single. Broad again. And Sanga finishes off the over with yet another glorious cover drive for four. Plunkett again. Three runs off it. Here’s Broad. Six runs off that over. Liam Plunkett will continue. Oops, that’s four byes. Six off that over.
Liam Plunkett comes in now. And WHAT a ball to start off with! Wowie! Short, quick and inches from Silva’s face. Very good ball. Oh another appeal this time. Not out given by the umpire, but England review it. Silva was the batsman, but it was going way down leg! It’s a maiden to start with. Jordan continues. Three off it. Plunkett again. OH HE’S GOT HIS MAN! Kaushal Silva pokes at this, Matt Prior accepts this gleefully. That brings in Kumar Sangakkara. Oops what happened there? Wide as wide can be, that’s gone away for five wides. Oh lovely shot, Kumar announces his arrival with a gorgeous cover drive. Successful but very expensive over, 13 off it. Jordan again. And it’s another maiden. Here comes Plunkett again. Oh lovely shot from Sanga! Once again, down on his knees and driven majestically though covers. Five off the over.
OUT! K Silva 13(54) c Prior b Plunkett
James Anderson starts things off after lunch. And he causes Karunaratne some problems right away. He manages to get four through backward point though. Chris Jordan will continue. He strays on Silva’s pads, and gets hit for four off the last ball. Jimmy Anderson continues. And it’s a maiden. Jordan again. Oooh Silva flashes at this one and misses. Just two off that one. Anderson back again. Just a single off it. Here’s Jordan again. Sri Lanka trail by 72.
Welcome to the post-lunch session! England are well ahead right now, but Sri Lanka clawing their way ahead at the moment. This will be a key session for both sides. If England can get rid of both openers soon, they could have a crack at the inexperienced Sri Lankan middle-order. Shiamak Unwalla will be bringing you the updates from now till the end of day’s play.
Sri Lanka have survived. Chris Jordan bowls one over before lunch as umpire calls time. Lanka would be happy that they have survived. They are 22 for no loss but still trail England by a massive 86 runs. Remember this deck is playing tricks already.
Anderson continues to bowl with a perfect seam position. Broad though is perhaps bowling a slightly shorter length. Sri Lanka would be happy to survive this session without losing a wicket. Can England take wicket here before lunch??
James Anderson will bowl the first over for England here. Anderson bowls with a maiden over. Anderson from around the wicket bowls a superb delivery that angles away from the left-handed Karunratne to take the edge only for Jordan to make a mess of the catch in the slip cordon. Sri Lanka living dangerously.
Mathews bowls a jaffa as he gets it nip back into Plunkett to send his middle stump cartwheeling. A nip-backer! Did he roll his fingers there? For a batsman it would feel like 75mph off-break. James Anderson has come into bat at his customary No 11 position. Prior looking for quick runs. Prior goes after Eranga and smashes a six. Anderson though gets caught and bowled to a snorter from Eranga. England all out for 365.
L Plunkett b A Mathews 2(11), J Anderson c & b S Eranga 0(6)
Well Broad plays a lot on the up. Here he plays with his bat well in front of his body and succeeds in only spooning a catch to Thirimanne fielding at gully (fine). Sri Lanka need to wrap up the innings quickly now. Mathews can even take five-for here. They have bowled a fuller length today. Headingley can be a strange seaming deck as even if you bowl slightly short it sits up for batsmen to make merry. Well done to Sri Lanka today.
S Broad c L Thirimanne b A Mathews 4(6)
The reward for hitting the seam consistently for Eranga. Eranga deserved that wicket as Jordan loses his wicket. Good catch by Mahela Jayawardene in the slips. Broad has come into bat at No 9. England will look for quick runs and move the game forward from here.
C Jordan c M Jayawardene b S Eranga 17(30)
Under relatively blue skies both Chris Jordan and Matt Prior looked to extend the lead. Mathews looking to get Prior out lbw. Maybe SL bowlers tend to bowl too much of middle stump line? How about bowling the odd one slightly wide of off-stump? In fact are Sri Lanka actually looking for wickets? They have a man at point boundary. Sri Lanka need wickets here. Well Eranga swings it late and it goes right between wicketkeeper and first slip! Superb delivery that slanted in before it left the batsman but no reward. Sri Lanka bowlers are hitting the seam consistently today.
Welcome to CricketCountry’s Live Blog of the Day three’s play between England and Sri Lanka in the second Test at Leeds. I am Bharath Ramaraj and I’ll be bringing you the live updates for the first session. After placing themselves in a strong position on the second day, England failed to hold on to the advantage as Lanka pegged them back with quick wickets. From 311 for three, they slipped to 313 for six at stumps with Ian Bell, Moeen Ali and Joe Root dismissed. England are 320 for six with a lead of 63 runs.
The highlight of the day was Sam Robson’s maiden Test hundred playing in his second Test, the Australian-born batsman has stamped his presence with this knock of 127 in 253 balls.
The main aim for the lankans will be to restrict the lead. Matt Prior and Chris Jordan are the overnight batsmen on the crease. There’s not much batting to come for England with Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett and James Anderson to follow.