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Shaminda Eranga will bowl the last over. First ball is short to Anderson and it falls just in front of short leg. Second one is pitched slightly wide and its a defence from Jimmy. Next delivery is a slow bouncer and it is another defence. The fourth ball of the over is slightly on leg stump and it is another straight-bat prod. Its a short ball and the ball takes off Anderson’s handle and it is taken by Rangana Herath. What a match! What a series! Anderson is dismayed and Sri Lanka fall in a heap..
J Anderson c Herath b Eranga 0(55)
Its Dhammika Prasad for the second last over of the day. Its pitched short — two in a row. The second one is called a wide. Its pitched slightly short again and again its well left. Here comes the fourth ball of the over and its pitched up and placed to safety. Its another maiden and Anderson will face the last over.
Ragana Herath comes in and Anderson takes strike. All the balls are pitched up but the England pacer cautiously negates the deliveries. Over to you Moeen Ali.
Angelo Mathews is on now and he is met with stubborn resistance from Ali. He deals with every delivery with ease as he is seeing the ball like a football out there. Three overs to go now.
Herath bowls to Ali and the batsman is taking him easily. Off the fifth ball he places one through the off-side and they take a single. Anderson leaves the last ball. Four overs to go.
Eranga is back in the attack and Anderson plays there deliveries very well. Earlier, Eranga came from round the wicket and then had to switch to over. Five overs to go.
Ali gets his ton. Pradeep strays on his pads and he flicks it fine for a four. What a ton! He has remained calm and has batted extremely well here. He then follows that up with a couple of runs through the cover. Pradeep comes from round the wicket and Ali guides him through third-man for a four.
Herath comes back and Ali takes a single off the fourth ball again and moves to 97. He is inching closer, but knows what is the priority here. Anderson defends the last two balls.
Shaminda Eranga is bowling and he is coming from round the wicket to the left handed James Anderson. There are men around the bat and Anderson is doing well to leave it outside the off-stump.
Prasad continues and Ali is not going to do much, even though he is only four runs away from what would be a magnificent ton. Another maiden here and Sri Lanka have to work for that wicket here.
Herath is drawing Anderson forward and meets the ball well. Mathews has placed men all around the bat and though he gets an edge, it doesn’t carry through leg-slip and they don’t take a single.
England are managing to hold fort with Moeen Ali anchoring them. Anderson has done well too now. But, Ali is the man and he takes on the bowling well in this over, by playing it out calmly.
Herath is back into the attack with Ali in strike. He is coming from round the wicket and there are men posted on the boundaries on the leg-side. He ultimately takes a single off the fourth ball through fine-leg. Anderson gets behind the last two balls well and the live to fight another over!
Moeen Ali plays the first four deliveries and finally takes a single as he gets one through mid-on. Anderson gets a yorker first up and he gets bat onto it.
After the spinners, the seamers are back. Dhammika Prasad is into the action and bowls a few short ones to Anderson. Mathews has men around the bat. Anderson manages to keep the bowlers out and they have to now bowl to Ali at the other end.
Ali has now moved into the 90s and is playing it calmly. But, England still have some distance to go before saving this. Anderson has to provide good support. But, the light is also an issue and they have to be wary of that.
The light is an issue and the umpires were together in discussion. Now, Sri Lanka have employed spinners and Mahela Jaywardene is in to bowl his off-breaks. Moeen Ali deals with them calmly although there is one that spins a lot. Herath also continues at the other end and Broad is gone! And guess what he doesn’t review it! He is leg-before as Herath comes from round the wicket and traps him in front.
OUT! Broad 0(24)
Ali is farming the strike for himself and keeping Broad off it. Prasad strays on his pads and Ali flicks it beautifully for a four through mid-wicket. he then drives one down the ground for a single.
Rangana Herath is the man! He bowls one straight and Jordan misses and he is hit plumb in front. They take the review though and he is gone.
OUT! Jordan 21(62)
Run-scoring is slow and that is expected. There is one ball from Nuwan Pradeep that kicks off a pitch and it flies over the slips. This partnership is now worth 50 runs. They have done a good job of keep Sri Lanka at bay and prolonging England’s fight. There still are 30 more overs to go here.
Ali is leading England’s fight here and has done well to shepherd their innings. Chris Jordan is gone though. He chases one outside the off-stump and is taken at second slip. Wait! They check for the no-ball and Eranga doesn’t have anything behind the line.
The nervous moments continue but Moeen Ali has kept England in the hunt with two more hours to go. England are 177 runs short but that would be the last thing on their mind.
Prior has been bounced out for the second time in this series. Prasad has a five-for. Sri Lanka are inching closer to a historic win.
OUT! M Prior c Silva b Prasad 10(47)
Moeen ALi gets to his maiden half-century. What an occasion to get to the mark. Moeen has looked solid while Herath is trying to test Prior.
Moeen Ali has looked very composed so far. He has not shied away from driving whenever it’s there in the slot. Pradeep though managed to squeeze through his defence once but luckily the edge fell just short of Dinesh Chandimal. Matt Prior is off the mark after a nervy start against Rangana Herath. That 61st over from pradeep was nine balls long with three no-balls.
Breakthrough for Sri Lanka. Thirimanne takes a low catch at gully to give Lankans the much needed wicket since morning. Root had put up a strong resistance presenting his finest defence. He was trying to guide it past midwicket and the leading edge flew towards gully.
OUT! J Root c Thirimanne b Pradeep 31(108)
Some aggression from the Lankan side. The umpires are checking the condition of the ball after Lanka’s plea while Mathews is having a go at the batsmen. Good batting from Root and Ali. They showed great temperament and have resisted playing the expansive drives.
Angelo Mathews resumes after lunch and bowls a maiden over. Shaminda Eranga starts from the other end and keeps the length short as Root continues to duck underneath. Not much bounce on the pitch nor any movement either.
The players have come out after lunch. The rains have cleared out. We will now have Sri Lanka pushing for the victory.
Early lunch has been taken at Headingley. The reports coming in are that it is raining.
There is rain here at Headingley and the players are going off now. England have held on today and would hope this shower persists.
Root has come to a standstill. He hasn’t scored runs in a while and now only Ali has got some onto the total. Shaminda Eranga continues from one end and Rangana Herath is at the other. Not much happening as there is a lot of defending and leaving. In the last four overs, only four runs have been scored, all by Ali. Root is content in blocking it.
A very slow passage of play for England as they score only two runs in the last four overs. Root has now played 50 balls and has scored only nine runs. England may look at this period as one of settling in, but they also shouldn’t let the run-scoring momentum go away. Now, Sri Lanka have taken off Dhammika Prasad and got back Shaminda Eranga.
Moeen Ali gradually gets into the groove. He tries to attack Herath, but isn’t able to get too much into it. He then maintains discipline against Prasad, who continues to test him outside the off-stump. Ali is leaving a few and when it is a bit overpitched, he is driving them with ease. Later, Prasad overpitches again and Ali drives it gracefully down the ground for a four.
The day begins with Dhammika Prasad and Rangana Herath continuing. Prasad has Moeen Ali on the crease for a while as he plays and misses deliveries outside the off-stump. Ultimately, he does manage to get off the mark off his 11th delivery with one that was on the stumps. Root is trying to play solidly and has been defensive against Herath so far.
Welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of Day Five of the second Test between England and Sri Lanka at Headingley, Leeds. England is facing their first home series defeat to Sri Lanka after a dismal day four’s play during the second Test at the Headingley, Leeds. Chasing 350 to win, the hosts’ top-order was destroyed by fast bowler Dhammika Prasad’s four for 15 as they slipped to 57 for the loss of five wickets in their second innings. A lot will depend on Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Matt Prior, as the trio have to score big to help England save themselves from defeat. I am Nishad Pai Vaidya and will take you through the day in what promises to be a thriller between the two teams at Headingley.