Liam Plunkett (second from left) and James Anderson (second from right) have been the pick of the English bowlers so far © Getty Images (File Photo)
Jun 20, 2014
Sri Lanka have lost half their side against some inspired swing bowling from Liam Plunkett and James Anderson, and are precariously placed at 182 for the loss of five wickets at the end of the second session, Day One of the second Test at Headingly against England.
After losing both the openers in the morning session, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara resumed proceedings for Sri Lanka in the post-lunch session. Moeen Ali started the session to effect a change of ends for the pacers. But the crucial partnership between the two veterans didn’t last long.
Liam Plunkett was bowling with some appreciable bounce and velocity. First he got the ever-so-elusive from Sangakkara, but only to be dropped in the most hilarious and shocking fashion by Matt Prior. Having taken the edge, the ball was coming at chest height towards Prior, who sort of looked away from the ball before pouching it. Plunkett seemed frustated. But he came back.
In his next over, he again got the edge — this time off Jayawardene’s bat, and this time Chris Jordan at second slip held on to a rather contrasting chance. It was travelling and dying on him, but he held out his right hand, and safely held on to it. Lahiru Thirimanne then replaced Jayawardene in the centre. But he lasted just one delivery. Plunkett greeted him with a snorter first-up, and Thirimanne was in no position as he lobbed an easy catch for Joe Root at short-leg.
Suddenly, Sri Lanka had lost all momentum. Captain Angelo Mathews then joined Sangakkara in the middle, and they counter attacked. They were involved in a quickfire 50-plus partnership but it couldn’t go on. Mathews’s counterattacking tactics backfired. Up against James Anderson, he again poked at a delivery in that corridor of uncertainty, and this time Gary Ballance took an easy catch at third slip. That was Ballance’s first catch in Test cricket, and Mathews became Anderson’s bunny for the second time in as many Tests. Anderson let him know that with a charged-up send-off.
Sangakkara survived again as he was again dropped. This time by Moeen Ali off Chris Jordan’s bowling at backward point. A difficult chance, but should have held on to it. With a session remaining in the day, England will be looking to end the Sri Lankan innings, while the visitors will be hoping Sangakkara and Chandimal can bail them out of this tight situation in the next session.
Sri Lanka 182 for 5 (Dimuth Karunaratne 28, Kumar Sangakkara 67*, ; James Anderson 2 for 33, Liam Punkett 3 for 47) vs England