Woakes leads way as Eng­land take 128-run lead

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON—James An­der­son and Stu­art Broad be­came the most pro­lific Test open­ing bowl­ing part­ner­ship in his-tory as Sri Lanka were dis­missed for 288, a first-in­nings deficit of 128, by tea on the third day of the fi­nal In­vestec Test at Lord’s.

When An­der­son had Kusal Per­era caught be­hind off a bot­tom edge, at­tempt­ing to pull, their com­bined tally as an open­ing part­ner­ship was 494 wick­ets, one more than Wasim Akram and Waqar You­nis (although at a higher aver-age) and ahead of other no­ta­bles on the list: Curtly Am­brose and Court­ney Walsh, Glenn McGrath and Ja­son Gil-lespie, and Alan Don­ald and Shaun Pol­lock.

The statis­tic adorned a Lord’s Test Satur­day which swung loy­ally to­wards Eng­land, as a place of such grand tradi-tions must pre­sum­ably feel obliged to do on the oc­ca­sion of the Queen’s 90th birth­day. Sri Lanka had ap­proached the third morn­ing in good heart but, by lunch, they were oblit­er­ated: six down and still trail­ing by 198 runs, hopes of a con­so­la­tion vic­tory all but ex­tin­guished.

Eng­land’s one con­cern was a pre­cau­tion­ary hos­pi­tal X-ray for their cap­tain, Alas­tair Cook, who was struck on the knee while tak­ing eva­sive ac­tion against Per­era, field­ing at silly point for the off­spin of Moeen Ali.

Joe Root, Eng­land’s stand-in cap­tain dur­ing the af­ter­noon ses­sion, did not have im­me­di­ate suc­cess as Sri Lanka’s eighth­wicket pair of Per­era and Ran­gana Herath made merry in a stand of 71 in 17 overs, against old ball and new. Per­era, back in the Sri Lanka side af­ter over­turn­ing drugs al­le­ga­tions, pro­duced some typ­i­cally em­phatic blows and Herath of­fered good sup­port, chanc­ing his arm and in­dulging in some puffed-out cheeks fist-pump­ing with his part­ner with an air of mild re­lief.

As Root had to re­sist a head­strong ap­peal from Broad for a re­view of a re­fused lbw ap­peal against Herath, and then was spo­ken to by the umpires re­gard­ing An­der­son, who in­dulged in a be­hind-the-hands con­ver­sa­tion at slip (al-ways a sign of trou­ble afoot), he must have been anx­ious for news that Cook was fit and well and ea­ger to re­sume his cap­taincy du­ties. In­stead, he was still off the field as Sri Lanka’s lower or­der crum­bled. Broad caused Herath to chop on, Per­era fol­lowed, Su­ranga Lak­mal edged An­der­son low to sec­ond slip, and Chris Woakes fol­lowed his high­est Test score with a third wicket when Shaminda Eranga edged the first ball of his spell to James Vince at third slip.

Sri Lanka’s vi­sions at start of play of con­ced­ing more than 400 in the first in­nings and then win­ning the Test, as they did at The Oval in their Mut­tiah Mu­ralitha­ran-in­spired 1998 vic­tory, would have been en­cour­aged by reach­ing the close on the sec­ond day 162 runs to the good and Dimuth Karunaratne the only ca­su­alty.

Within 7.3 overs, those am­bi­tions were damp­ened, Kusal Mendis, Kaushal Silva and An­gelo Mathews all des-patched as Eng­land’s pace at­tack re­gained the ini­tia­tive.

Woakes’ first ball of the pre­vi­ous day had brought about the Jonny Bairstow howler - and fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion of his wick­et­keep­ing role. This time Woakes en­joyed im­me­di­ate suc­cess, win­ning an lbw with the first ball of the sec­ond over as he rammed a de­liv­ery down the slope into Mendis’ pads.

Woakes had been the most in­sis­tent of Eng­land’s at­tack on the pre­vi­ous evening and that was enough for him to start the day along­side Broad. There was enough in the air to en­cour­age the bowlers that it would be a more even con­test and they pounded a good length - a fuller length than on the pre­vi­ous day from the out­set. Silva failed to add to his overnight 79, his edge to Bairstow in Broad’s third over of the morn­ing ex­tend­ing a re-mark­able record in which he has been caught at the wicket in all nine of his Test in­nings in Eng­land. Rep­e­ti­tion around off stump is all that the bowlers have needed.

Eng­land’s en­ergy also ex­tended to Bairstow. When Mathews thick-edged Broad to third man, Alex Hales and Root, giv­ing chase, were shocked to find the sight of a red-headed re­triever tear­ing past them and div­ing full-length in wick­et­keep­ing pads to save the bound­ary. Such chases are part of Bairstow’s make-up and his plea­sure in mildly em­bar­rass­ing two of his team-mates was ev­i­dent.

Mathews’ pug­nac­ity was needed to re­store Sri Lanka’s am­bi­tion, but he was de­feated by ex­tra bounce from Woakes, go­ing wide on the crease, and Root, quite close at sec­ond slip, held a good catch. It was a de­liv­ery that en­cap­su­lated Woakes’ im­prove­ment, a bowler of good habits and de­cent ac­tion now ca­pa­ble of some­thing a lit­tle more un­set­tling.

Di­nesh Chandi­mal was equally un­cer­tain, be­gin­ning with an in­side-edged four against Woakes and al­most scooped up at sec­ond slip by Root when An­der­son made an un­ac­cus­tomed late ar­rival into the at­tack.

It was not long be­fore Chandi­mal fell, too, lbw to a fullish de­liv­ery from Steven Finn and un­suc­cess­fully re­view­ing in the hope that the ball might have faded down the slope past leg stump.—AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.