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England Confident for Victory in 3nd Test while Sri Lanka Wish for a Draw

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England Confident for Victory in 3nd Test while Sri Lanka Wish for a Draw

June 13
15:27 2016

engNew Delhi, Monday, June 13 – England and Sri Lanka arrived on the ground with confidence to play in the final Test at Lord’s in London on June 9. It was not easy for the guest to stay positive post being thrashed in the previous two Test matches. If truth be told they are heading towards another defeat at the hands of English cricketers but are keen to end the third Test in a draw that will only be possible when wickets are not lost in the early hours of play till the last delivery.

England Playing XI captain Alastair Cook went with Alex Hales, Nick Compton, Joe Root, James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and James Anderson, while Jake Ball was in extra. On the other hand, Sri Lanka squad looked like Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep. Those who were asked to sit on bench and watch the match were Chaminda Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera, Niroshan Dickwella and Milinda Siriwardana.

Viewers were ready to see some good show from Sri Lanka after England won the toss and decided to bat first. Such expectations were likely keeping in mind humiliating defeat of Sri Lanka. It was expected that they might shine in the last part to taste success. But the home side seemed passionate to perform well and don’t let any room to the opponents to think of a bounce back. England 1st Innings came to an end at 416 runs attained in 128.4 overs. The batsmen who shone with their excellence were Alastair Cook, who played a knock of 85 run s(4  x 9), Jonny Bairstow, the wicket keeper, who was not out at 167 runs (4 x 18) and Chris Woakes, who played 66-run innings on 142 deliveries, together with eight 4s. On the other hand, Alex Hales was dismissed by Herath at 18 runs (4 x 3), Nick Compton and Joe Root by Lakmal at a single and three runs, respectively, James Vince by Pradeep at 10 runs, Moeen Ali by Herath at 25 runs and James Anderson by Eranga at 4 runs that were thanks to a four.

Stuart Broad scored 14 runs off 32 balls and Steven Finn 7 runs in 22 balls before succumbing to Lakmal and Herath, respectively.  Sri Lanka had good start but still their first innings got finished at 288 runs. The entire team was all out in 95.1 overs. Sri Lanka openers gave the squad a fresh start, putting 108 runs on the scoreboard, increasing tension on England. Dimuth Karunaratne was the first to lose his wicket when bowling change did a trick and Finn got first wicket. 50 runs from the opener included seven boundaries. His dismissal made Kusal Mendis arrive on crease and stay there for some time. He was given legs before wicket in Woakes’ over when playing at an individual score of 25, along with three 4s. Kaushal Silva, the highest scorer from Sri Lanka, was out by Broad in order to get some more runs. 79 runs from him certainly gave what Sri Lanka were eying from the beginning. 10 fours from him made opponents do a bit extra running on the field.

It was a tad unfortunate that the middle order batsmen failed to make the most of the wonderful start and lost wickets when it was needed for them to remain on 22 yards pitch and contribute. Sri Lankan skipper Mathews was dismissed by Woakes at 3 runs. His dismissal added to stress and this got proved post wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne by Finn at 17 runs, which consisted of three 4s as well. Dinesh Chandimal struck three 4s but was lbw by Finn. His innings ended at 19 runs. Kusal Perera brought desired push by playing a knock of 42 runs off 73 balls. Seven 4s from him helped him get this total soon. Anderson finished his play at a time when his presence might have made Sri Lanka attain some more runs in speed.

Rangana Herath displayed his ability as a batsman as well. 31 runs from him together with five 4s were helpful for the tourists in a number of ways. Broad earned his wicket to make England feel having grip in the game. Shaminda Eranga was shown a way back to the dressing room by Woakes at a single. Suranga Lakmal was out for a naught. Nuwan Pradeep was not out at a zero. England declared their second innings at 233 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Hales was dismissed when he was just six runs away from pocketing a ton. Nick Compton this time scored 19 runs, Joe Root 4 runs, James Vince nil, Jonny Bairstow 32 runs, Steven Finn 7 runs, Alastair Cook 49 runs, Moeen Ali 9 runs and Chris Woakes a zero.

Most of the players couldn’t make best use of the opportunity but that did not highlight due to good amount of runs in the end. Sri Lanka already missed opportunity of levelling Series earlier but expect a bounce back this time. But it is going to be interesting for the audience to notice whether English players let them do so with average bowling or perform outstandingly to pocket win on the final day of the play, which is not going to be an easy job. In the second innings, Sri Lanka accumulated 32 runs without losing any wicket. Dimuth Karunaratne is batting at 19 runs, while Kaushal Silva batting at 12 runs. The two batsmen along with other players know it very well that wickets lost today will mean another defeat for them in a row, which is something they wish to avoid.

Some individual blitz can only come to Sri Lanka rescue. They are 330 runs away to get a victory in pocket post landing in London a few weeks ago. The target looks unachievable for the reason that Test cricket is different from ODI and T20 formats. The visiting squad will have to pour hundred per cent efforts to stay away from possible defeat. Cook employed Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali on their work. Finn, the fifth bowler, is yet to come into picture.  Since it is a matter for pride for Sri Lanka in the ongoing Test, it is likely to witness a few unbelievable performances. A victory here will allow England enjoy Sri Lanka whitewash. It is interesting for the viewers to notice whether they let opportunity go without giving a fight or do their bit to end Series with their heads held high.

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