Posted by: tootingtrumpet | May 31, 2011

The Final Over of the Day – England vs Sri Lanka Day Five

Sri Lanka's next man in.

Ball One – Stuart Broad has plenty going for him, as the marketing men can attest. However, away from England, he is not particularly well liked and sometimes it’s not hard to see why. In his first over he, not for the first time, appealed with utter conviction, celebrating as he eventually stopped in the crease at the other end of the pitch. So “convinced” was he that when the umpire answered in the negative, England did not review it. That’s at best unedifying and at worst, well, gamesmanship is the more polite term I suppose.

Ball Two – Not for the first time, Aleem Dar underlines his excellence. He was very quick to give Dilshan out to Tremlett’s signature lifter and, on review, Hotspot revealed the merest brush of the glove. Lucky Aleem, you might say, but he’s lucky too often for that to stick.

Ball Three – Nine days ago, I watched Chris Tremlett fail even to look like parting Tim Phillips and Chris Wright (Essex’s Numbers 8 and 10 since you ask). Today, he has both Lankan openers in the hutch and looks like taking a wicket with every ball. I’ll give you the words Old Funny and Game and you can do the rest.

Ball Four – Nobody is quite sure what makes a ball swing, but I’ve always felt that moisture coming up from a drying ground helps it to go just far enough in the air to seam further off the pitch. Stuart Broad’s famous spell at The Oval in 2009 was a case in point and Chris Tremlett has found Broad’s line and length in similar conditions today. As Glenn McGrath knew, you don’t need to move a ball very far to catch the edge of the bat.

Ball Five – What was Thilan Samaraweera thinking? Going back to play horizontal bat shots on this wicket has already seen off batsmen more used to typical English conditions than him. But batting in clutch situations is about clarity of mind and certainty in movement. Through Tremlett’s excellence, Lankan minds are scrambled and movement uncertain. Not for the first time in Test cricket, an Andrew Strauss team have been able to seize an initiative that didn’t appear to exist.

Ball Six – Regular readers will know that The Final Over of the Day is not a summary of the day’s play, but a series of talking points raised by particular deliveries. Sometimes I can watch a whole ODI and struggle to find an “over” – and sometimes a Test match can give you as many “overs” on the computer as there are in the middle. What an extraordinary game this Test cricket is.

Gary Naylor, whom you can tweet at @garynaylor999 and find at Cricket On FiveSpin Cricket and Testmatchsofa.com

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Responses

  1. Full credit to Eng bowlers for making the best use of the conditions, but this is probably the worst SL batting in a very long time. If it were Pakistan, people would have suspected match fixing.

    Adjusting to Test Cricket does take some time, especially if the players are just coming off a grueling T20 tournament, after an emotionally and physically draining World Cup. Dilshan, Mahela, and Kumar did not have the best preparation for this series, I would say.To come straight from the Indian summer and adjust to the conditions in England is not so easy too.

    I remember several summers back, India toured Eng in the first half of the summer and Kumble was ineffective.I suspect it would be the case with Herath and Mendis too.

    I expect the SL batsmen bounce back later in the series, but by then it may be too late.They are also likely to collapse like this one more time.Interesting to see which will happen first – the bounce back or the collapse. The SL bowling – I don’t think they have it in them to come back strongly.SL have never been good away from home (though they never crib about foreign conditions like the Poms (used to) do. But I feel for them today. Especially for Mahela (one of the most watchable batsmen in Cricket today, especially now that VVS reflexes/timing are not getting any better) and Kumar.

    Having said all the above, I think only Samaraweera threw his wicket away, among the top 5.Tremlett won this test for Eng. It has been a while since we saw such a full slip cordon.Savour it England ! Till you meet India :)

    • I tend to agree with your every word Kumar.

  2. That’s the thing about 1 team feeling there is nothing to play for but time and the other convincing themselves they actually have a sniff. Well done England for doing the business.

    • The mind plays tricks Jim.

      • Play of the day was coming out to bat and not trying to wack 50 runs in 5 overs. There by making everything appear sedate. It was a risk that could have back fired if England ran out of time, and given this management teams history regarding taking risks was a pleasant surprise which in the end deserved its reward.
        I’m sure it would have relaxed the minds of the Sri Lankan openers no end to see England were not actively trying to set a target. Sometimes it is so hard to switch back on in a hurry and it was no surprise that both fell cheaply. Much more surprising was what happened after the break, but well done England for going for the kill.

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  4. I think India must be trembling – even Rahul, Lax and Sach. This England bowling unit is so good – it is almost like they are the early 00s Australia!
    For Viru’s own sake, I hope he misses the England tour through injury. Else, he’ll be ruthlessly exposed by this bowling attack.
    Have higher hopes of Gauti but not very hopeful.
    Sach, Rahul and Lax will have their waterloo I think. If they are fit to tour, that is.

    A few months back, India could have calimed the better attack but not anymore.

    It does look like England it is who’d take over from Windies of 70s-80s and Aussies of 90s-00s.

    • england have a superb bowling attack but Indian batsmen will be able to handle them after the first test! they might collapse in the first test but then as always is the case with dhoni, INDIA will bounce back later on…

  5. Broad really is hard to like from this distance, I’m afraid. A handy bowler but a prat of the highest order.

    • I hope Tremlett gets the new ball in the next match. Broad shouldn’t be getting it before him. Not only because he’s a brat/prat but because Tremlett is a proper strike bowler.

      Very exciting afternoon at the cricket. The self-belief built and confirmed by this sort of win is priceless.

      • Right on both counts Lou. I can’t see Jimmy playing much before the India Tests, so it’ll be Tremlett and Broad with the new ball I think and Finn as first change.

  6. The depth of England bowling is very impressive and they are suited to English conditions. But we don’t have a McGrath or Warne nor a Holding / Roberts / Marshall. But it’ll be a big test for the Indian batting.

  7. McGrath wasnt a McGrath before he was a McGrath, if you see what I mean.
    I think Broad can well develop into you McGrath – he even gets away with deplorable behaviour just like Glenn used to and probably will get self-righteous when he gets it back just like Glenn – Swann is the closest we have to Warne in World Cricket today and might well get close to Warne’s lustre by the time he retires.

    Tremlett, Finn et al nicely serve the purpose as Gillespie, Fleming, Kasper et al.

    Cook = Langer, Strauss = Hayden. Trott = Ponting+ S.Waugh. Bell=Martyn, Pietersen actually better than comparable Aussie batsmen of that time. And then there is Morgan.
    Ok, I am jumping the Gun but then, that’s the fun with predictions, right? :)

    • It’s fun, but McGrath was a once in a generation bowler (Garner – Ambrose – McGrath) and Warne a once in a century! Broad and Swanny are good, but not that good!

  8. They dont need to be that good, Toots! Point is no other team has potential candidates to dominate World Cricket like that

    • That’s true kaminey – which makes Test cricket as interesting as it’s ever been!

  9. Aleem Dar must be one of the best officials in sport. The amount of times I’ve read “excellent call by Aleem Dar” or a variation on the theme is incredible

    • Seconded deiseach. He does it all without any desire to draw attention to himself – he really is a credit to the game.

      • Do you not think it’s kinda depressing though to see how an official can make a difference? If he can get it right, why can the rest of them?!

  10. Oh yes. It’s perhaps not easy to out-perform Simon Taufel. But Dar’s been doing exactly that. You know what, in his initial years, Steve Bucknor had just such a reputation. The turning point for him came when he messed up when a third umpire was introduced. He ended up adamantly not calling for the third umpire in a SA-India test for Rhodes, I think. Eventually, someone(him or the other umpire in the match) did call the third umpire, and Sachin became the first victim of the third umpire. I remember seething at the fact that Buckie denied India a wicket with his stupid adamance, and being as it was the early days of the concept, it was clear that part of his refusal had to do with “how the hell can an umpire sitting in plush, comfortable room over rule me” sort of ego-trip.

    As things transpired later, his adamance, and the anti-India trait he seemed to have developed tainted his legacy. (Never mind Crocodile tears on his behalf – he deserved to go, whether dictated by BCCI or not)
    Hope Dar retires when he is ahead of the game.

    • Aleem Dar has been head and shoulders above anyone who has stood a match involving Australia for a good 5-6 years now.


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