Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 6, 2011

The Final Over of the Day – England vs Sri Lanka Second Test Day Three

Good over - no delivery "too straight"

Ball One (11.44am) – There was an inevitability about Dilshan’s batting yesterday and he’s carried on in the same vein today. Having been reprieved by Cook’s drop early in his innings, he’s chanced his arm at times, but scored quickly, getting on top of a flat, samey attack. Having watched his team capitulate horribly in Cardiff just six days ago, his leading from the front in only his second match as captain, is most commendable.

Ball Two (12.12am) – Tremlett is all about length. With the second new ball in hand, he found the lovely length he located in Cardiff that draws the batsman forward but without the conviction he would have were he not concerned about the one that gets big. Perhaps it’s an optical illusion, but there are days when the big Surrey man floats it to the other end (yesterday for example) and days when the deck is hit hard – like Stephen Harmison before him. Stuart Broad also seems to struggle with locating the length that most troubles batsmen.

Ball Three (12.27pm) – 300 up for the Lankans, with extras contributing a ridiculous 40 runs of which 19 are leg-byes and 18 byes. That’s a mark of how ineffective England have been in applying pressure and bowling to plans. With the ball passing either side of the wicket, it’s been three sessions in the field that represent an almost complete turnaround from the stifling of the Australian batsmen in the Ashes.

Ball Four (2.00pm) – For a ground almost sold-out (there were a small number of tickets on the gate this morning) there are many, many unoccupied seats twenty minutes into the afternoon session. It’s not cheap to go to a Lord’s Test (60 pounds this morning) so what ticket-holders are finding that is more attractive than a charging Dilshan and a set Jayawardene must be compelling indeed.

Ball Five (2.45pm) – If a bowler gets clipped for runs through the legside, commentators and pundits are quick to say that he is “too straight”. They are rather less hasty to say the bowling is too wide when the ball is driven through the covers. Just beyond the 100 overs mark, England have not bowled enough balls that threatened the stumps.

Ball Six (4.45pm) – Having slated Cardiff last week for its western weather, it’s only fair to say that Lord’s looks very, very wet indeed just now. When you ride a bike in London, you’re very sensitive to weather and it’s barely rained at all since February – but it’s raining now. Good for crocuses – bad for cricketers.

The Trumpet, whom you can tweet at @garynaylor999 and find at Cricket On FiveSpin Cricket and



  1. The “too straight” grumble is indeed very easily rolled out, and it also irks me that the skill of the batsman in timing the ball through midwicket is devalued because all the focus is placed on the alleged profligacy of the bowler. Especially early on in a batsman’s innings, the difference between a “too straight” delivery clipped away and a fatal LB shout can be perilously slight. Witness Trott’s dismissal on Friday.

    • Yes. Mahela clipped one or two off middle down to Long Leg which he makes look routine and easy, but it’s not at all.

  2. I’ve started turning down commentaries a lot of the time now. I get tired of listening to backseat driving if you know what I mean. Holding and Nasser Hassain are about the only ones I can cope listening to at all now and I even turn down for them if Botham is occupying the chair next to them.

    So what about Finn? He bowls a lot of very good deliveries amongst the trash. He’ll get better and better I reckon. He was probably trying too hard in this match, he must have known that bar injuries it is his only chance to impress as Broad appears to not have to do much at all to maintain his spot.

    • Broad appears to be reaching the point that most who are elevated at a young age seem to go through. Getting dropped for a key series and being forced to earn back his spot has throughout the history of test cricket never done anyone any harm. (Well I guess the ones who it does harm are never remembered – and that’s probably the point of the exercise) Perfect time to do it with Jimmy coming back and two other guy’s the same as Broad already in the side.

  3. Jimmy looks pretty good this game, doesn’t he?

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