Ball One – So is this the kind of pitch that limits Kieswetter and Trott to five runs from 26 deliveries or the kind of strip that allows Tim Bresnan to make 21 more runs off just three more deliveries? One should never judge a pitch until both sides have had a bat, but I suspect the latter rather than the former.
Ball Two – Jayawardene and Chandimal appear to have made up their minds about the wicket despite starting in steamy conditions more conducive to swing bowling than it was this morning. After ten overs, the Lankans have 61 on the tins – at the same stage, England had just 32.
Ball Three – No matter which captain England use, there seems to be no plan to dismiss batsmen in limited overs cricket. With the required rate a paltry 4.6 per over and the Lankans thirty ahead on Duckworth-Lewis at the end of the 13th over, England are just bowling, waiting for something to happen. Though I may be proved wrong, all that’s going to happen is an easy Sri Lankan win.
Ball Four – As if to make my point, Stuart Broad bowls short to Chandimal who fends off the throat ball offering an easy catch to short leg – who wasn’t there because England have the standard one day field. But, as the stable door slams shut, in goes Ian Bell under the helmet. And Broad bowls a wide over head height. Ho hum.
Ball Five – Dinesh Chandimal, 21 years-old and in only his eleventh appearance for his country is chancing his arm, but he’s hit five boundaries in his first 35 runs and appears completely fearless in his strokeplay. The contrast with Ian Bell, in his 172nd appearance for England in all formats who seemed paralysed with fear, scoring just one two and 28 singles in his 30, is stark. Quite how England change this mindset is not clear – if a World Twenty20 and back-to-back Ashes wins hasn’t built confidence, I’m not sure what will.
Ball Six – With Jayawardene out, England post a slip in the belief that they have “one end open” although how open that end is with Sangakkara now at the crease is not obvious. The trouble with this tactic is that the scoreboard shows that at the half-way point of the innings, Sri Lanka have 139 runs and need only 108 more for the win. Posting a slip is the right move, but it’s at least ten overs too late.