7th over: Sri Lanka 293-3 (Jayawardene 129, Silva 11) Monty continues to get no turn and both batsmen are able to score easily off him. His figures are now a distinctly substandard 18-1-82-0. “I feel genuinely sorry for Broad, Harmison and Sidebottom here,” says Andrew Moore. “They are bowling decently but getting no assistance from conditions. Will the ICC ever do something about the standard of pitches prevalent in Test cricket? Over in India we are witnessing another bore draw taking shape, and the only reason a draw isn’t a certainty in this game is due to a couple of poor dismissal’s in England’s innings. Test pitches should be prepared to produce a result in four days, with the fifth day only coming into play should the weather intervene. Pitches that consistently produce high-scoring draws should have Test status removed.” I couldn’t agree more (if you’ll forgive the pun), Andy. I’ve been banging on about this to Booth and Bull – and in the OBO – for years. Give me a low-scoring game that lasts three-and-a-half days over a five-day dullfest any day.
97th over: Sri Lanka 297-3 (Jayawardene 130, Silva 13) Harmison continues, but his weary countenance is of a man who will never take a wicket even if he were to hit the stumps. Meanwhile your suggestions for Tom’s fancy dress are trickling in. “How about a papier machÃ© pedalo?” suggests Gemma Harris. I like it, Gemma. “OK, I know it wouldn’t work on the high seas but it would be amusing all the same. You could even adorn it with discarded bottles of Stella and rum.”
98th over: Sri Lanka 302-3 (Jayawardene 133, Silva 14) A huge, huge appeal from Monty, who believes that Jayawardene gloved it to short leg after he attempted a grand and totally unnecessary reverse slog sweep. Umpire Aseem Dar deliberates for an age before saying ‘not out’, but replays show that it did hit his glove. Later in the over, the 50 partnership (off 102 balls) comes up, and even later, Jayawardene takes another couple, which brings up the 300 and 2,000 runs for Jayawardene at this ground.
99th over: Sri Lanka 307-3 (Jayawardene 134, Silva 19) A leg drive from Silva that couldn’t be more textbook if it was in my Ritchie Benaud cricket book (from 1972, if memory serves) races away for four. Meanwhile more fancy dress talk. “Tom Drysden needs to consider how willing he would be to wear his costume on a potential walk of shame the following morning,” points out Ben Mimmack. “There’s always the chance he’ll pull someone from marketing and then have to stand on a tube packed with commuters the next day wearing a scratchy nylon tracksuit with a stick on bushy ‘tache (always supposing he hasn’t grown one especially for the evening).”
100th over: Sri Lanka 311-3 (Jayawardene 134, Silva 19) Four byes after Prior misses one that fizzes down the leg side. Meanwhile Gary Naylor is back. “Andrew Moore (97th over) is wrong. Whilst all pitches would be better for having a bit more pace in them, a Test series is the supreme challenge, probably in all sport, and it should be difficult. The bowlers are called “the attack” for a reason – it’s for them and the fielding captain to work out a way of getting through each batsman (McGrath and Warne were masters at this, as were the Windies pace quartets and the England Fab Four of 2005). The pitch should give assistance (and not much) on the first morning, to each new ball and on the fifth day – that’s all.” That’s ridiculous, Gary. Surely the ‘supreme challenge’ should apply to batsmen as well? Because if a bowler only gets help for four sessions out of 15, he’s not getting much help? You’ don’t honestly believe that the third India v Pakistan Test is good for cricket do you?
I don’t think there’s any worry about having to do the walk of shame when you’ve gone to a party dressed as Merv Hughes.
101st over: Sri Lanka 317-3 (Jayawardene 134, Silva 25) Harmison continues and so does the steady accumulation of runs. “I don’t think there’s any worry about having to do the walk of shame when you’ve gone to a party dressed as Merv Hughes,” suggests Jack Fray, not unreasonably.
Hello, my name is bavarsheiam. I’m working for an Indian School as an English teacher. Making friends and exchanging knowledge is always my favourite. Thank you for reading my articles.
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