England fall just short of victory

Andover Advertiser: Stuart Broad, left, thought he had won the match for England Stuart Broad, left, thought he had won the match for England

England agonisingly ran out of time, one wicket short of victory, as their new Test era began with a nerve-jangling stalemate against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

James Anderson's burst of three wickets for one run either side of tea helped keep the outcome of this first Investec Test in doubt to the very last ball, as the tourists clung on at 201 for nine in notional pursuit of a ground-record 390.

After Anderson (four wickets for 25 runs) returned with the second new ball to have Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews caught at slip by his opposite number Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad (three for 43) had five shots at last man Nuwan Pradeep.

Broad, who had Rangana Herath caught-behind down the leg side with the first ball of the last over, sparked false celebrations when umpire Paul Reiffel gave Pradeep out lbw to the penultimate delivery of the match.

DRS proved the tailender had got a big inside-edge, however, and he then survived the final ball too.

Aside from Anderson's reverse-swing intervention, an unresponsive pitch had earlier stopped England converting control into outright superiority.

Half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara (61), following his first-innings hundred, and opener Kaushal Silva (57) helped to buy the leeway Sri Lanka needed too.

After 59 of the 90 overs available to bowl the tourists out, Sangakkara and his oldest ally Mahela Jayawardene guided their team to a serene 159 for two.

But Anderson had not read a script which dictated a dull draw would be the outcome of England's first post-Ashes Test under new management.

With an ageing ball, in 14 deliveries, he saw off three batsmen - including Sri Lanka's two all-time greats Jayawardene and Sangakkara.

But Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene, the wicketkeeper bravely batting with an injured right hand which means he will miss the second Test at Headingley, held England up for another 20 overs.

That stand was broken by Chris Jordan, Jayawardene lbw via DRS - a fate he had marginally avoided more than an hour earlier on nought against Anderson - but with four wickets still required, and a second new ball for the last 10 overs, England could not quite get through the tail.

The nearest they had come to discomforting the opposition in the first two sessions were Liam Plunkett's efforts with the short ball.

But Sangakkara, who had broken new ground two days ago with his first Lord's Test hundred in what may well be his last appearance at the home of cricket for Sri Lanka, took some shifting.

He shared a second-wicket stand of 98 with Silva, and then joined forces with Jayawardene - until Anderson found enough full-length movement to have the latter caught-behind.

Broad had made the solitary new-ball breakthrough on another cloudy morning, Dimuth Karunaratne's inside edge on to his thigh pad going straight to short leg.

Diminutive opener Silva had awkward moments when Plunkett replaced Anderson at the pavilion end and started to test him from round the wicket.

Yet Sangakkara remained untroubled, and unhurried, as England huffed and puffed.

He lost Silva, who had made a two-and-a-half-hour 50, caught-behind down the leg-side off his glove as he tried too late to leave a Jordan bouncer.

England had to review the initial not out decision, to achieve just their second success in 43 overs.

Plunkett then worked over Jayawardene in predictable fashion - but despite one particularly well-directed delivery, kept out of the clutches of short leg, the plan did not come to fruition.

Sangakkara had spent 31 deliveries stuck on 43, and went 102 balls at one stage between boundaries. He reached his 50 from 137 balls - having hit just three boundaries.

All therefore seemed well for the tourists, until Anderson cranked up the pace and found telling movement in the air.

Jayawardene was his first victim, followed straight after tea by Sangakkara - chopping on cramped for room from round the wicket.

Lahiru Thirimanne was next, three balls later, edging to second slip when Anderson this time extracted bounce.

Anderson so nearly had a fourth wicket when Jayawardene escaped lbw, and the 121 deliveries then eaten up before Jordan instead got his man were crucial.

Hard as Cook tried, inventing a series of new hybrid positions for a seam attack bowling to highly unorthodox fields of leg-side catchers in front and behind square, wickets came too slowly.

Ultimately, therefore, England began their Test summer under returning coach Peter Moores with promise and endeavour - but frustration too.

England later announced an unchanged squad for the second Test at Headingley, meaning Chris Woakes, 12th man at Lord's, is in contention for the final match of the series starting on Friday.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree