England vs. Sri Lanka – 3rd Test, Day 3

What a difference a day and a bit of cloud cover can make, this Test which looked like it was ambling serenely towards a high scoring bore-draw, now has a bit of life in it.

England bowled tremendously in the morning, with both Woakes and thankfully Finn finding some much needed form with the ball to restrict Sri Lanka to 56-5 in the morning session. It does have to be mentioned that they undid some of their good work in the morning session by wasting the new ball when faced with a Silva and Herath (who has scored more runs than Joe Root in this series) counter attack; however if you had offered England a lead of 130 last night, they would have snapped your hand off. The fact that we bowled so well in the morning must have had the English management team scratching their heads, such was the ineffectiveness of the bowling unit yesterday, albeit in batsman friendly conditions. Perhaps they felt that they were just going to blow Sri Lanka away yesterday and it wouldn’t have surprised me if Ottis Gibson gave them a stern talking to last night. Whatever was said, it certainly worked.

With England maintaining a lead of 130, it was expected that the English batting unit, minus Captain CBE, would be able to bat Sri Lanka out of the game. Alas, this was not the case. Compton looked pretty good before he edged a decent delivery from Eranga, thus sadly signaling the end of his International career, Joe Root got an unplayable grubber (I didn’t think I would’ve be saying those words last night) and Vince had a brain fart in deciding to leave a delivery going down the slope. Vince has so far, got off rather lightly, considering he too has had a very poor debut series. An average of 13.5 in 3 Tests is not something that fills me with too much hope and with Compton now gone, the MSM will need someone else to fill up their pages, Vince could soon find himself in their firing line in the Pakistan series. The thing with Vince (and one could easily apply the same to Compton & Hales to a certain extent) is that he just doesn’t look an international player yet, more a player who dominated attacks in Division 2 but one that had a mixed season in Division 1 last year. Now I’m not advocating dropping Vince yet, as I believe a player needs 8-10 Test matches to prove whether he can cut it at this level and I certainly don’t want to go back to the late 80’s/early 90’s where players were given a couple of games then dropped back down to County level, but Vince needs to have a good series against a strong Pakistan attack, otherwise we’ll be looking a new number 5 as well as a new number 3.

England’s second innings collapse meant that poor Jonny Bairstow didn’t have much time to put his feet up and rest before coming out to try and save England’s bacon again. Indeed if I were him, I’d be having some strong words with my top order colleagues, no wonder the shot he finally got out to was so loose and there have been mistakes with his wicket keeping, he must be absolutely knackered! Indeed if England are going to get to a 400+ lead, which I feel they will still need to win the game, despite the odd ball misbehaving, a lot now is going to rest on Hales kicking on and scoring some big runs. Put this way, I can’t see a run a ball hundred from Captain CBE at number 9! That said, the weather doesn’t look too healthy over the next couple of days, so it may well be taken out of all our hands.

On a completely unrelated note, do have a read of the piece from David Hopps on county cricket and the rise of social media bringing it to new fans as opposed to the traditional press coverage, which has all but disappeared – http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/1024073.html. I thought this was a particularly well written and thought out article and it got me thinking around what more could be done to boost the popularity of our county game (although that could form a whole new piece). In essence it is still about access and money in my opinion, schedule the games when most people can see them live (i.e. Saturdays), negotiate with Sky, who only show a very limited amount of 4 day cricket, around streaming highlights packages of each day and each game on social media for free and of course, make the costs far more family friendly for attending. This is not rocket science, but will ever get done? Sadly I think we all know the answer to this.

Anyway, I’m off out to watch the football. Day 4 comments and thoughts below:


53 thoughts on “England vs. Sri Lanka – 3rd Test, Day 3

  1. Mark Jun 11, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    I’ve been out all day, so haven’t seen or heard anything about the cricket. Just read the post below to catch up. Seems the old umpires call has yet again came into play. How many Sri Lanka batsman got the out call?

    What’s up with captain Mainwaring? Why is his not batting?


    • Sean B Jun 11, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      There were certainly a couple of umpires calls in the morning, both again just looked out.

      Sheep got hit by the ball standing at short leg, will bat if necessary in the 2nd innings I think


      • Mark Jun 11, 2016 / 7:07 pm

        Thanks Sean. Sounds like the cloud cover changed the conditions from yesterday.


      • Sean B Jun 11, 2016 / 7:48 pm

        Yes, it was definitely a fairer contest between bat and ball today. The ball didn’t exactly hoop around, but there was a bit more in it for both sets of bowlers


  2. nonoxcol Jun 11, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Roy Hodgson makes you pine for Peter Moores, frankly.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 11, 2016 / 9:10 pm

      I give you… FICJAM.

      THAT was a GOOD performance. Don’t watch Barcelona, Ed. Just don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jun 11, 2016 / 9:37 pm

        Why in god’s name doesn’t he leave football alone? He clearly hasn’t a clue. You might as well send Jamie Vardy to the bloody opera. Tosser.

        Tournament football 101 Ed: they aren’t decided in the long term. Now piss off back to your MA.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Jun 11, 2016 / 9:41 pm

          To them it is all about being analytical rather than emotional. Superiority.

          I’ve been a football fan since the year dot. I’ve never felt secure at 1-0. Ever. Whether you control a game or not, 1-0 is an accident, a freak, a mistake away from being 1-1.

          But the performance matters.


        • LordCanisLupus Jun 12, 2016 / 5:40 pm

          What next? Simon Cowell on “The X Factor” and Sachin Tendulcar? John Major on “Europe” and Mark Spits? Crowded House on “The Weather” and Jonah Lowmoo?

          If you want to come across all intellectual, spell the name of potentially the greatest ever footballer correctly.

          Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Jun 11, 2016 / 9:55 pm

        I have spent two years not getting excited about England football matches. I sat there for the last 15 minutes calling just about everything right and hating the fact it was so predictable. Right down to “they’ll score here” when they conceded the second corner. Then I just shouted at the fuckwit who couldn’t see an advantage in playing a fast, hungry striker on the counter against a knackered defence even for quarter of a bloody hour, and would rather see a pseudo-winger continuously use acres of space to run into blind alleys and walls.

        Russia were terrible. Not being more than 1-0 up with five minutes left was embarrassing and borderline criminal. The reaction to this game reminds me of Romania in 1998. We lost. Owen came on too late. No matter what he did, we still conceded at the end and lost. It wasn’t cruel, it was just desserts for the man in charge.

        I never knew I cared. I’d love to have seen Ed pontificating to the people in the pub where I watched England v Argentina in 98.

        Oh, and the Beeb are using Syed. Might be a long four weeks…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fred Jun 11, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    I see football comments are acceptable here now. Disappointing, but exceptional circumstances I guess. But since that’s the case, let me say this: violent English football fans are a pestilence, and should be treated as such. Violence in Marseille yesterday and today, with police having to face down drunken thugs. I thought English Football had sorted this stuff out, but apaprently not.
    This is a really, really bad time to be testing the patience of the French police. I certainly won’t be crying any tears if some football yob finds himself on the wrong end of a French policeman’s baton.

    On a happier note, watching Aus/SA at the moment, Starc has such a lovely action, he makes bowling look so natural, even though it isn’t for most people.


    • nonoxcol Jun 11, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      I have no intention of starting an arms race, and we were discussing the football only, in the context of comparisons to Moores and a comment from blog fave Ed Smith, but if you think the Russians are all innocent victims and French security inside the stadium adequate I feel sorry for you.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 11, 2016 / 10:13 pm

        Seconded nonox. It was in the context of comparing coaches and our perennial favourite, FICJAM. Football comments have never been banned but this is a cricket blog.

        I have a lot of time for the use of analytics in sport as long as it doesn’t take over. FICJAM is just spouting drivel, not analytics.

        Oh, and for my sins, nonox, I still care. I shouldn’t, but I don’t.


      • nonoxcol Jun 11, 2016 / 10:41 pm

        I’m sorry if that was intemperate. I wrote it very soon after Lineker (a man I admire, generally) gave an extraordinarily simplistic, tabloid overview of the situation on national TV. You only have to spend a short time on social media to know that tonight isn’t a simple case of English hooliganism reborn – even Russia Today is reporting that Russian fans charged the English at the end and managed to set off smoke bombs and flares in spite of “heightened security”. Other reports are suggesting that Russian “Ultras” provoked the English earlier today. As a paid up member of the liberal humanist left, and about as far from the Brits Abroad stereotype as it’s possible to get, I’m almost surprised how wound up I was by him. Plus you have the complicated backdrop of the bloody EU referendum, the thoroughly unwelcome legitimisation of a particularly braindead strain of English nationalism (some fans were chanting ‘Fuck off Europe, we’re all voting out” yesterday apparently), and the fact the next World Cup is (disgracefully) being held in Russia, thanks to the governing body.

        Bit of a toxic stew, all told, and best ignored really.


      • Fred Jun 11, 2016 / 11:03 pm

        “Plus you have the complicated backdrop of the bloody EU referendum, the thoroughly unwelcome legitimisation of a particularly braindead strain of English nationalism (some fans were chanting ‘Fuck off Europe, we’re all voting out” yesterday apparently), and the fact the next World Cup is (disgracefully) being held in Russia, thanks to the governing body.”

        I said I’d say no more, but I have to respond to your gracious comment.
        They weren’t just chanting that, they were also chanting various insulting things about French and Germans (not sure what Germany had to do with anything). Ugly. So yes, there is a broader context in which this is happening, and you’d hope a football tournement might provide some common ground.
        In comparison, cricket is a shining example of international diplomacy and goodwill.
        I’ll take your advice and go back to ignoring it, as much as I can for the next month.
        I’m sure there will be some uplifting moments to come from all this too.


    • Fred Jun 11, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      I wasn’t referring to Russians or stadiums, I don’t know what happened there, I was referring to English fans in cafe’s in the afternoon before the game who, after boozing all day, decided to start throwing chairs at windows.
      I mostly ignore football so I’m ignorant of the subtleties of how it works, but images like this tell a story:

      Like you, I have no interest in arms races, but this is different, this is not a pissing contest, this is just organised crime. Trashing the place before you go to see the game is just…what can I say?
      I won’t say any more, it’s not the place. It’s just irritated me a bit, given the broader circumstances.


      • sgtcookieblog Jun 12, 2016 / 7:43 am

        Talking of violence…
        Andy Murray is great. He vies with Chris Hoy as the greatest Scottish sportsman of recent times. Add Bradley Wiggins and Mo Farah and extend the pool to best of British.
        Murray won gold in 2012 and spoke wonderfully of Farah’s achievement the night before. He has a knowledge beyond his own circle.
        That he gets abused mystifies me. He has worked so hard and performed to such a standard over the past decade. That he experienced such a harrowing episode as a young child at the hands of a gunman only makes the abuse more staggering.
        Alastair Cook has had a delve into other sports being infamously pictured with a firearm and a young deer. In a country where gun crime is on the rise the captain of England, the placard of the establishment, killed a living creature.
        Crass Behaviour Exemplified.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Benny Jun 11, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Rather enjoying this Test. There’s a lot of effort being put in, some fine performances and quite a bit of unpredictability. Feeling sorry for Compton. Not sure he’s our answer for the no 3 position but having to play for your future when you’re out of form seems wicked.


    • Rooto Jun 12, 2016 / 5:41 am

      With my cynical hat in, we must admit that 2016 Compton doesn’t deserve any more matches because the poor guy is in awful form. Of course, if 2013 Compton had been given the longer run, then he might have established himself in the side long term and been good for England. But he got Flowered.
      Now the media come to bury him, with a sigh. “Alas poor Compo. Can’t say he didn’t get a fair crack of the whip, at least.” Well, yes we can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 12, 2016 / 8:30 am

        The first six paragraphs of Newman’s “match” report are spent dancing on Compton’s international cricket grave.

        I’d discuss Compton’s cricketing merits (which exist, with some serious limitations) – but the sheer relentlessness and spitefulness of the writing about him has never been about his cricketing merits. If they’re mentioned, they’re like the the proverbial lamp-post and the drunk. This has always been about settling scores, power struggles within the hierarchy and he’s not [redacted]’s mate.

        That’s okay, up to a point. There’s probably always been some of that going on around team selection. However, in the past, they weren’t also trying to tell us, “that’s the great thing about this new England, they take all the pressure off, players can relax and perform” etc etc.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mark Jun 12, 2016 / 9:56 am

        “But he got Flowered.”

        Exactly, and the real reason for Newmans bile and dishonesty. He doesn’t have the integrity or the courage to admit the real truth. This was never about Comptons form or style. It was all about revenge and purging the national team of those who are not “one of us.” When Compton scored runs the campaign against him in newspapers, radio and tv whispered about how slow his runs were scored. It was quite deliberate, and orchastrated. It’s the same bunch who believe they run English cricket, and only they should pick the team.

        The clue was in Newmans fawning, laughable so called interview with Flower at the start of the season. The white wash of an interview showed whose side Newman was on. It’s why many of us feel such difficulty in supporting the ENGLAND team today. Because at its heart is a rotten puss infected group of insiders, who leak and brief against those who are not members of the elite group.

        The ENGLAND team has been hijacked by a bunch of cronies who demand a team of obedience to their world view. Anyone who does not adhere to that vision will be slandered, leaked against, and demonised. Compton was always going to fail because it didn’t matter what he did. Even when he succeeded they said he needed to change his approach and style. In the end they created what they wanted. A player confused at what to do, and how to play. Mission accomplished Mr Newman!

        As Simon says there has always been turf wars and back biting over selections, but now you have a hard core agenda that spouts lies about giving a player time, and not putting pressure on players , and trust. Remember Strauss and his bullshit about trust? How does that work when the insiders favourate jounalist is leaking like a sewer about those players that are not seen as sound?


      • d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 10:22 am

        Yes, he batted slowly in New Zealand. England had conceded an innings lead of about 300 in Dunedin. Batting slow is quite sensible then. He batted a bit slowly (just a slightly lower SR than most of the other specialist batsmen) in the second Test at the Basin Reserve. Might have something to do with the fact that New Zealand inserted England, and he opened. Third Test, Compton was extremely slow (SR of 17). However, even Root (176 balls, SR of 26) struggled to play non-slowly in the first innings, and in the second innings Compton made 2 from 3 balls.

        In the olden days most of those would be called “playing to the situation”. But in the new era of context free journalism it is playing too slowly.


      • Benny Jun 12, 2016 / 1:55 pm

        All comments absolutely spot on. In a similar vein, Root walked off, having been dismissed by a “grubber”, and he was smiling. Damn good thing he wasn’t whistling.


  5. BoredInAustria Jun 12, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    38.3 Eranga to Hales, no run, big appeal for lbw! S Ravi has a long, long, long look then shakes his head…nipped back off a length and struck him on the back leg. Mathews eventually decides to review. Height will be the issue…umpire’s call on height. Clipping the bails


    • d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 1:51 pm

      The surest way to get an lbw decision from Ravi? Show a document that Hales is actually a Sri Lankan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • RufusSG Jun 12, 2016 / 2:17 pm

        Heh, I had a bit of a wry smile after seeing that decision. If there’s one thing I’m in totally agreement on, it’s that Sri Lanka have had some atrocious luck with umpire’s calls, and that Ravi is a hopelessly inconsistent umpire.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 2:43 pm

        “Luck” is the wrong word when it is systemic. See S. Ravi vs. New Zealand 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

    • escort Jun 12, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      you may be right. its 15.45 and he has scored 12 from 23 balls. lets see what happens


      • Sean B Jun 12, 2016 / 3:16 pm

        21 off 51. Nothing like protecting your own average


      • Escort Jun 12, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        20 runs from 49 balls in just under an hour. Declaration batting?


      • d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 3:54 pm

        If his name was Nick, he’d be batting too slow here. If his name is Alastair, it is just creating a position from which England can’t lose.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Escort Jun 12, 2016 / 4:23 pm

        Why not declare now?


        • LordCanisLupus Jun 12, 2016 / 4:26 pm

          Need to maintain that super series lead. 10-2 should not be risked!


      • man in a barrel Jun 12, 2016 / 5:56 pm

        I waited in vain for the explosion. It took until 6 o’clock for the guys to show any real urgency. They could have thrashed a bit earlier, got 375 lead and given themselves more potential overs. Will the rain stay away tomorrow? Lows rolling in off the Atlantic suggest some showers.


    • Escort Jun 12, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      A lesson in how to alienate your supporters. Declare now ffs!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • sidesplittin Jun 12, 2016 / 5:46 pm

      You must’ve revelled in Cook, CBE’s slog six and ramp shot, non ?


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 12, 2016 / 6:07 pm

        I wrote this a long while ago about not playing shots in your armoury… it was about nets, but you’ll get the drift!

        “Number 2 – Wouldn’t It Be A Good Idea If I Tried….. Pre-meditated shots always carry huge risk if you happen to be useless. One day I decided that it would be a grand idea to try a reverse sweep. I’ve never played one in a game, never thought of playing one in a game, never practiced one in nets, never had the intention of playing one in a match so why practice. But it came down to number four above, and I thought, these muppets don’t care for my glances, and in any case, I have form and it wouldn’t come down to 15 to win if I was in because I pace run chases quite well, so I’m not taking this seriously. At this point the Owl was bowling spin and I thought, yes….now is the time to try a reverse sweep. Several problems manifested themselves early – the Owl was no pie chucker even when bowling slow…the ball was miles outside leg stump….and I’d pre-meditated too early and committed. So I twisted the bat in my hand, the ball nicked beautifully off the top edge and smashed straight into my mouth. Ooops.

        I remember the first moments well. You realise after a millisecond that you’d been hit. As a glasses wearer, the first thought is how are my goggles. Then after you know, about a split second later that they are still on, you realise a lot of fluid has suddenly filled up your mouth. I spat it out onto my gloves. The evidence is still there on them. Claret, and a fair bit of it. I ran my tongue around my teeth, to find one of them nicely embedded into the top lip! Hurrah, they were all still there, but one had punctured a nice little hole in the top lip and that’s where the claret came from. I went to the bacteria laden sink and rinsed. And rinsed. And rinsed. After a while the blood stopped and I found I had chipped one of my teeth but dodged a bullet. I’ve never reverse swept again.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Jun 12, 2016 / 7:21 pm

        The six was actually a very good shot ,the ramp just showed the limitations to his batting


  6. d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    Now Hales has been saved by standing umpire Tucker calling a no-ball. It seems that the call may have been erroneous as well. Front foot no-balls are the easiest thing to check electronically. And yet, such a system is not even being tested, let alone implemented.
    It would definitely ease the burden on umpires, as they’d be allowed to focus on the actual delivery.

    And it is not like several players have not been getting away with bowling major no-balls …

    Needless to say, despite regulations being in place about all wickets being checked for no-balls, some pretty big no-balls have been ignored and counted as genuine dismissals through various series in the past couple of years, by various umpires. .

    And just as I write that Ravi writes personal history by making his first highly contentious decision / idiotic decision against England, after about giving about a dozen or so contentious decisions for England (in this series and against New Zealand). Edge not conclusive. Might well have been one. Was Cook playing a shot? Aleem Dar thinks so, so Cook is saved by being hit outside the line of off – so Sri Lanka still can’t celebrate an act of lunacy by S. Ravi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jun 12, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      NZ had one of those go against them as well during the winter when Voges was bowled by Bracewell when Umpire Illingworth called no-ball and it turned out not to have been.

      No-balls should have been handed over to technology years ago. That they haven’t been can only be through a mixture of inertia plus cost.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. man in a barrel Jun 12, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Another Lbw against Cook turned down by Ravi. Would have been out. Ravi thought it would be reviewed. Mathews obviously lacks confidence in this umpiring team.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LeningradCowboy Jun 12, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Everyone agrees that Compton is doomed, but what will the selectors do if one of the openers gets injured before the first Test against Pakistan?

    Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 12, 2016 / 3:24 pm

      The ECB wouldn’t dream of giving their favourite pet journo a fit of apoplexy and pick him again!!


    • hatmallet Jun 12, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Cook would be picked if deemed not fully fit but fit enough.

      If truly forced into a change, I’d suspect they go to Robson before retaining Compton.


  9. nonoxcol Jun 12, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Apparently there are people who think England were “unlucky” last night.

    They want to look at Sri Lanka’s fortune in this match. The world looks different without partisan goggles.


    • d'Arthez Jun 12, 2016 / 3:57 pm

      The difference this match thus far is not Anderson, Broad, or Pradeep. It is S. Ravi.

      S. Ravi should be fined his whole match fee for bringing the game in disrepute.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Rpoultz Jun 12, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    The continued degeneration of Nasser hussains as a pundit and commentator is laughable. He is so, so, so bad compared to when he was impartial and with no agenda to drive. So sad really. One of my favourite cricketers for England ever is basically now a cheerleader for cook. So sad

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sean B Jun 12, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Yes a very fair point. Hussain used to be my favourite commentator, but is now just an empty shell of his former self.

      I may elaborate in a further piece, if I get time this week.


      • Rpoultz Jun 12, 2016 / 7:26 pm

        Will look forward to reading as ever!!


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