Sri Lanka edge ahead of England
by AFP

Ground:Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Scorecard:England v Sri Lanka
Player:PD Collingwood, WPUJC Vaas, SL Malinga, M Muralitharan, ST Jayasuriya, MJ Hoggard
Event:Sri Lanka in England 2006

DateLine: 3rd June 2006


Sri Lanka left themselves 47 runs ahead of England at stumps on the second day of the third and final Test at Trent Bridge here Saturday.


Upul Tharanga was 17 not out and Kumar Sangakkara 22 not as Sri Lanka looked to give Muttiah Muralitharan enough runs to bowl at to help them square the series at 1-1 after the off-spinner, in what could be his last Test in England, had taken three for 62 in the first innings.


Before stumps Sri Lanka, who closed on 45 for one, lost Michael Vandort for five after the left-hander was bowled off the inside edge by Matthew Hoggard.


In England's six-wicket second Test win at Edgbaston they lost four wickets, all to Muralitharan, chasing the modest 78 they needed for victory.


And the prospect of having to pursue a bigger target, to seal their first series win since last year's Ashes, against Murali in the final innings was not something England would relish.


They were earlier bowled out for 229, a first innings deficit of two runs, with Paul Collingwood top-scoring with 48.


Murali's spell between lunch and tea was an especially miserly one for 17 in 17 overs with nine maidens.


Durham all-rounder Collingwood, two runs short of his fifty at tea, failed to add to his score before he was plumb lbw, on the backfoot, to a full-length delivery from left-arm quick Chaminda Vaas.


He worked hard for his runs, facing 184 balls in more than three-and-a-half hours with one six.


Collingwood may have been inhibited by the fact that England had lost their last five first innings wickets for five runs at Edgbaston.


But Jon Lewis, in his debut Test innings, hit four boundaries as England went past 200 and put on 33 for the ninth wicket with Hoggard.


It was another example of effective lower-order batting after Sri Lanka's last-wicket stand of 62 between Vaas and Muralitharan had taken them past 200.


Lewis was last man out, when going for the boundary which would have given England the lead, he holed out to Tillakaratne Dilshan off Lasith Malinga in the covers for 20.


Earlier, Collingwood and Geraint Jones eked out a stand of 33 before the wicket-keeper went down the pitch to drive Muralitharan only to be stumped by Sangakkara for 19 to leave England 151 for six.


Jones, whose batting had been a major reason for his inclusion in the side, had now scored just 43 runs in his last five completed Test innings.


Runs all but dried up before Collingwood on-drove Murali for six.


That was England's only boundary of a second session on a pitch, which although slightly slow, was far from a batting terror track.


England resumed Saturday on 53 for two with Alastair Cook 12 not out and Kevin Pietersen, who made 142 at Edgbaston, unbeaten on six.


Fast bowler Malinga, with his distinctive 'slingshot' action, made the first breakthrough Saturday when a 90mph delivery bowled flat-footed left-hander Cook off the inside edge for 24.


Pietersen's duel with Murali had been the central drama at Edgbaston.


But two balls after seeing him hoist a six over mid-wicket, Murali had Pietersen, checking a vertical-bat sweep out of the rough against the doosra, giving an easy catch to Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene at short fine leg for 41, with one six and four fours.


Then 117 for four became 118 for five when former captain and left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya, in his first Test since ending his retirement from the five-day game, had the dangerous Flintoff caught off a forcing shot at slip by Jayawardene for one.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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