Dilshan misses out on double-ton at Lords

Sri Lanka 372-3 v England 486 all out
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Tillakaratne Dilshan fell short of a maiden double-century as Sri Lanka closed in on England's 486 on a rainy day three of the second npower Test at Lord's.

Bad weather took out more than 50 overs, leaving time only for Sri Lanka to move from 231 for one to 372 for three.

The prospect of anything other than a draw, even in the event of fair weather for the next two days, therefore receded significantly in a three-match series which England lead 1-0.

Dilshan, eventually out for 193, was again hit on the right thumb he injured yesterday, and fell to a very good piece of bowling from Steven Finn.

Even his progress stalled too, as cloudy skies prevailed throughout and made for much more favourable bowling conditions.

England, however, did not exploit them as they would have hoped in an unbroken morning session - and then, in the 11 overs subsequently possible, the moving ball regularly beat the bat but stubbornly refused to find the edge.

Dilshan was accompanied first by Kumar Sangakkara and then Mahela Jayawardene.

Sangakkara steadfastly reprised the anchor role played for much of yesterday by Dilshan's fellow opener Tharanga Paranavitana.

Doubtless anxious to improve his Test record in England, which is nowhere near as impressive as elsewhere over the past decade, the former captain left all the strokeplay to his partner.

He mustered only four fours and eventually fell to the second new ball, edging Chris Tremlett behind as he pushed forward, having scored just 26 from 93 deliveries.

As long as Dilshan was there, though, it did not appear to matter if runs came slowly at the other end.

With Sangakkara just gone, Dilshan passed his previous career-best of 168 with a crunching pull for four off Stuart Broad.

There was more in the pitch than yesterday, and a suspicion of swing too. But England's pace attack struggled throughout the morning for the required consistency, dropping on to the pads too often and testing wicketkeeper Matt Prior with their faulty lines.

Dilshan left especially well against Broad from the nursery end - and kept on carving his runs, mainly through the off side, whenever England gave him the opportunity.

Jayawardene did well to ride some extra bounce from Broad to keep the ball short of Graeme Swann at second slip, and kept pace with Dilshan in a stand of 82 either side of lunch.

Tremlett, who had hit Dilshan on the right thumb with a lifter yesterday, repeated the dose this afternoon - and soon afterwards Finn delivered the killer blow with a ball which jagged down the slope and bowled the captain between bat and pad via his thigh.

Dilshan had, however, already made the highest score by a Sri Lankan at Lord's - having hit 20 fours and two sixes from 253 balls.

England bowled much better after lunch but were stopped in their tracks by the deteriorating weather, which brought an early tea at 3.10pm and then relented long enough only for another five deliveries.

Comments