On a day when rain got the better of cricket, there was just enough time for Reece Topley to add a little more lustre to his growing reputation. Essex's 17-year-old took the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal to secure match figures of 6 for 34 against the tourists in Chelmsford.
Topley had Chandimal superbly caught by Ryan ten Doeschate at third slip, for one, when the Sri Lankan chased a wider delivery. Maurice Chambers took the other wicket to fall – that of Tharanga Paranavitana – as Sri Lanka finished on 38 for 3 as the game fizzled out into a draw.
Chris Silverwood, his bowling coach at Essex, is naturally delighted with Topley's development. He has now taken 28 wickets in six matches, including five wickets in an innings on two occasions. "He has bags of talent and we are delighted with his progress," said the former England, Yorkshire and Middlesex bowler. "He has a big heart, is quick to take on advice and works hard at his game.
"It's very encouraging to see the level of progress he has made so far and he's made a very encouraging start to his career, but he knows there is a lot of hard work ahead of him yet."
As there is this coming week for Sri Lanka, who go into Thursday's third Test at the Rose Bowl needing a win to square the series. Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan remains a major doubt after fracturing his thumb at Lord's.
"There is no change at this stage," said coach Stuart Law. "The medical team have said that he is highly likely to miss the Test. So the game against Essex has proved very useful because it's allowed a couple of our batsmen to get amongst the runs. Young Lahiru Thirimanne, who is only 21, batted well and it was also great for Kumar Sangakkara to score 153."Reuse content