Vaughan: 'Bell and Prior's partnership is a confidence booster'

First morning, first Test, first innings, Sri Lanka 42 for 5, England cockahoop. Fifth evening, fourth innings England 261 all out, Sri Lanka jubilant and victors by 88 runs. So where did it all go wrong for the tourists? "There is always a turning point and I'm trying to work out where it was," said England captain Michael Vaughan. "Maybe we did not get enough runs in that first innings."

England managed to fashion a lead of 93, for which they were grateful in one sense after being 185 for 6, but rueful after Vaughan and Ian Bell had assembled what the captain called "a real good partnership".

"Thinking about it Murali bowled very, very well but a 150-run lead would probably have been a par score," Vaughan said. "When Sri Lanka were 42 for 5 I thought we were going to go through them but sometimes you have to hold your hand up. Kumar Sangakkara played a tremendous knock to get them to 188 and in the second innings took the game away from where we wanted to be."

Instead of a push for victory, England were left to struggle for a draw, which had seemed possible at the start of the last day, improbable when they shed wickets quickly in the morning, likely when Bell and Matt Prior staged a vigilant recovery, fanciful when Murali struck with the new ball to remove them both and a pipe dream when Ryan Sidebottom was wrongly given out leg before off an inside edge.

"The Bell-Prior partnership was exceptional," Vaughan said. "When we were six down half an hour after lunch realistically we were looking at losing the Test by mid-afternoon. But their partnership is probably a real confidence booster to take to Colombo because of the way they played Murali in the last innings and the way they played the reversing ball. I asked the players this morning to show a lot of character and those two had that in abundance."

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, was relieved as much as pleased. Sri Lanka lost badly, 2-0 to Australia last month and clawed themselves back into this match. "To get those early wickets was very important and the fast bowlers bowled brilliantly," he said. "We then had to be patient. Murali came to the party pretty late but made a big impact with those two quick wickets."

Both captains were phlegmatic about the lbw decision which cost England their final chance when Sidebottom was given out despite edging the ball on to his pads. "They go your way sometimes," Vaughan said. "Both umpires made really good decisions throughout the match, it's how the game goes," Jayawardene said.

England might have deserved a draw but the better side won. "I can't really ask any more from the players in terms of character and fight, just a bit more expertise I guess," Vaughan added.

The second Test begins on Sunday in Colombo and the match referee, Jeff Crowe, is asking both sides to bring the start time forward to 10am to avoid early finishes for bad light.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum