England have been left frustrated by the rain during their one-day series against Sri Lanka, but it was another form of nature that took its turn to halt proceedings when a deadly snake was spotted during a nets session.
A cobra was found behind the pavilion in Kandy and training was paused as groundstaff gathered and use piping to ease the snake into a white sack. What happened next to the snake is unknown, but it was enough to halt England's training session while the situation was dealt with.
The three-foot long cobra may have been a sign of other animals to come, said Trevor Bayliss, who revealed a knowledge of reptiles. "If there is a small one there is usually a large one nearby," he quipped as he walked through.
The rain forced the first match to be abandoned, however England managed to claim a series lead with a 31 run victory, via the Duckworth-Lewis method, as rain hit again. England played all their 50 overs and set a target of 278, but rain halted play with Sri Lanka 140-5 after 29 overs and Eoin Morgan's side were declared winners.
Ahead of the third match in Kandy on Wednesday, England are monitoring Liam Dawson after he sat out of training on Monday. The left-arm spinner, who has been named in the team for both matches, did not take part in net practice and will be assessed by the medical staff ahead of Wednesday's third ODI.
On his England debut, Olly Stone pushed his speed over 90 mph on several occasions and only needed seven balls to claim his first wicket, his only in his six overs. "It's always a nice feeling to see them ducking and diving," he said. "It is just nice to come in and show them what I can do. In a game situation you run in and try to bowl as quickly as you can, smash that length and see if anything comes of it.
"It felt good. To get that bounce and a little bit of nibble is always nice to see."
Liam Plunkett returns to the side on Wednesday after delaying his departure to get married and will provide additional competition for the bowlers. "I look after the boys but I do try to run in and do what I do in a game...try to replicate that in the nets," said Stone. "The boys run in hard in the nets and have a bit of fun. Good competition is always healthy and we are training hard."
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