ENG v SL 3rd Test Review: Rain brings down curtains on Test series

ENG v SL 3rd Test Review: Rain brings down curtains on Test series

ENGLAND
England. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

Day 5 of the third Test at Lords came to an abrupt end as rain made yet another intervention to complete the third ENG v SL Test match of the series. The stop-start rain on the day saw the Lankans bat only a few overs between lunch and tea as the match ended in a draw. On a rather supportive note for the Lankans at least, their record at Lords remains frightfully intact.

The Lords cricket ground is a funny place to play cricket. One moment there could be spotless sunshine, and the next could be clouded in gloom and thunder. Day 1 saw both captains grace the mecca of cricket, donning their blazers and caps into a ray of beautiful sunshine. The batting deck looked a beauty. To bat on at least. Alastair Cook had absolutely no doubt in his mind that he would bat first.

The first two Test matches also had seen the Brits bat first. However, until the encounter at Lords, the Lankan bowling attack had been decimated. With even the likes of Graham Ford doubting the bowling, the Lankans certainly had their backs to the wall. This time around, there would be a fair fight and no England dominance. Angelo Mathews brought on Rangana Herath in the 19th over. The 38-year old struck immediately as Alex Hales made his way back to the dressing room.

While most of the day belonged to Nuwan Pradeep, it was Suranga Lakmal who struck removing Nick Compton and Joe Root in quick succession. Jonny Bairstow steadied the innings as he has done for the most part of the series as he put on a 100-run partnership with skipper Alastair Cook. Cook and Moeen Ali fell at the close of Day 1 as Day 2 beckoned for centurion Bairstow and Chris Woakes.

The morning of Day 2 saw the Lankan magic fade away as Jonny Bairstow piled on the pressure. Chris Woakes played his part, smashing a valiant 66. Needless to say, Bairstow remained unbeaten on 167 as the England innings closed on 416. The Sri Lankan opening batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva made their way out as they had done for most of the time in the Test series. However, unlike the previous matches, they were ready to face the fire of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

This time around, instead of looking to score off every delivery, the duo played the patience game. The left-hand and right-hand combination worked wonders as the duo soon stitched a hundred-run partnership, the first from any side in the series. Dimuth Karunaratne fell on the end of Day 2 as the Lankans closed on 162/1.

Day 3 posed similar problems for the Lankans as a collapse was triggered by none other than the irresistible Steven Finn. The fall of Lahiru Thirimanne triggered a collapse that saw the senior members of the side including Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal lose their wickets. In spite of some spiteful wicketkeeping from Jonny Bairstow, the Lankans lost nine wickets for just 126 runs, ensuring that they were bowled out for a frugal and paltry 288, a failure considering the fantastic start they had.

With Alastair Cook receiving medical treatment, Nick Compton made his way out to open the innings with Alex Hales. Compton however, failed to make good use of his opportunity as he was dismissed for a mere 19 runs. Nuwan Pradeep then made the ball do the talking as he removed Joe Root, James Vince, and the all important wicket of Jonny Bairstow. However, in spite of this, Alex Hales played the bowling as well as the conditions well as he inched closer to his maiden Test century. However, his wait was extended as he was snapped up by skipper Angelo Mathews, six runs adrift of his well-deserved ton.

The next few sessions on Day 4 and Day 5 were clouded by rain as play failed to continue, thus concluding in a draw. Jonny Bairstow was adjudged the man of the match yet again.

Brief Scores

England 1st innings: 416 all out (Bairstow 167*; Herath 4/81)

Sri Lanka 1st innings: 288 all out (Silva 79; Woakes 3/31)

England 2nd innings: 233/7 decl (Hales 94; Pradeep 3/37)

Sri Lanka 2nd innings: 78/1 (Karunaratne 37*; Anderson 1/27)