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England v Sri Lanka, First Test


  • Q2. Who once took five wickets for five runs in 34 balls for England against Sri Lanka?… #EngvSL
  • We're inching towards the re-start, so here's the answer to Q2: John Emburey (Colombo 1982). Moving swiftly onto the next one...
  • Q3. What was Sri Lanka's average opening partnership in the 2006 Test series?… #EngvSL
  • Agreed, Q3 was pretty tough - here come the players so it's time for @Benedict_B to put you out of your misery. Answer is 3.83! #engvsl
  • Over 26 – Eng 105-3 (Bell 47 Root 7) [6]
    Herath’s left arm spin comes on first thing after lunch, and after possibly tucking into some Cajun chicken for his dinner Bell tucks into this spin and dispatches Herath right back over the top of his head for a maximum. Also takes England into three figures.
    6/12/2014 12:45:46 PM
  • 40th fifty for Ian Bell in 99 test matches for England. 112-3. #EngvSL

  • [twitter]

    6/12/2014 12:50:24 PM
  • Over 27 – Eng 116-3 (Bell 56 Root 9) [50]
    False start from Eranga as he loses his run-up first off, not trying to run anyone out at the non-striker’s end. Once he does Bell times the pants off a drive through extra-cover to bring up a typically stylish Ian Bell half century. Pretty good strike rate as well and just a sign the earlier demons are going out of this pitch.

    6/12/2014 12:52:16 PM
  • Over 28 – Eng 119-3 (Bell 56 Root 12)
    Just the three runs of Herath’s next over, a lot better than the first one but still looking like runs are coming.

    6/12/2014 12:56:07 PM
  • [wicket] Bell 56 lbw Eranga

    Disaster for England as Bell has to go, that ball just ducked in on him and although he was given not out it was overturned on review.

    6/12/2014 12:57:28 PM
  • WICKET: Bell goes for LBW on 56 following a review. England 120-4. #EngvSL

  • Over 29 – Eng 121-4 (Ali 0 Root 12)
    Bell was just getting into his stride so it was a crucial wicket for Sri Lanka as Eranga just gets one to duck in on him and catches him on the pad. Not out is the original decision but Sri Lanka review immediately and Hawk Eye shows it was hitting the top of middle stump, great review and a vital wicket – bell looked dangerous. 

    6/12/2014 1:03:42 PM
  • Over 30 – Eng 123-4 (Ali 0 Root 14)
    Just the two runs for Root off the next over, with Moeen Ali having seen off the rest of the previous over, these two now need to build a decent partnership to keep England in the hunt.

    6/12/2014 1:06:38 PM
  • Can you tell from the silhouette which Sky Sports commentator has gone back for curry seconds?

    6/12/2014 1:09:32 PM
  • Over 31 – Eng 131-4 (Ali 8 Root 14)[4]
    Ali had been watchful up to now, but gets off the mark with beautifully timed wristy flick off his legs to the on side fence, and follows it up with a less convincing drive which finds a thick edge that dissects the field and also hits the ropes.
    6/12/2014 1:10:22 PM
  • Over 32 – Eng 135-4 (Ali 8 Root 18)[4]
    Kulasekara gives Root some width first ball and at his pace the batsman has no problem steering it down through gully for four.

    6/12/2014 1:15:40 PM
  • Over 33 – Eng 146-4 (Ali 19 Root 18)[4]
    Ali is squared up by Eranga but soft hands mean the edge goes straight down, and there’s enough pace on it to get it away for four. A second boundary is much better stuff from Ali and again it’s timing that’s the key with a relatively straight ball being flicked away through mid-wicket. A finishing single means it’s 11 from that over!

    6/12/2014 1:20:05 PM
  • Early days in Moeen Ali's debut knock but a solid start with four fours, as seen on our iPad app. Download it here:

    6/12/2014 1:21:56 PM
    [betting] It's been a tough start for England at Lord's but debutant Moeen Ali and Joe Root are at the crease. We have a whole host of in-play betting opportunities. Check out all the odds now.
    6/12/2014 1:23:25 PM
  • Over 34 – Eng 146-4 (Ali 19 Root 18)
    Captain Angelo Mathews comes into the attack, and it’s a good start for the Sri Lanka skipper as he bowls a maiden to just put the breaks on after a fine over last time for England.

    6/12/2014 1:24:16 PM
  • Over 35 – Eng 151-4 (Ali 20 Root 22)
    Kulasekara switches ends to go back to the Pavillion End. First ball is punched back by Root down the ground for three as he sits deep in his crease. Ali and Root add further singles as they bring the 150 up for England.
    6/12/2014 1:30:06 PM
  • Remaining commentary partnerships for the rest of the day...

    6/12/2014 1:32:18 PM
  • Over 36 – Eng 154-4 (Ali 20 Root 25)
    Mathews continues and Root gets two from a clip out to midwicket. Root adds another single in the over to keep the scoreboard ticking along – quicker than the Sri Lankan over rate anyway. 

    6/12/2014 1:34:25 PM
  • Over 37 – Eng 154-4 (Ali 20 Root 25)
    Kulasekara continues, Root gets a thick edge when trying to dab one away, and then takes evasive action when the bouncer comes in.

    6/12/2014 1:37:49 PM
  • Over 38 – Eng 154-4 (Ali 20 Root 25)
    Mathews continuing to tighten things up. Ali hits a good drive but it goes straight to the fielder for no run. It’s another maiden for Sri Lanka.

    6/12/2014 1:42:15 PM
  • DRINKS - perfect time to check out the post bag. Keep that correspondence coming.

    6/12/2014 1:45:03 PM
  • [andrewstrauss] Sri Lanka will be the happier of the two sides right now – but Root and Moeen Ali are staging a mini fightback and England need these two to press on.”

    6/12/2014 1:47:15 PM
  • Over 39 - England 156-4 (Ali 20, Root 27)
    The run of maidens comes to an end as Root pokes a drive a past extra-cover and trots through for an easy two. Root still looks like a man having as much trouble with his own technique as with the opposition bowling, but he's battling it out gamely.
    6/12/2014 1:49:48 PM
  • Moeen Ali is rolling along nicely, here is how he's fared against seamers: #EngvSL

  • Over 40 - England 158-4 (Ali 21, Root 28)
    Just a couple of singles from Mathews' over. Last five overs perhaps the least eventful on a day where the pitch has always offered something for bowlers but has given batsmen full value for their strokes.
    6/12/2014 1:54:38 PM
  • Over 41 - England 162-4 (Ali 22, Root 31)
    Root cuts Pradeep with no timing but sufficient placement to collect a single before a good-looking off-drive from Moeen is stopped at mid-off as the batsmen trot through for a single. Better timing this time from Root, clipping the ball off his pads past midwicket and taking an easy two as the deep square-leg fielder tidies up.
    6/12/2014 1:58:01 PM
  • Over 42 - England 168-4 (Ali 28, Root 31)
    [6]Easy game this Test cricket. Herath into the attack, and Moeen greets the introduction of spin by smacking a slog-sweep high and handsome over wide long-on for six.
    6/12/2014 2:01:09 PM
  • [tweet]

    6/12/2014 2:05:49 PM
  • Over 43 - England 169-4 (Ali 28, Root 32)
    After a couple of airy drives early on, Moeen's judgement outside off stump has been first rate. Not tempted by anything out there from Pradeep in this over after Root scampers a smart quick single.
    6/12/2014 2:06:39 PM
  • Over 44 - England 173-4 (Ali 31, Root 33)
    Root works Herath into the legside for a single before a neat drive from Ali brings three more through cover. Moeen really looking the part here.
    6/12/2014 2:10:09 PM
  • Over 45 - England 177-4 (Ali 32, Root 36)
    Good partnership this. Both men looking busy, taking the singles well. Root supplements a pair of singles with a neat clip off his toes through midwicket for two.
    6/12/2014 2:14:39 PM
  • Here is a better picture of how England are batting so far at Lords: #EngvSL

  • Over 46 - England 181-4 (Ali 35, Root 37)
    Nothing for Herath in this pitch so far. These two have milked him pretty easily for three or four runs an over.
    6/12/2014 2:18:02 PM
  • This year's must-have garden accessory...

    6/12/2014 2:19:54 PM
  • Over 47 - England 183-4 (Ali 36, Root 38)
    Rare false shot from Moeen as he aims a drive at Eranga and makes no contact.
    6/12/2014 2:23:17 PM
  • Over 48 - England 183-4 (Ali 36, Root 38)
    Herath has struggled to give his skipper any control today so far, but does manage a maiden in his seventh over. Root hitting the ball at fielders, which is what he spent a lot of time doing in the winter.
    6/12/2014 2:26:45 PM
  • Over 49 - England 183-4 (Ali 36, Root 38)
    Good maiden over from Eranga to Moeen Ali. Really interestingly poised now this game. There's certainly a bit there for the bowlers.
    6/12/2014 2:30:52 PM
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