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England Keep Sri Lanka on a Short Lead

By Jimmymycrushie
In spite of the English rain which continued to keep in check both the progress of the game and the momentum of the Sri Lankan first innings, Andrew Strauss’s men have been able stifle any resistance form the touring side – who did little to help themselves with an array of wayward shots to gift wickets to the English attack.With less than 90 overs played across two rain drenched days, England’s bowling pack, who had come in for some heavy criticism after their insipid display on a flat Lord’s track, realigned their sights on day two of the third test at the Rose Bowl to restrain Sri Lanka with a period of bowling that used the overcast conditions to its advantage nicely.

England keep Sri Lanka on a short lead

Rain has been the most prominent factor in this series.

It was ironic Chris Tremlett, the man who struggled to impose himself on the game during his days with the Rose Bowl’s current occupants Hampshire, was able to produce a hostile spell that cramped and hurried Sri Lankan batsman; his three wickets in twenty minutes as the second day got underway was a testament to a man who had found an inner-belief in his abilities. Having taken the first ever wicket at the Rose Bowl when the ground opened in 2001, he now has the honour of being the first man on the honours board; plenty more accolades seemed destined to be coming his way as he establishes himself as the sharpest point of England’s attack.The return of Jimmy Anderson will also hearten Strauss and coach Andy Flower, however the form of Stuart Broad will be a concern. The T20 captain hasn’t taken a five wicket haul since 2009 – and his position in the test squad is coming increasingly under scrutiny – especially with Steve Finn waiting in the wings.Without Dilshan meanwhile, Sri Lanka looked directionless as they prodded around under the grey sky, with Prasanna Jayawardene the sole obstacle in the way of a convincing 2-0 series win for England. Any side whose top four batsman can only compile 28 runs between them will always struggle, so when Jayawardene and to a lesser extent Thilan Samaraweera resistance did come, it had an air of ‘too little too late’ about it.With a series draw all they could aim for before the third test, they are now staring in the face of  a series defeat and must now deal with the problems that hinder their progress. Sri Lanka have only won overseas series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh this century despite being graced with some of the finest players in the world. They are a side in crisis at the moment, at least in the test match form of the game, after losing their captain and selectors board after the worldA result looks possible – although the rain continues to dampen the atmosphere – but both teams have already taken what they need from the series. But both England and Sri Lanka are heading in opposite directions at the moment, and for the time being there is little the visitors can do about it.

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