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Thread: England - A Coaching Diary [ICC 2006]

  1. #1
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    England - A Coaching Diary [ICC 2006]

    Hello all, would anyone be interested in reading a diary of me Coaching England on ICC 2006? I was thinking that to display it in a possibly different fashion and a more quintessentially "English" way that I would resurrect Geoffrey Boycott's end of day review of the action during matches to keep you all updated of the latest goings on, as well as the usual screenshots and narrative by myself of course.

    So, would anyone be interested in reading a Diary like this?
    "Bring me the toolshed, for I am hungry"

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    International Vice-Captain pinchy81's Avatar
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    i would!
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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    Great! - I'll get started on it then.

    ----

    Sri Lanka in England - May 2006

    On the day that I was to select the Squad for the First Test, I checked the score from the Sri Lankans warm-up 3-day game against Durham. The news was not good, as the two England internationals involved in the game - Harmison and Collingwood - both looked out of form. Harmison had recorded bowling figures of 27-1-88-2, whilst Collingwood had racked up 20-0-93-1. More worryingly, Collingwood had been dismissed for 5 in Durham's innings. Though some respite came from the fact that Dilshan would be injured for the first test, having been struck by a Bouncer.

    With this in mind, I selected the following squad of twelve for the First Test match of the Summer against Sri Lanka.

    VAUGHAN, Michael (Capt)
    TRESCOTHICK, Marcus
    STRAUSS, Andrew
    PIETERSEN, Kevin
    COOK, Alistair
    PRIOR, Matthew (W.K)
    FLINTOFF, Andrew
    BLACKWELL, Ian
    JONES, Simon
    HARMISON, Steve
    HOGGARD, Matthew
    PANESAR, Mudhsuden Singh

    ---

    Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick returned to the team after missing the tour of India, with Collingwood and Bell dropping out in order for Cook to try and continue his bright start to Test Cricket. Matthew Prior was selected as wicketkeeper, after some decent displays in the ODI series against India. The team pretty much picks itself, the only dilemma is the choice over which spinner to play - Blackwell for his all-round ability and to reduce the length of tail in case of a Murali magic show, or Monty for his specialist bowling?

  4. #4
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    FIRST TEST, Day One

    I chose the following team for my first match as coach.

    1. TRESCOTHICK, Marcus
    2. STRAUSS, Andrew
    3. VAUGHAN, Michael
    4. COOK, Alistair
    5. FLINTOFF, Andrew
    6. PIETERSEN, Kevin
    7. PRIOR, Matt
    8. BLACKWELL, Ian
    9. JONES, Simon
    10. HARMISON, Steve
    11. HOGGARD, Matthew
    ---
    12th Man: PANESAR, Mudhsuden Singh

    I realised that my most controversial, and probably most conservative decision, was the selection of Blackwell ahead of Monty. I need Blackwell to repay my trust in him, especially with the ball. Another change I made is the promotion of Flintoff to No. 5, and the demotion of Pietersen to No. 6 - This was mainly to avoid compromising two of my most aggressive batsmen in the event of a new ball burst from Chaminda Vaas.

    The Sri Lanka side is as follows: Sangakkara, Tharanga, M. Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Vandort, Mubarak, Kapugedera, Vaas, P. Jayawardene, Kulasekara, Muralitharan.

    The sun is shining over Lords, and the prospect of heavy cloud on Day's 3 and 5, as well as the possibility of some turn as the match progresses, make this a bat-first pitch. And, thankfully, Michael Vaughan wins the toss and makes no hesitation in his decision. Sri Lanka will field. Let's just hope my new look team plays to it's full potential.

    ---

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    End of Day One

    England - 288/6 (Blackwell 30*, Prior 29*; 101 Overs)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "Well England will be satisfied with their situation at the end of the First Day, but they could be in a much stronger position if it wasn't for their impetuity at various points in the day. The Opening Partnership between Trescothick and Strauss was a clinic on how to play on a wicket like this one. The Sri Lankan bowlers were no great shakes, particularly not the seamers who got almost no movement, but the England openers were watchful in defence, and enterprising in attack - With Trescothick in-particular impressing with some big sixes. His century in a partnership worth 162 may prove vital. But when England tried to push the scoring rate, they forgot the basics of batting on a slow wicket. They went groping forward looking to dominate the bowlers rather than letting the ball come onto the bat, and wickets fell - Vaughan (4) and Strauss (50) were the guilty culprits, offering dolly catches to the fielders. If I were a bowler, I'd be embarrassed to have those wickets count towards me average - they were wickets that came purely because of batsman impatience. Cook and Flintoff did a good job of resisting a collapse (40 Partnership) before another glut of wickets after tea left England looking as if they may not reach 300 at one stage (233-6). But Prior and Blackwell's unbroken partnership of 55 has seen England to the close of play in a reasonable position, but the pressure is on these two inexperienced players tomorrow morning with precious little batting to come, and as the wicketless Murali should begin to find some turn.


  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year Kweek's Avatar
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    love the story! keep it up!
    P.S. We beat England at Lord's
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  6. #6
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    Thank you Kweek

    ---

    FIRST TEST, Day Two

    So England started Day Two on a total of 288/6 - Inspired by a Trescothick score of 106, and an Andrew Strauss 50. How many runs would our tail be able to add to the overnight total?

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Two

    England - 349 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 246/4 (Tharanga 96*, Mubarak 1* ; 74 Overs)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "Well it's been a day of toil in the field for England, after a reasonably successful morning with the bat left them on a score which can only be described as 'par'. Prior and Blackwell both missed out on their fifties, but added quick runs in addition with Simon Jones, who is turning out to be a good old-fashioned biffer at the bottom of the order.

    Once Sri Lanka got into bat, they made some good early partnerships. Sangakkara and Tharanga put on 53 for the opening partnership, before Sangakkara was bowled through the gate by Flintoff - Who then trapped Mahela Jayawardene LBW for 11. I thought it may have been going over the stumps, but the umpire seemed convinced. Flintoff was the only real threat in the England bowling attack, though Jones and Blackwell bowled tidily. The biggest concern for England is the form of their New Ball attack. Both Harmison and Hoggard were unable to extract anything from the pitch, and their accuracy was not good enough to cover for this shortfall - Particularly to Thilan Samaraweera, who bled Hoggard dry off his pads before falling LBW to Jones for 31.

    But the big partnership which dented England today was that of 118 between Tharanga and the quick-scoring Michael Vandort - Whose knock of 67 included eight fours. But finally that man Flintoff forced an error from the young batsman, and re-arranged his furniture in the last over of the day. A lot of importance is now placed on the upcoming Third Day, particularly the morning session. England have six overs to go before they can claim the new ball - It is imperative that they get the Sri Lankan lower order out as quickly as possible.
    Last edited by Loots; 19-10-2006 at 03:31 AM.

  7. #7
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    FIRST TEST, Day Three

    Boycott was right, if we got it right with the New Ball, there was a possibility that we would be able to hold a first innings lead. If we got it wrong however, Sri Lanka would have a good chance of passing 400 runs and putting us under some pressure. The choice over who to use to bowl with the New Ball would be difficult. Both Harmison and Hoggard had been bowling poorly, and we couldn't afford to waste it with a bit of cloud in the morning sky.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Three

    England - 349 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 394 All Out
    England - 127/3 (Cook 40*, Flintoff 2* ; 48 Overs)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "So England will carry an over-night lead of 82 runs into the fourth day of this Test Match, after just shading the days play here. We said that England's bowling with the New Ball would be crucial - and it certainly looked that way when, with the New Ball only 3 deliveries old, Matthew Hoggard nipped one back to comprehensively bowl Mubarak for 12. But the bowling of the Hoggard/Jones pace attack was not Test match standard, and new batsman Kapugedera's cameo knock of 25 off 25, an impressive 46 from Chaminda Vaas and Upul Tharanga's continued innings of 135 were the punishment that the bowling deserved - As Sri Lanka ended up with a first innings lead of 46.

    Trescothick and Strauss were seperated early after their big partnership in the first innings, with Vaas bowling Strauss for a second-ball duck. But Michael Vaughan came in to form a good partnership with Trescothick, as England hurried past their 46 defecit and into the lead. But worryingly for England, both batsmen missed out on Fifties. It is now up to Cook, who has looked very impressive, and Flintoff to help England on their way to a defendable total.

    ---

    FIRST TEST, Day Four

    So Cook and Flintoff were to resume their partnership - If they could combine nicely together like they did in the first innings and occupy the crease, I am confident that we can bat ourselves into a winning position. A lot depends on how Pietersen performs with the bat however, and also the extent to which the pitch has been deteriorating. Samaraweera and Murali have yet to make their mark on the game, but the pitch was predicted to start spinning around this time of the match. If that begins to happen, I can see Cook's questionable technique against Spin being put under close scrutiny.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Four

    England - 349 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 394 All Out
    England - 306 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 81/2 (Jayawardene 30*, Samaraweera 4*) (Runs Required: 181)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "Well it's set up for a grandstand finalé at Lord's - But in my opinion Sri Lanka are definately in a stronger position than England, which could be the other way around if only one or two England batsmen had managed to get a big score. The fact that only one England player, Flintoff (72), passed his Fifty, yet a total of 306 was recorded shows how many England batsman failed to convert a score of 30 into a half-century. five batsmen to be precise. The match firmly swung in Sri Lanka's favour after Cook got a sweep shot off Samaraweera horribly wrong, and it looped up for an easy close catch, having only added 3 to his overnight score. Then only eight minutes later, Kevin Pietersen dangled his bat out at a short, wide delivery from Kulasekara and proferred a gift off the face of his bat to Michael Vandort at slip. It was a horrible, horrible shot - almost as if he was giving catching practice in nets. Fortunately for England, Prior and Blackwell were on hand to tidy up - but their dismissals (Both for 39) meant that Sri Lanka would not have to chase a score in excess of 300.

    England got off to the best possible start when Harmison snared first-innings centurion Upul Tharanga for 1. But Sri Lanka are a side of batting class, and Sangakkara and Jayawardene did not shy from hitting the boundary as England began to lose control of the run-rate towards the end of the day. Flintoff kept his nerve, and his line, and knocked out Sangakkara's middle stump to give England some fresh hope, but they go into the final day at a definite disadvantage. They will need to keep it tight, utilise any swing on offer, and crucially get the wickets of Jayawardene and Samaraweera as soon as possible.

  8. #8
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    FIRST TEST, Day Five

    The clouds hang over Lords, as we prepare for the final days play. As long as these clouds remain throughout the day, I hope our pace attack can cause some real damage to Sri Lanka, and help engineer a victory. It all depends on how quickly we get stuck into the batting order though, if we can get some cheap wickets in the morning session, then I feel that we should wrap up a win.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Five
    Sri Lanka Win by 1 Wicket

    England - 349 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 394 All Out
    England - 306 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 263/9 (Target: 262)

    Boycott's Analysis



    Well I predicted last night that it would be a thrilling final day's play, but that really exceeded all expectations. And despite taking their defeat with good grace, England will be bitterly disappointed to have let victory slip away, after working themselves into a position which I considered to be impregnable.

    Sri Lanka owe their victory to the heroics of Chaminda Vaas. He entered the crease with the score at 120/6 - After Sri Lanka lost 4 wickets for 39 runs in the face of some quick, hostile bowling from Hoggard and Flintoff. At this stage, England were well on top, and with Sri Lanka needing 142 more runs for victory - England should have been able to press home the advantage. However, the obdurate Vaas formed a 50 partnership with the last recognised batsman, Jehan Mubarak - Before finding another ally for a 50 partnership in wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. By the time that Jayawardene was trapped LBW by Simon Jones, Sri Lanka needed only 41 runs to win. Joined by Kulasekara - They added 32 runs to take Sri Lanka to the brink of victory, before Simon Jones struck again. Now Vaas came into his own, and took full responsibility for getting the 6 runs needed to seal a famous victory. He sheparded the bowling to perfection, keeping Murali away from the strike for all but 5 balls, and clinched the game with a nudge off the pads to run two. It was a fabulous innings from Vaas, who scored 66 Not Out from 172 balls in 3 and a half hours. England came close to taking his wicket with 4 LBW Appeals and 4 near-edges - But his indefagitability has denied them of a victory.

    It is difficult to assign blame in this defeat. Supporters of Monty Panesar will point out that Ian Blackwell bowled 17.4 Wicketless overs on a 5th day pitch against tailend batsmen. But I think that's doing Blackwell a dis-service - As without his batting England would never have been in the position to defend a total of 262 in the first place. I personally think that Kevin Pietersen must shoulder his fair share of the blame here - his cheap scores of 17 and 1 have hurt England in the long run here. Though he can justifiably claim to be out of position batting at No. 6. I think that is an experiment which has backfired.

    It shall be interested to see what England side comes out in the next Test at Edgbaston, I'd imagine that the Blackwell v Panesar debates will be continuing in earnest in the meantime.

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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    Icon14

    Screenshots...
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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    Sri Lanka in England - May 2006

    After the defeat in the First Test, I evaluated the team I picked. The only players who had contributed little in my opinion were Pietersen and Harmison - but I could not contemplate dropping them, as they are both match-winners when on form. However, now that we needed to get a win at Edgbaston to level the series - I chose to go on the offensive, and drop Blackwell so that Monty could get a bowl. In order to give myself an option of shoring up the batting with an all-rounder, I brought in Timothy Murtagh of Surrey.

    VAUGHAN, Michael (Capt)
    TRESCOTHICK, Marcus
    STRAUSS, Andrew
    PIETERSEN, Kevin
    COOK, Alistair
    PRIOR, Matthew (W.K)
    FLINTOFF, Andrew
    MURTAGH, Timothy
    JONES, Simon
    HARMISON, Steve
    HOGGARD, Matthew
    PANESAR, Mudhsuden Singh

    I will have to decide on whether to include Murtagh in the final XI on the day of the game. If the wicket is a batsman's paradise, I could probably do without him. But if it is a tricky batting strip like the one at Lord's, I may select him ahead of one of the specialist fast bowlers.

  11. #11
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    SECOND TEST, Day One

    I chose the following team for the Second Test of the Series.

    1. TRESCOTHICK, Marcus
    2. STRAUSS, Andrew
    3. PIETERSEN, Kevin
    4. VAUGHAN, Michael (Capt)
    5. COOK, Alistair
    6. FLINTOFF, Andrew
    7. PRIOR, Matt (W.K)
    8. MURTAGH, Timothy
    9. JONES, Simon
    10. HOGGARD, Matthew
    11. PANESAR, Mudhsuden Singh
    ---
    12th Man: HARMISON, Steven

    Again, I chose to be a bit controversial in my selection by opting for Murtagh ahead of Harmison. The wicket is decidedly dubious however, and I believe that we will need the extra batting depth. Also, Murtagh is likely to extract some swing, with cloud cover forecast for the whole game. I also re-arranged the batting order, abandoning the experiment of bringing in Pietersen at No. 6 by moving him up to No. 3.

    Sri Lanka made one change to their side, with Nuwan Zoysa replacing Prasanna Jayawardene. By bringing in an extra bowler, the Sri Lankans are clearly trying to exploit the difficult batting conditions in an attempt to wrap up a series victory. I can't envisage many centuries being scoring in this game, though rain might scupper any chances of a result.

    Sri Lanka: Sangakkara, Tharanga, M. Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Vandort, Mubarak, Kapugedera, Vaas, Kulasekara, Zoysa, Muralitharan.

    Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to field. It is imperative that our batting survives the new ball and the early swing and seam movement that Vaas, Kulasekara and Zoysa will generate. Here we go...

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day One

    England - 271/8 (S. Jones 36*, Hoggard 22*; 98 Overs)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "This was very much a day of cricket where the balance of momentum swung too and fro with alarming regularity. Sri Lanka got off to an absolute flyer, as Kulasekara swung the ball around corners early on, and he got the wickets of Trescothick for a duck with the third ball of the day, and later the wicket of Andrew Strauss for 8. The ball was cannoning into the England pads for the first hour, and England had limped to 33/2 before Michael Vaughan was back in the hutch for 2 after being trapped leg-before by Samaraweera. England's top-order showed a startling lack of technique against seam and swing. Then a recovery of sorts started, as Pietersen and Cook put on a good partnership of 64 and steadied the boat somewhat - before Vaas trapped Cook LBW for 19. England continued their momentum with sprightly knocks from Flintoff (33) and Prior (36) - Whilst a very good innings from Pietersen ended on 91, as he was caught LBW by Murali. A somewhat questionable decision in my opinion. By the time that Murtagh's debut Test innings of 16 had come to an end, Sri Lanka were into the tail at 204/7. But Simon Jones and later Matthew Hoggard showed resistance to drag England to an overnight position of 271/8. They would have accepted that like a flash when they were 33/3 this morning, I'll tell you that for free. They'll be looking to get to 300 tomorrow morning"

  12. #12
    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    Can't help thinking you're overcomplicating the top 6:

    1. TRESCOTHICK, Marcus
    2. STRAUSS, Andrew
    3. COOK, Alistair
    4. VAUGHAN, Michael (Capt)
    5. PIETERSEN, Kevin
    6. FLINTOFF, Andrew

    Would be obvious, but Pietersen's just made a nice score, so it's tricky.

    Nice story, looking very nicely laid out
    Or something.

    RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990 - 15/4/2006

  13. #13
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    Number 3 is a bit of a problem area for me, I'm certainly going to have to go to Australia later in the year with a settled Top Six though, it doesn't help for me to be chopping and changing positions around every other week. Thanks for reading and commenting

    ---

    SECOND TEST, Day Two

    With Day Two about to get underway, this looks like it might be the best day for batting on this wicket. It's still reasonably flat (though the odd ball is keeping low) and the cloud is likely to clear as the day progresses. We're going to need a big effort to be in a good position at the end of the day.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Two

    England - 275 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 258/7 (Samaraweera 118*, Kulasekara 39*; 89 Overs)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "England should end this day feeling very, very disappointed in themselves. After doing all the hard work in dismissing the Sri Lankan top-order cheaply thanks to some superb swing bowling from Matthew Hoggard, they let their chances of a first-innings lead all but evaporate thanks to an unbroken stand of 112 between Thilan Samaraweera and Nuwan Kulasekara for the 8th Wicket. Samaraweera in particular has been excellent - as he helped himself to some very poor English bowling in the afternoon, particularly from Murtagh, who threw down a diet of full tosses and half-volleys that even I could have got a ton from facing. The fact that Alastair Cook was acting as England's fifth bowler by the end of the day may spell the signs for Murtagh's future in the England team.

    Samaraweera had some luck, notably being caught plumb LBW, only for the wicket to be denied due to a no-ball from Flintoff. And as if to cap off a thoroughly frustrating afternoon for the hosts, he was dropped off the bowling of Hoggard by Marcus Trescothick in the final over of the day before the rain came and a brought a premature end to proceedings. With more rain forecast for tomorrow, England may just have let their best chance of winning this match slip."


    SECOND TEST, Day Three

    After the bright start to Day Two but the ultimate disappointment in the evening session, I was hoping that we could get back on the pitch and look to finally break the partnership and give us a fighting chance of getting back into a dominant position. However, the weather God's thought otherwise, as the whole of the morning and afternoon sessions were rained off. However, with 10 overs left in the day the Umpires are walking out to the middle, and it looks like we might get a bit of time to try and get Samaraweera out.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Three

    England - 275 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 277 All Out
    England - 1/0 (Trescothick 1*, Strauss 0*; 1 Over)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "Well we waited a long time for play to begin, but for Timothy Murtagh is was worth the wait. Suprisingly thrown the ball by Vaughan with Hoggard at the other end under dark clouds, Murtagh found some good swing and pace with the reasonably new ball, and snared the wickets of Kulasekara, Samaraweera and Muralitharan in the space of 19 deliveries. The quick end to the Sri Lankan innings meant that Trescothick and Strauss were forced to face a tricky over at the end of the day, but they emerged unscathed to lead England into Day Four of this match. England trail the Sri Lankans by one run, and they will need to find the right balance of defence and aggression in tomorrows play if they are to work themselves towards a declaration. Fortunately, the heaviest rain looks like it has passed over, though it will still be cloudy - So there are potentially two whole days left in this match, and that's a lot of cricket."

  14. #14
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Loots's Avatar
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    SECOND TEST, Day Four

    The rain had passed, and Trescothick and Strauss went out to continue their innings. I hoped that we could reach 300, I think that would be an adequate total to defend on the final day on this kind of wicket - Where runs have come at roughly 2.75 an over for both teams.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Four

    England - 275 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 277 All Out
    England - 249 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 0/1 (Tharanga 0*, Jayawardene 0*; 1 Over)

    Boycott's Analysis



    "A mixed bag of a day for England, who started the day well, before their day gradually deteroriated, before a massive boost at the end, just after recieving a massive blow.

    To deal with those phases in sequence, England's good start to the day came via a partnership of 72 between Trescothick and Strauss before a partnership worth 95 between Strauss and Vaughan for the 3rd Wicket. When Strauss was bowled by Chaminda Vaas for 78, England were 182/3 - But a spectacular collapse left Vaughan marooned at the non-strikers end as Cook, Flintoff and Prior came and went for a total of 13 runs being added to the England scorecard. Vaughan briefly built some stability with Murtagh - Before the debutant was dismissed for 19. Forced to attack now that he was batting with the tail, Vaughan lost his stumps with his score on 82. Himself and Strauss were the only England batsmen to pass a score of 30. England's middle-order really did bat very poorly.

    The low point came with two overs left in the day, when Monty Panesar was struck by a vicious lifter from Vaas and was forced to Retire Hurt. England will now be without their Spinner tomorrow. But the England day ended on a high, as Matthew Hoggard struck in the first and only over of the Sri Lanka second innings, knocking Sangakkara's middle stump out of the ground with his fourth ball.

    Sri Lanka need 248 to win, England need 9 Wickets, and there is no rain in store. Hold onto your hat's folks.


    SECOND TEST, Day Five

    My confidence ahead of the Fifth Day has been severely dented by the injury to Monty. The pitch was really expecting spin, and we will now rely on Titanic performances from the four remaining bowlers. This one isn't going to finish as a draw - Either all of the seamers take wickets, or we lose the series.

    ---

    ---

    ---

    End of Day Five
    England Win By 85 Runs

    England - 275 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 277 All Out
    England - 249 All Out
    Sri Lanka - 162 All Out


    Boycott's Analysis



    "It's been a job well done by England, as they came back to level the series. In the absence of the Spinner - England's seamers worked all day in the early Summer sunshine, but they really ran themselves into the ground for the cause. Timothy Murtagh and Andrew Flintoff took a wicket each with economy rates of under 2.00, and Hoggard came away with 3-55. But the star performance came from Simon Jones. His aggressive mix of yorkers, bumpers and teasing line and length combined with swing allowed him to rout the Sri Lankan middle order, which again sunk without trace. Out of the Top Six in the batting order, only Jayawardene (20) and Vandort (31) made it into double figures. Yet again, England had big problems bowling out the tail-end batsmen, with No. 10 batsman Nuwan Zoysa occupying the crease for an hour and a half on his way to a score of 20. But overall, England can be very happy with their efforts here today - And look forward to the 3rd Test and the decider in this tight series.

  15. #15
    Cricketer Of The Year Kweek's Avatar
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    good stuff started before your story and am in 2008 now
    my team atm is

    A.Cook
    M.Brien avging low 40's (reg)
    K.Pietersen
    I.Bell
    A.Strauss
    M.Trescothick
    M.Prior
    A.Giles
    S.Jones
    S.Harmison
    M.Hoggard

    fairly decent team..
    Flintoff is terribely out of form, otherwise he'd replace Bell, which would mean Strauss moves one up.
    KP is a gem for me avging high 60s
    and Giles is a legand both with bat and ball!

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