England vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 5: Sri Lanka survive in heart-racing draw

England hold their heads in disbelief after the final ball of the match fell just short of second slip

England hold their heads in disbelief after the final ball of the match fell just short of second slip

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka managed to survive a heart-racing final over from England pace bowler Stuart Broad to ensure the first Test at Lord’s ended as a draw.

Sri Lanka’s batting duo of Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara both played a vital role in helping Sri Lanka escape by scoring half-centuries.

However, England seamer James Anderson deserves a lot of credit as well as he took four wickets.

England captain Alastair Cook decided to declare on his side’s overnight score of 267/8, giving Sri Lanka a target of 390 to win.

However, Sri Lanka did not get off to a good start as opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was caught by debutant Sam Robson at short leg off the bowling of Stuart Broad for 16.

Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara made up for the early loss of Karunaratne with a 98-run partnership, during which Silva brought up his half-century, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Chris Jordan.

Silva’s excellent knock of 57 came off 105 balls and included seven boundaries.

Silva struck seven boundaries during his knock of 57

Silva struck seven boundaries during his knock of 57

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mahela Jayawardene only made 18 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of James Anderson.

Sangakkara ended up making 61 off 168 deliveries, which included four boundaries, before he was clean bowled by Anderson.

Sangakkara made a crucial 61

Sangakkara made a crucial 61

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Anderson struck again just four balls later when Lahiru Thirimanne was caught by Jordan at second slip for two runs.

Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene only made eight runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Jordan.

The umpire did not give Jayawardene out initially, but England decided to review the decision. The replays showed that Jayawardene had not hit the ball and that the ball was going on to crash into leg stump, which led to the third umpire overturning the original decision.

Nuwan Kulasekara mustered one run before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Broad.

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews managed to make 18 runs before he was caught by Cook off the bowling of Anderson.

Anderson dismissed Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Thirimanne and Mathews

Anderson dismissed Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Thirimanne and Mathews

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With one over left in the day and two wickets needed, Broad took a wicket with the very first delivery he bowled as Rangana Herath walked after being caught behind for just one run.

However, Herath walked for no reason whatsoever as he had actually removed his hand from the bat handle before the ball made contact.

Nuwan Pradeep had no problems defending or leaving the next three deliveries. However, on the second-last ball of the match, Pradeep was given out lbw, but he reviewed the decision straight away. The replays confirmed that Pradeep had indeed hit the ball before it ricocheted onto his pad, which led to the third umpire overturning the original decision.

With one ball left before the end of the match and England needing one wicket to win, Broad delivered a fantastic delivery, which Pradeep nicked, but, unfortunately for England, it ended up falling just short of Jordan at second slip.

Pradeep and Eranga celebrated as Sri Lanka had escaped from the jaws of defeat, while England were left with their hands on their heads in disbelief at what had just happened.

Anderson was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Broad snapped up three and Jordan chipped in with two.

Cook was gutted at having failed to win the match, and said: “I didn’t move, I could hear the noise [when Pradeep was given out], could have been two pads. I can’t praise the lads enough, it was a flat wicket, we wanted to wait for the ball to reverse swing and Jimmy produced a fantastic spell. To get that close and not win is incredibly frustrating. With the team we’re selecting, we haven’t got a frotnline spinner and this is the way we’ve got to go. When you’re trying to set the game up, you lose a few wickets – Gary played brilliantly to get us up there but those wickets cost us a half-hour at them. We were a bit behind [on the overs] which isn’t ideal. Big hundreds are what we want, Rooty got a double. Lots of credit to the guys but disappointment we couldn’t get over the line.”

Mathews was over the moon at having escaped with a draw, and said: “It was a close game, I thought England bowled really well, they were asking questions of our batsmen. At tea time we thought it was safe but you can’t really relax – that’s a lesson learned. Kumar has played some tremendous knocks, he was feeling comfortable but as soon as he got out we were under pressure. We’ve got lots of positives, the two fast bowlers performed well. We’ve got the skill we just have to go and play good cricket. It was a great team effort, especially at the end, trying to survive. The spirit is there.”

Root was named Man of the Match for his maiden double century in the first innings, and said: “It was exciting, 12 months ago we were told we were playing dour cricket, I don’t think anyone can say that now. It’s been a great start to the Test summer. We spoke about going on and making big scores. It was disappointing to be left out [in Sydney] but I made sure I proved a point and I want to continue. I hope so [batting at No 5]. It was a fantastic effort from Gary, cool head with wickets falling and he played really well.”

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