By Jake Goodwill
- England win the Test Match Series in Durham.
- It was a game of milestones with Captain Cook passing 10,000 runs, James Anderson passing 450 wickets and Rangana Herath reaching 300 wickets.
DURHAM, ENGLAND – England won their second test comfortably but the Sri Lankans provided more of a contest than in Leeds.
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When Alistair Cook opted to bat a few eyebrows were raised in Durham. However that decision was justified as England went on to score 498-9 declared. Alex Hales and Joe Root both played well scoring 80-odd and then falling. Moeen Ali was star of the show scoring 155 not out and putting England in a commanding position.
The Sri Lankan batting line up crumbled timidly reaching only 101 all out with the wickets being shared between James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes. Everything that went wrong with Sri Lanka’s first innings was rectified in the second as they scored 475 during the follow on.
The top three made England work for their wickets before Angelo Mathews scored 80 and Dinesh Chandimal posted a brilliant 128. This forced England to bat again but in truth the game was lost during Sri Lanka’s first batting performance. Anderson was the pick of the England bowlers taking another five wicket haul.
Cook and Nick Compton knocked off the 80 runs required after Hales fell early and England cruised to victory. It was another comprehensive performance but Sri Lanka’s batting will give them confidence going in to the final Test of the series. For England another dominant performance ensured that anything but a series whitewash at Lords will be a disappointment.
Alastair Cook (C) 6/10 – The Captain became the first Englishman to pass 10,000 Test Match runs at Durham. Cook deserves great praise for his resilience and longevity. He played nicely for an unbeaten 47 to go past the landmark and now can push on with the landmark out of his mind.
Alex Hales 7/10 – He played with much more fluency than he had a week earlier at Headingley to score 83. Hales is starting to show more consistency and looks more at ease at the crease. However he will be disappointed to have fallen short of a maiden Test hundred with two opportunities in successive games.
Nick Compton 4/10 – Compton deserves credit for getting England over the line with 22 not out but failed in the first innings scoring 9. He will get another chance at Lords but personally I think it is only a matter of time before he is replaced.
Joe Root 7/10 – The Yorkshire star breezed to 80 before falling short of a ton. A good innings from Root who looks set for another fine summer.
James Vince 6/10 – Vince played nicely for 35 before falling to Siriwardana. He will be disappointed if he fails to make a large score before the series ends.
Jonny Bairstow (WK) 6/10 – England’s in-form batsman ticked along quickly to 48 before edging the ball through to the wicket keeper. Bairstow’s keeping was disappointing with a dropped catch and difficult stumping opportunity being missed. His skill behind the stumps undoubtedly is the area that needs most work.
Moeen Ali 8/10 – Ali scored a vital 155 not out and ensured England had a commanding position in the match. He played sensibly initially and then played with real flare and aggression once had reached his hundred. A brilliant innings. However his bowling was unconvincing.
Chris Woakes 7/10 – Off the back of a stunning 9 wickets for 36 runs for Warwickshire Woakes continued his good form in the first innings bowling with good pace taking 3 wickets for 9 runs. He did not bowl as well in the second innings but still picked up two wickets. A promising performance. Woakes also did well to build a partnership with Ali scoring 39.
Stuart Broad 7/10 – Broad bowled with in the first innings and was particularly effective in cleaning up the Sri Lankan tail.
Steven Finn 5/10 – The Middlesex bowler is struggling with his rhythm, accuracy and pace at the moment. He looked the weak link in England’s seam attack. It will be a close call between potential debutant Jake Ball and Finn for the Test at Lords. Although picking Finn on his home ground could aid the return of some form.
James Anderson 9/10 – A brilliant performance from Anderson which has pushed him up to the number one ranked bowler in the world. He bowled brilliantly in the first innings but his ability to take five wickets in batting friendly conditions in the second innings was especially impressive.
Dimuth Karunaratne 5/10 – He still struggled against the new ball but hung around during the second innings which undoubtedly aided the middle order.
Kaushal Silva 6.5/10 – Silva played well in the second innings and showed positive signs. The Sri Lankan openers were more resolute which alongside the more favourable conditions provided a base for a large second innings total.
Kusal Mendis 6/10 – The young batsman has impressed so far on this tour consistently getting starts. Mendis will be keen to convert one of those starts into a big score at Lords.
Dinesh Chandimal (WK) 8/10 – The vice-captain played a magnificent innings to score 126 that ensured that England had to bat again. Chandimal is a talented player and crucially this was his first test match hundred outside of Asia. A fluent and vital innings.
Angelo Mathews (C) 7/10 – The skipper played an aggressive knock to score 80 in the second innings. Mathews went after the bowling of Ali especially which put England on the back foot for one of the few times in the series so far.
Lahiru Thirimanne 4/10 – Thirimanne had another difficult test failing to get to 20 in both innings. He will be under pressure to score some runs going into the last match.
Milinda Siriwardana 6/10 – The all-rounder was brought in to the side and managed to pick up three wickets in the match. However he failed to have the impact with the bat he would have liked.
Rangana Herath 6/10 – Herath did not bowl especially well for his high standards but crucially he managed to take his 300th Test Match wicket. The spinner batted nicely in the second innings scoring 61 which frustrated the England attack alongside Chandimal.
Shaminda Eranga 4/10 – The pace bowler failed to pick up a wicket in the match and after the match was reported to the ICC for a suspect action. A bad week.
Suranga Lakmal 5/10 – Lakmal worked hard but his bowling was not particularly effective. He did manage to take a spectacular catch on the boundary to dismiss Compton however.
Nuwan Pradeep 7/10 – He was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers taking four wickets in the first innings. Pradeep continued to run in hard and bowled with accuracy throughout.
The final International Test will take place in Lord’s on 9 June.
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