4th over England 17-2 (Roy 5, Morgan 7) Target 112 England are exactly in a quandary, but usually they go hard in every circumstance. But here, they need to chase so few they could just knock it about and not take risks, at least until these bowlers have either finished or been taken off. Roy, though, faces two dots then tries a swat, picking out the man on the midwicket fence; they run one, bringing Morgan onto strike. As the face of the Brand of CricketTM, I doubt he’ll play safe and he doesn’t, pushing two through cover then absolutely belting four to extra.
3rd over England 10-2 (Roy 4, Morgan 1) Target 112 Morgan averages 102 in Cardiff, and he gets off the mark with an edge wide of slip. Roy then plays down towards point and they sprint one more, before another terrific ball, moving off the seam and beating the outside edge, finishes another terrific over.
WICKET! Malan lbw b Chameera 4 (England 8-2)
No score for Malan, again! Chameera set him up with some full ones then whipped one full, pinned him on the crease, and that was hitting leg stump! Now it’s England in trouble!
i thought it pitched outside the line, but looking again….
3rd over England 8-1 (Roy 3, Malan 4) Target 112 Again, Chameera finds serious lift off back of a length and when Roy misses his swipe, Dickwella has to leap to save four byes. A single and a bye follow, then Chameera rams one that keeps low into Malan’s pad. It piched outside the line I think, but…
2nd over England 6-1 (Roy 2, Malan 4) Target 112 Malan could use a score, but it might be tricky to achieve on this track – it’s a bit two-paced – but when he gets a short, wide one, he waits and paddles it hard over the top for four to backward point.
WICKET! Bairstow b Fernando B 0 (England 2-1)
Binura’s been out of the team for six years but now he’s back he fancies staying back! This is a great delivery, quick, bouncing, and when Bairstow misses, he clatters middle peg! Great start from Sri Lanka.
2nd over England 2-0 (Roy 1, Bairstow 1) Target 112 We see VT of Wood saying Bairstow hits harder than anyone in their team – “The ball goes aaaarrrrggghhh!” Roy takes the left-armer Fernando’s first ball for one into the on side….
1st over England 0-0 (Roy 0, Bairstow 0) Target 112 Chameera opens with a beauty, on a length and screeching past Roy’s outside edge, then Roy follows his third ball as it shapes away, missing with meat and edge. He then backs away towards leg and hoiks off middle towards midwicket – they run one – then Chameera finds another goodun, beating Bairstow’s outside edge, then another! That’s a terrific over.
England bowled really well, it must be said, but under no pressure and excuse me while I interrupt myself. Ian Ronald Bell has arrived, wearing blazer, jeans, and the whitest trainers I’ve ever seen. in fact I’m not even sure we can call them white – we need a new colour.
Seeing these shots right at the end, you wonder why Sri Lanka didn’t have more of a go, because they way they went about it ensured that they’ve pretty much no chance of winning. 111 is the lowest total England have ever conceded in a full 20 overs, and the only question now is how quickly they chase it down.
Sri Lanka set England 112 to win!
20th over: Sri Lanka 111-7 (Udana 19, Dananjaya 2) If there are no boundaries in this over, it’ll be the fewest England have ever conceded in T20, four; but Udana comes down, then waits to toe Jordan’s slower ball over long off for a one-bounce four. A dot and a two follow, but had Roy gone to the bowler’s end, he might’ve run out Dananjaya. Instead, when Jordan puts the pace back on, Udana rocks back and knuck! He absolutely bases Jordan over his heed for six … and into the Taff! A dot and another heave follow – Jordan chases after it, hollers for it, and can’t quite gather, so they run two. Roy could probably have taken the snaffle, but when a fielder that good claims dibs you let him have it.
19th over: Sri Lanka 97-7 (Udana 5, Dananjaya 2) Willey returns and Udana slices a cutter that dies just in front of wide third man; they run one. Two wides follow, then Dananjaya plays down to point for one and I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, they want to use all of their overs, but on the other, a quick 30 and you never know (you do know) but another 10 and it’s over. So Udana goes, picking out the man at long off, and we see that there’ve been 50 dots in this innings; for all the lack of boundaries, if half of those had been singles, Sri Lanka wold at least be in the game. Willey finises with 0-17 off his four overs.
“The Hundred – live on BBC2!’ says Gary Naylor. “What a great advert – for the Hundred. The ECB will be pleased.”
Maybe it’s part of a dastardly plan.
18th over: Sri Lanka 90-7 (Udana 2, Dananjaya 0) Jordan goes around to the left-handed Dananjaya, who doesn’t have the game to get hold of the slower ball and wide yorker that he’s served. This is the opposite of good from Sri Lanka.
WICKET! Shanaka c Willey b Jordan 8 (Sri Lanka 90-7)
Jordan sends down another slower one and Shanaka swings, but his feet aren’t planted so he’s relying on his bottom hand for all the power. It’s nowhere near enough, and Willey takes a simple catch at long on.
18th over: Sri Lanka 90-6 (Shanaka 8, Udana 2) Just what you need, one of the best death bowlers in world cricket returning when you’re already in a state. Udana whacks his second ball to mid off, but Wood pulls off a decent stop. A single and a very wide follow.
17th over: Sri Lanka 88-6 (Shanaka 8, Udana 1) I wish I had better things to say about this, I really do, and it’s kind of upsetting to hear the commentary team trying to convince people that we’re seeing something good. I mean we sort of are, because England are good, but it’s just not a contest. Anyway, Udana gets off the mark to point and Rashid finishes with 4-0-24-2. He’s so, so good at this.
WICKET! Hasaranga st Bairstow b Rashid 3 (Sri Lanka 87-6)
This is not a good look. Rashid tosses one up, it dips, bounces and turns just a smidge – it’s enough – and Bairstow removes the bails, the batsmen nowhere near getting back.
17th over: Sri Lanka 87-5 (Hasranga 3, Shanaka 8) Rashid’s first three balls go for one – why aren’t they trying to go after him (or anyone else)?
16th over: Sri Lanka 84-5 (Hasranga 2, Shanaka 6) Wood hurtles in for his last over and whacks Shanaka on the pad; there’s a strangulated appeal, but it was too high and probably going wide of off. Wood’s bowled really nicely today, again, and Sri Lanka can manage just three singles. Wood finishes with 4-0-18-2, his final delivery coming through at 93mph. Not bad.
“I’ve just managed to watch half the episode of Finders Keepers whilst completely forgetting about the cricket,” emails Andrew Toner. “Why didn’t they call it ‘Battleships?’”
There was an MB version of the game – it wasn’t just pen and paper either – so maybe a copyright issue?
15th over: Sri Lanka 81-5 (Hasranga 1, Shanaka 4) Rashid continues and they have to make do with three singles and a two; surely they’ll have to go after it now. Shanaka made a fifty last night, so is in some sort of nick.
“So good to have live cricket on the Beeb,” says Guy Hornsby. “I know it’s hard to work out who comes out but I really feel sorry for Mo. With the pitches in the T20 WC we have to have a plan for them. His IPL was superb. Sigh.”
It’s a tricky one – this team are so good, you can easily justify omitting almost anyone from it. For that reason, Jimmy saying it’s hard to fit in Root, his mate and captain, is perfectly reasonable when it other circumstances it might be seen as borderline treasonous.
14th over: Sri Lanka 76-5 (Hasranga 0, Shanaka 0) here comes the hat-trick ball and Wood slings a beauty just wide of off … Hasaranga does all he can to get an edge on it … but he misses! Sri Lanka are in deep, deep trouble here.
WICKET! Dickwella c Morgan b Wood 3 (Sri Lanka 76-5)
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Waiting for the short ball from around, Dickwella steps away, tries to pull, and spoons a leading edge to mid off. Woody’s on a hatty!
WICKET! Mendis K c Bairstow b Wood 39 (Sri Lanka 74-4)
Oh dear oh dear. Just as Mendis is getting going, he goes again, top-edging a pull somewhere towards Neptune, and Bairstow chases towards square leg, catching it on the dive.
13th over: Sri Lanka 72-3 (Mendis K 35, Dickwella 3) Have a look! Mendis backs right away to leg, then carts Wood over the top for four down to long on! Great shot!
13th over: Sri Lanka 72-3 (Mendis K 35, Dickwella 3) Well! Dickwella turns to leg and runs, they want a second, and Billings picks up beautifully, launching a throw at the stumps … but Morgan, backing up, can’t field it! I’m not sure what values or brands he thinks he’s representing there.
WICKET! Perera K c Morgan b Rashid 21 (Sri Lanka 68-3)
Oh dear. Perera gets down on one knee, tries a switch-hit, and plops a catch directly into the hands of Morgan at square leg.
12th over: Sri Lanka 65-2 (Perera 21, Mendis K 31) Jordan returns and Perera forces to mid on, then after a dot, Mendis leans towards off to absolutely zetz a short one over fine leg and into the upper tier! That was an almighty dig, but can Sri Lanka find more? They cannot. Jordan responds with a slower one, then Mendis goes again but doesn’t get hold of it in the same way – they run one – then Perera pulls a short one, splices it, and Malan is after it … but he doesn’t quite there, diving and seeing it drop through his hands.
11th over: Sri Lanka 55-2 (Perera 18, Mendis K 24) Just what the Lankans need, Adil Rashid coming into the attack, and after three singles Perera tries a reverse scoop, instead imparting a fat edge that allows Willey to cut it off at the fence, saving two. Another single follows, then Isa asks Jimmy if he thinks Rashid should play Tests; he sort of says yes, then sort of walks it back because his captain clearly thinks otherwise, by saying how comfortable he seems with a white ball in his hand.
10th over: Sri Lanka 47-2 (Perera 14, Mendis K 20) Here we go! Wood hurls everything into an effort ball that Mendis drives to mid off, then tries to ramp an absolute grenade but misses. Four singles follow, the last of them a decent pull that picks out the fielder, and Sri Lanka need to bat like they’re running out of time because they are.
9th over: Sri Lanka 44-2 (Perera 13, Mendis K 18) Sri Lanka are moving now, Mendis stepping inside to hump Livingstone over extra for four. A two and a single follow then, from around, Perera gets an inside edge onto the boot that Bairstow pouches. They check for the catch, but he hammered the ball into the ground, and England will take that seven off the over – if Sri Lanka go at eight from here, they end up at about 130, nowhere near enough.
8th over: Sri Lanka 37-2 (Perera 13, Mendis K 11) Wood goes around to Perera, who clips his first ball away for one then unloads the suitcase at his second, edging high and behind; Malan chases around the rope to cut off the boundary and the batsmen have to content themselves with another single. So Mendis goes, opening the face to get the first boundary of the over down to wide third man – Wood responds with a brute that beats the outside edge – and a further single follows. By the way, has anyone noticed that Willey resembes both Richard Stilgoe and the Dean of Mean, Keith Jardine?
7th over: Sri Lanka 29-2 (Perera 12, Mendis K 5) Livingstone comes on to hustle down some off-breaks, leggies and who knows what else; his over yields just three singles, and Mark Wood will be on next. If he bowls as well as he did yesterday, this could get even worse for the Lankans.
6th over: Sri Lanka 27-2 (Perera 10, Mendis K 4) But as we alluded to earlier, in T20 all it takes is one person to turn up and everything chances. Meantime, Curran S’s golden arm gets a rest and Jordan replaces him, Perera guiding one to square leg then Mendis forcing to midwicket. Sri Lanka haven’t yet found the fence and badly need to, and here goes Perera, smashing over the top only for the ball to plug; they run two. A single follows, then Mendis misses with a pull – Bairstow appeals but no one else cares – and that’s the end of the powerplay. In over 2000 games, only 15 teams have failed to hit a boundary, which tells you plenty about where Sri Lanka are currently.
5th over: Sri Lanka 21-2 (Perera 6, Mendis K 3) Mendis drives Willey through the covers for two, then spirits one off a length that bounce and nips, far too good for the outside edge – that’s a great globule – and one he backs up with two dots. I hate to say it, but this looks a lot like a mismatch.
4th over: Sri Lanka 15-1 (Perera 6, Mendis K 1) Perersa has a problem: he needs to bat long, but he also needs to get things moving. His last three balls cede just a single, and he now has 1-8 off two, along with the run out.
WICKET Fernando A c Livingstone b Curran 6 (Sri Lanka 18-2)
Curran bangs one in and Fernando follows it, whacking high to the fence at deep backward square, where Livingstone takes a decent catch, on his haunches. Sri Lanka are in trouble, already and again.
4th over: Sri Lanka 18-1 (Fernando A 46 Perera 6) Perera pulls a short one for a single, then Curran goes around to Fernando who turns him around the corner for two.