Monday, 13 June 2016

England 2 Sri Lanka 0

The second test went England's way but Sri Lanka improved despite the cold weather and unfamiliar conditions in Durham.  In fact they were competitive throughout except for a really bad second day when they spilled catches, leaked runs and collapsed to 101 all out.  This followed England's 498-9 which featured 80+ scores from Hales and Root and a fluent 155* from Ali.  Following on SL managed 475 leaving England just 80 runs to score for a nine wicket victory.  Anderson took 8 wickets in the match and Woakes, in for the injured Stokes, bowled well too.

At Lords things followed a similar pattern; England compiled 416 (Cook 85, Bairstow 167*, Woakes 66) and Sri Lanka struggled to say in the game but at least here they were competitive.  It looked like the match would head to a hard fought fifth day win for England but the rain destroyed any chance of that.

It was a very enjoyable series, played in a good spirit but a little one sided.  SL never really looked like winning any of the matches making it relaxing for the addicted English fans.  The Sri Lankan bowlers performed quite well but their batsmen couldn't cope with England's attack in seamer friendly conditions.

England would have expected to win this series against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side and indeed were comfortable throughout but another series has passed and we still don't have a settled side.
Alex Hales done quite well with 80+ scores in each match and will be Cook's opening partner for the rest of this summer at least.  You have to feel sorry for Nick Compton who was discarded far too quickly in 2013 and has been under scrutiny since he came back into the team.  He has been in dreadful form this summer and will have to make way.  James Vince has done nothing of note in these three matches but will probably get another chance against Pakistan.  Root has had a quiet series while Bairstow has been brilliant and deservedly named man of the series.  Moeen Ali made a second test hundred but didn't bowl much and didn't look threatening when he did.  Anderson was back to his brilliant best, Broad and Finn did enough but Chris Woakes impressed with bat and ball as replacement for the injured Ben Stokes.

There will be some ODI stuff for a while now before Pakistan visit for a four test series in a months time.  The selectors will have plenty of bowlers and all rounders to choose from but will be looking for at least one batsman to bring into the side.  Looking forward to the winter tours, we still need a spinner!

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