Sun, May 29, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Rain delays third day of England, Sri Lanka Test series

AFP and Reuters, CARDIFF

Rain delayed yesterday’s scheduled 11am start of the third day’s play in the first Test between England and Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales.

England were 47 for one in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings 400, a deficit of 353, after captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed shortly before Friday’s close for 20.

Alastair Cook was 24 not out and nightwatchman James Anderson unbeaten on one in England’s first Test since they completed a 3-1 Ashes win in Australia in January.

However, Anderson will not bowl again in the first Test after a scan revealed a minor side strain, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said yesterday.

“Scans have shown James Anderson has a grade one [left] side strain and will not bowl for the rest of the first test match,” an ECB statement said. “He will bat as it poses minimal risk of further damage. His involvement in the second Test will be determined following assessment after the match.”

Anderson, the world’s third-ranked bowler, was England’s best performer in Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 400 on Friday when he claimed three for 66 from 28 overs, including the key wickets of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera — who all average over 50 in Tests.

However, he received treatment that day and was able to bowl just one over after tea. England closed on 47 for one in their first innings on the second day.

His injury leaves England’s bowling attack light for the remainder of the match with just Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann as regular bowlers. Part-time bowlers Jonathan Trott (6) and Kevin Pietersen (1) shared seven overs in Sri Lanka’s innings.

Anderson, who has 215 victims in 58 Test matches, was a key performer in England’s recent Ashes series win in Australia when he snared 24 Australian wickets.

If Anderson is deemed unfit for the second Test at Lord’s starting on Friday, the contenders for his place include Steven Finn, Ajmal Shahzad and fit-again Graham Onions.

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