Mon, May 30, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Cook and Trott back in the groove as Sri Lanka toil in Cardiff

Reuters, CARDIFF

Spectators dressed as smurfs watch the first Test between England and Sri Lanka at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Rain delayed the start of the fourth day of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka yesterday.

England were 287 for two overnight, in reply to Sri Lanka’s 400 all out, with opener Alastair Cook unbeaten on 129 and Jonathan Trott not out on 125.

The match has been badly affected by inclement weather in Cardiff. Only 48 overs were possible on the first day and the morning session was washed out on the third day.

Cook and Trott were once again tormenting the opposition as they shared an unbroken 240-run partnership to frustrate Sri Lanka.

The duo dragged England back into the match on a placid batting surface with their fluid stroke-play.

Nightwatchman James Anderson (1) was the only wicket to fall in the day, but thereafter Cook, with his fifth century in eight Tests, and Trott dominated a day that was occasionally entertaining and turgid at other times.

They continued their prolific form from the recent Ashes series when Cook plundered 766 runs at an average of 127.66 and Trott racked up 445 at 89. There, they also they put on 329 together in Brisbane.

Conditions in Wales were much different to Brisbane, with the sky murkier and the pitch slower, but the batsmen displayed the same determined mindset to bring England back from adversity.

Tailender Anderson, diagnosed with a side strain that will prevent him from bowling any further in the match, was caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene off Ajantha Mendis attempting an ugly slog in the third over of the day.

It took England 22 balls to score their first runs in the day, when Cook on-drove Suranga Lakmal through midwicket for two after a misfield. They scored just 30 runs in the first hour, but thereafter the runs came much more easily.

The 100 was raised by an elegant off-drive from Trott which slowed in the damp outfield and brought him three runs.

Later an attempted quick single to extra cover off Farveez Maharoof earned Trott five runs as Lakmal hit the stumps with Trott making his ground and the ball went for four overthrows.

Sri Lanka should have run Trott out when he was on 59 after he scampered through for a quick single to Thisara Perera, but the fielder’s throw from 5m was wide and Trott survived despite being a meter short of his ground.

Cook batted patiently and his scoring rate at one point in the evening session almost ground to a halt, when he also could have been caught at short-leg by Tharanga Paranavitana off Herath, but the fielder could not hold on to a tough chance.

Cook registered his 17th Test ton with a backward cut for four off Lakmal, while Trott raised his sixth Test century and the 200 partnership with a square drive off Lakmal.

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