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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 December 2007, 11:53 GMT
Second Test day one as it happened
Second Test, Colombo (day one, close):
Sri Lanka v England 258-5 (87 overs)

Lasith Malinga struck twice in two deliveries with the second new ball as England closed day one of the second Test against Sri Lanka on 258-5.

Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook put on 133 in 39 overs, an England record for the first wicket against Sri Lanka.

Vaughan hit 12 fours in a fluent 87 but wickets fell in consecutive overs, Kevin Pietersen given out for one when the ball seemed to have been grounded.

Cook made a battling 81 from 234 balls before he was unfortunate to fall lbw.


By Mark Mitchener


1149: That's it from me today - I'll be back bright and early to bring you the second day's proceedings (play starts 0430 GMT). Until then, you can continue the debate on 606 - take care, I'll see you tomorrow.

"If Mathew Hoggard has a bad back and is unfit for today's game. Why is he carrying out 12th man duties and not one of the other squad members?"
Lee, Stourbridge, in the TMS inbox

"Yet again more incompetent umpiring by Daryl Harper. I wonder how long it will take the ICC to realise that he just isn't up to the job and needs to be replaced. We're already having no luck today already, there's no need for any more rubbish decisions"
Kwong, London, in the TMS inbox

Bad light stops play
...and after another consultation of umpires, they're off, with three overs still to be bowled of the planned 90.

1139: Eng 258-5 (87 overs)
Colly and Prior carve five runs between them off Murali's over. Prior reaches double figures, while Colly's two to third man off the final ball takes him to 49 not out. But I don't think they'll be on for much longer...

1136: Eng 253-5 (86 overs)
The Slinger may be off, but the relatively sedate (these days) medium-fast pace of Vaas appears acceptable to the umpires. It's pretty cloudy now, and Prior works Vaas away for two to bring his score to seven. We're now past the official close of play time (1130 GMT, 1700 local time) but are trying to get 90 overs in. The light may prevent that, though. Prior takes a single and takes the strike.

1132: Eng 250-5 (85 overs)
With the light having deteriorated, Jayawardene is forced to remove the Slinger from the attack and introduce some spin... from the leading Test wicket-taker of all time. Out of the frying pan, and all that? Speculation is rife over whether they may be forced to turn to Mubarak's gentle, occasional off-spin from the other end. Colly flicks Murali off his legs and it beats the backward short leg fielder and scuttles away for four. The pair exchange singles, then Colly prods forward, Murali appeals but Daryl Harper explains at length why he turned the appeal down.

1127: Eng 244-5 (84 overs)
Colly takes a single, and Aggers on TMS has spotted some "nasty-looking thundery clouds" on the approach.

Vic Marks
"Daryl Harper never seems to have a quiet game, does he?"
Vic Marks on TMS

1123: Eng 243-5 (83 overs)
England may well regret their decision not to send in a nightwatchman ahead of Bopara, their one remaining specialist batsman, if the Slinger rips another one out here. Malinga has four slips and a gully for new batsman Matt Prior. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, the hat-trick ball is a poor legside delivery from which they run two byes. Prior is off the mark when he punches one off his legs for four off the last ball of the over.

Out for a duck
1118: WICKET - Bopara b Malinga 0 - Eng 237-5 (82.4 overs)
But there's no doubt about this one as Ravi Bopara is comprehensively castled first ball by a perfect yorker from the Slinger - who's on a hat-trick.

Wicket falls
1116: WICKET - Cook lbw b Malinga 81 - Eng 237-4 (82.3 overs)
A well-run three from Colly and a tiring Cook, who's batted all day. Cook is then trapped half-forward by the Slinger - and he's given out by Daryl Harper. TV replays indicate the ball has barely pitched on leg stump - and it looked like it was clearly going down the leg side. Another, ahem, contentious decision!

1114: Eng 234-3 (82 overs)
Cook disappears to the dressing-room, presumably to answer a very urgent call of nature, and play is held up. Matthew Hoggard brings on an orange-coloured drink for Colly, who swigs it back. With his helmet off, Colly's hair is standing on end, giving him the appearance of Tintin's ginger elder brother. Cook returns, all seems well, and Murali's marathon 24-over spell is over as Chaminda Vaas takes up the attack. Cook works him to midwicket and they run a couple. Eight overs still to be bowled tonight.

1108: Eng 232-3 (81 overs)
The second new ball is taken - and the new cherry is handed to the Slinger, but not before umpire Daryl Harper uses what appears to be a Swiss Army Knife or similar device to cut away a stray piece of thread from the Slinger's trousers. After Cook takes a single to leg, Colly tickles away a double - then flashes at one outside off stump and Chamara Silva at third slip just gets his right hand to it, but can't hold on as it streaks away for four.

1101: Eng 223-3 (80 overs)
Just a single to Cook in an otherwise dull over from Murali - the second new ball is available now.

Text in your views on 81111
"Re 1029. Yes Murali does have short legs but isn't that sort of comment a bit heightist? Better than having one leg longer than the other"
Stu, Leeds, via text on 81111
[Short leg is a very common fielding position - he had a forward short leg and a backward short leg - MM]

1059: Eng 222-3 (79 overs)
Cook takes a single to third man, where a wild return throw from the Slinger (who had fielded very well earlier today) would have offered them an overthrow if Cook had been alert to the possibility.

1054: Eng 221-3 (78 overs)
Murali has an lbw shout as Colly sweeps and misses, but it was going down leg. The Durham man then prods forward and it misses the off stump by the proverbial coat of varnish. Another maiden.

1051: Eng 221-3 (77 overs)
Collingwood sweetly cover-drives Fernando to the boundary as dark grey clouds approach. A single brings up the fifty partnership. The scheduled close of play is 1130 GMT, barring any early finish because of rain or bad light.

"The recent discussion is absolutely invaluable as I complete my essay on 'The development of language on the Indian sub-continent'. To make my final point, I could do with some comparative translations of 'a (expletive deleted) joke'. Can anyone assist?"
Alan, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox
[It would probably get me sacked to print the deleted expletive in full. It's an Anglo-Saxon adjective - use your imagination! - MM]

1047: Eng 216-3 (76 overs)
Yet again, there is a delay while someone walks in front of the sightscreens. But Colly cuts loose against Murali, lifting him over mid-on for four. A single brings Cook back on strike, but he's unable to beat Sanga at Reasonably Short Extra Cover. He's then tucked up by a doosra off the last ball of the over.

1044: Eng 211-3 (75 overs)
Simon Hughes on TMS thinks Fernando is trying to "bore" Cook out, with seven men on the off side. Even CMJ agrees that it's "fairly negative stuff" as Fernando completes a maiden.

1040: Eng 211-3 (74 overs)
After beverages and towels are dispensed, Murali resumes the attack. Cook - a man who looks like he really knows where his towel is - takes two but declines a third run because of the outside chance of a run-out by Vaas. He then guides Murali to the deep extra cover boundary and they run three while the lanky Vandort does the fielding.

Simon Hughes
"Alastair Cook hardly ever sweats - and Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf are the same"
Simon Hughes, "The Analyst", on TMS

1034: Eng 206-3 (73 overs)
The drinks trolley, whose attendant is being assisted by England's 12th man Graeme Swann, is desperate to come on, but first we'll have an over from Dilhara Fernando - the Slinger is off after just two overs. Just one single from Cook comes off the over and Swanny (carrying a towel) and Drinks Trolley Chap are welcomed onto the outfield.

"Jayawardene is a Sinhalese name and the Sinhala language has similarities with the North Indian languages of Bengali and Hindi and its roots in Parsi and Sanskrit. The Tamil language has a slightly different course, being part of the Dravidian language group of South India that was not so affected by the Aryan spread. The reason that there are so many names in the Sri Lankan cricket team with so many different roots reflects the diversity of ancient cultures (Sinhalese, Tamil), the spread of the Muslim faith (largely through Arab traders and North Indian/Pakistan merchants) and the arrival of the Europeans (Dutch, Portuguese and English)"
Phil Harrison in the TMS inbox

"Re: Dahanayake's contribution on sub-continent language development, can I nominate this for most directly helpful, concise but instructive email on TMS live text commentary, ever. Thank you, Dahanayake. Mark, would you arrange a prize of some kind, please?
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox [I think we've covered this topic quite fully now. Unfortunately, no prizes of any sort are possible at the moment - because of the fall-out from the Blue Peter "fake cat name" scandal - MM]

1029: Eng 205-3 (72 overs)
Murali has two short legs, a silly point and a short midwicket against Colly. As an interloper walks behind the bowler's arm, Colly (possibly unsighted) sees the ball pitch outside leg stump so lets it hit him. Colly scoop-sweeps for four to take his score to 19, then pulls away when the same bloke, in blissful ignorance, walks behind the bowler's arm in front of the sightscreens.

1026: Eng 201-3 (71 overs)
Police pursue the streaker, who has melted back into the crowd, and eventually catch him. He is forcibly led away in handcuffs. "What a plonker", says Angus Fraser on TMS. Back on the pitch, Cook defends sternly against Malinga, before square-driving a single to Fernando at deep point. Colly then guides one to the midwicket boundary for a scampered three which brings up England's 200.

"Referring to Paul from Lancashire, there is a word in Tamil, Jeyam, also meaning victory. My explanation is that since most of the Indian languages are derived from Sanskrit some words have thus been passed over to neighbouring Sri Lankan Sinhalese as well. If anyone has a more correct explanation, please feel free to contradict"
Pratheepan Paramanathan, from Dubai, in the TMS inbox

"There is no transference involved here, as Jayawardane is a pure Sinhalase name. According to Wikipedia, Sinhala belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. There are many references to the Aryans in the Sinhala culture ("Arya-Sinhala" etc,). Also, the origin of the Sinhala culture is in North India. AFAIK, the Sinhala people came to Sri Lanka from Orissa, which is in North East India. As for Tamil, it is pure Indo-Dravidian language and the origin is in South India"
Supun, London, in the TMS inbox

1022: Eng 197-3 (70 overs)
Murali is in the 19th over of a marathon spell (and his 27th overall), and Cook takes a single before play is briefly held up by a streaker (no pictures or streaker graphics I'm afraid). When we resume, a becalmed Colly sees off the rest of the over.

1017: Eng 196-3 (69 overs)
Those stretching exercises were not in vain - the Slinger returns to the attack as Vaas's eight-over spell ends. Colly fences at one outside off-stump and it flies high over the solitary slip for four.

"Concerning Paul in Lancs' subcontinent language development question, Dravidian people and northern Indian people actually came to the subcontinent from Africa in two different migrations. The Dravidians migrated along a coastal route and settled in the southern regions of the subcontinent whilst tribes in northern India were people who initially migrated north from Africa (to regions around modern Iran) and later spread to northern Pakistan and India. The Sinhalese people have a language similar to northern Indians because the Sinhalese are decendents of a northern Indian tribe who sailed south and settled in the island"
Dahanayake in the TMS inbox

1013: Eng 192-3 (68 overs)
The Slinger, whose fielding has been quite superb today, does some stretching exercises in the deep as Murali polishes the ball and runs in to Colly, who takes a single off the first ball. Cook strides forward to defend the rest of the over 12 overs until Sri Lanka can take the second new ball.

"Quite clearly, England have set out to prove the old cricket adage of 'add two wickets to that score and then see if it looks good'. You also get the feeling, surely, that some tours are not going to be your tour"
James, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox

1010: Eng 191-3 (67 overs)
12th man Graeme Swann brings on a quick drink and a towel for Cook between overs. He gives his hair a quick towel down, and Cook eventually guides a slightly loose delivery along the ground towards cow corner for four to take his score to 68.

"Hmm, what the great god of cricket gives with one hand (Cooky's innings), he takes away with the other (Bell gone cheaply). We really need a masterful performance from KP now... And as I write that, he's out. Rats!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

1005: Eng 187-3 (66 overs)
Cook takes a single down to deep midwicket off Murali, and then Colly guides one past Jayawardene at leg slip as they run two. Colly also tries to sweep a wild one outside leg stump but misses the ball completely.

1002: Eng 184-3 (65 overs)
Vaas sends down a no-ball to Cook but he is unable to work it away. A very impressive group of girl dancers in dark purple T-shirts and white skirts are performing a dance routine in front of one of the stands. Cook then guides Vaas through the covers but once more, the Slinger enters "Boundary Fox" mode and uses his feet to restrict the Essex man to three runs rather than a boundary four.

"Aggers talking about Simon Hughes' hypothetical toupee flying off in the high winds at Colombo (see below 0859-0903) reminds me that whenever I see his profile picture on TMS or his BBC blog, I can't help but picture him with a giant Afro hairdo!"
HNS (Yes, in the TMS Inbox... I do know my place...!)

0957: Eng 180-3 (64 overs)
Murali begins a new over to Colly, bowling round the wicket. He patiently sees off the first few balls before handsomely cover-driving the final delivery for four.

0954: Eng 176-3 (63 overs)
Colly flicks Vaas through midwicket and the Slinger's sharp fielding restricts him to a single. England need to put the KP business behind them, however unfair they may feel it was, if they are to rebuild their innings.

0950: Eng 175-3 (62 overs)
The TV replays continue - and none of them are particularly conclusive. Front-on, it looks like Silva grounds the ball. But from behind, it looks like he doesn't. Cook pulls Murali for four to square leg to get the scoreboard moving again.

0946: Eng 171-3 (61 overs)
New batsman Paul Collingwood sees off the rest of the over, while the controversy over the Pietersen dismissal continues as the catch is replayed from umpteen angles. KP is taking his pads off on the balcony, and you don't need to be an expert lip-reader to see he regarded the dismissal as "a (expletive deleted) joke".

Wicket falls
0944: WICKET - Pietersen c Sangakkara b Vaas 1 - Eng 171-3 (60.3 overs)
Another alert piece of fielding as KP nicks Vaas towards the slips, second slip Chamara Silva dives to his left and takes it in his left hand, but the ball slips out of his hand as he tumbles over and first slip Kumar Sangakkara completes the catch. KP doesn't think he's out but the two umpires confer - and without calling for advice from the third umpire, he's given out by Daryl Harper. KP's not happy - especially when the initial TV replays indicate that Silva may have grounded the ball at his first attempt to catch it. But the umpire's decision is final, and KP's off.

"The 'Jaya' part of Jayawardene means victory, obviously with the same root as 'Joi'/'Jai' in Northern Indian languages like Bengali and Hindi (as in 'Jai Hinid', 'Joi Bangla'). Is it's Sunday morning in Lancashire, a time for reflection over coffee, could anyone experienced in matter of language development give me a quick outline of how this transference between the Indo-European lanaugages of the north of the sub continent, and the seemingly very different Dravidian ones of the South (eg Tamil) came about? I'd be most grateful"
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

0940: Eng 171-2 (60 overs)
New batsman Kevin Pietersen plays forward to his first ball before getting off the mark with a single to leg as CMJ notices a growing number of jackdaws flying around the TMS commentary box. Cook works Murali into a large gap on the on side but they can only take two.

Wicket falls
0936: WICKET - Bell c Mubarak c Muralitharan 15 - Eng 168-2 (59.2 overs)
Bell gets a big inside edge onto his pad, it spins up into the air and Mubarak at short leg takes a superb diving catch. Bell walks - now that WAS a great catch. Another victim for Murali - and while it will read identically in the scorebook to Vaughan's fluke dismissal, this was a very smart piece of fielding.

0935: Eng 168-1 (59 overs)
Cook leaves the first couple from Vaas, who has a slip and four men saving one on the on side. Just a no-ball is added to the score.

Vic Marks
"England lost a bit of momentum with the departure of Michael Vaughan, but they'd have settled for 167-1 at tea"
Vic Marks on TMS

0931: It's eyes down for the final session. Vaas to resume.

Jonathan Agnew
"We've been playing a game in the commentary area called 'Hide Duncan Fletcher's book' as Ian Botham is next door and he might thump someone if he sees them with it"
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

"SL might miss Jayasuriya bowling today with Fernando looking off colour, how well does Mubarak bowl?"
Winduptom on 606

"To Mark Smith of Newmarket. What contrasting lives we lead, I too got up early to watch the fight, then got stuck into the cricket and am now embarking on an 0815 - 1800 shift at work. Enjoy your bacon sandwich, tea, kip and eventual sunday roast... I'm very jealous!"
Robert Court in the TMS inbox

"Why did Simon Hughes wear odd boots? You can't keep us in suspense like that!"
Alison, in Ghana, in the TMS inbox
[While other Middlesex bowlers like TMS colleague Angus Fraser would buy custom-made boots, Hughes would make do with ones that happened to fit, and would wear them until they wore out. He once walked off after an end-of-season game and threw his battered boots in a bin, walking off the pitch bare-footed - MM]


0910: Eng 167-1 (58 overs)
This could be the last over before tea - and it's Murali wheeling away to Ian Bell, who confidently defends his stumps. There's a chase to fine leg for Jayawardene but umpire Aleem Dar rules that Bell made no attempt to play a shot, so the batsmen are called back. A fairly unthreatening maiden over, and that's tea.

"I watched the fight early this morning, switched to the cricket, and with my daughter just moved into a new house and my wife round there helping decorate and my son off to work, I can make a bacon sandwich, a big mug of tea and finish watching the Test in total peace before a nice kip and a late Sunday roast... does it get any better than this?"
Mark Smith, Newmarket, in the TMS inbox

0907: Eng 167-1 (57 overs)
Bell tries to square-drive Vaas but doesn't time it and the ball trickles away safely. He eventually takes a single to backward point - but in a far more interesting discussion than the cricket, Simon Hughes on TMS wonders how much curry you could make out of a wild boar.

0903: Eng 166-1 (56 overs)
Cook takes two to leg off Murali, before being completely bamboozled by the doosra. A single then takes his score to 54, and a swept single allows Bell to take the strike. Remember, if you're just going out and you're off on your travels, you can keep track of all the action on BBC Sport via your mobile or PDA.

Simon Hughes
Jonathan Agnew
"If you had worn a toupee today, it would have blown off by now, Simon"
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew expresses his opinion on the high winds in Colombo to summariser Simon Hughes

0859: Eng 162-1 (55 overs)
We're about 15 minutes away from tea - and during the tea interval, Aggers will be talking to David Graveney (England chairman of selectors, subject to job change) on TMS. Umpire Daryl Harper inspects the ball again, but is seemingly content as he throws it back to bowler Vaas. Bell turns one off his legs, but another smart piece of "Boundary Fox" fielding by the Slinger restricts them to two runs.

0855: Eng 160-1 (54 overs)
Murali slants one in which beats Cook's outside edge. A maiden is completed, and the scoring rate has slowed so much that two spectators on the grass, not too far behind the advertising boards on the boundary, have begun a game of cards.

Dog on the pitch
"Rabies is endemic in Sri Lanka. No wonder the ground staff won't go near that dog"
Edin1984 on 606

0852: Eng 160-1 (53 overs)
Simon Hughes on TMS reveals that he used to wear "odd" boots (often one of his and one of Middlesex team-mate Clive Radley's), while there's a change of bowling as Vaas returns in place of Fernando. Cook takes a single - how much will Sri Lanka regret dropping him in single figures earlier today? Bell then runs two to take his score into double figures.

That's 50
0847: Eng 157-1 (52 overs)
Cook thinks he's reached his fifty as he looks to guide one down past slip to third man and they run two - but it's signalled as byes. Then, he does really reach his seventh Test half-century, off 139 balls, with a single.

0843: Eng 154-1 (51 overs)
Cook guides Fernando just past gully for a single to take his score to 49. Bell leans into a classy drive, and they trot back for two.

Text in your views on 81111
"I'm in Las Vegas at the moment getting funny looks because I'm the only Englishman who didn't watch the fight but I'm now trying to find a TV with the cricket on. Am I odd?"
Paul in a jam on The Strip, via text on 81111

0839: Eng 151-1 (50 overs)
Cook chops Murali through the off side but again finds the cover boundary sweeper and they take a single. Murali bowls from wide of the crease against Bell, but he guides a single into the covers to bring up England's 150. Cook guides one off his legs for another single, while the Barmy Army trumpeter runs through some Christmas carols.

"For Mr Ditchburn, move here by all means but I warn you that you will have to learn to talk about basketball in a vaguely interested way. Not mastered it myself. But then Turks do not understand cricket"
OSJ, Ankara, in the TMS inbox

0836: Eng 148-1 (49 overs)
Fernando begins a new over to Bell, with a slip and a gully in place, but Bell is happy to shoulder arms to one just outside off-stump. On the England balcony Kevin Pietersen, who is next man in, does a number of stretching exercises. Bell off-drives straight to Tharanga at cover, and it's a maiden for Fernando. The scoring rate has really slowed here.

"Nice to see England doing so well. Shame about Vaughan not getting a hundred because he richly deserved one. Hope it is nice there because the weather here in South Wales is dreadful. Wish I was there watching the cricket because of it"
Richard, South Wales, in the TMS inbox

Get involved on 606
"Vaughan played brilliantly today. However I think we need someone to make a big 100 because if we have too many 60s or 70s they will dry up and become 20s and 30s and we may collapse again"
NathanEldersNo1 on 606

0831: Eng 148-1 (48 overs)
"Come on boys, come on" says chirpy wicket-keeper (is there any other sort?) Prasanna Jayawardene. He continues chirping away as Bell defends competently against Murali, who is bowling over the wicket at this stage. He sweeps the Kandy man and is rewarded with a single, before play is held up while he reties a bootlace.

0828: Eng 147-1 (47 overs)
Cook drives uppishly against Fernando but straight to a fielder. He then gets one to swing away from Cook's outside edge - it just leaves him and goes through to the keeper but umpire Daryl Harper is unmoved by the appeal. Cook then breaks the impasse with a jogged two down to Mubarak at deep cover.

Dog on the pitch
0824: Eng 145-1 (46 overs)
Murali has an lbw appeal turned down against Cook, and as often happens in Sri Lanka, we have a dog on the pitch - a different dog from the First Test (and the ODIs), and this one is tan-coloured with a lighter underbelly. The game continues while the dog trots around the outfield before going off, completely ignored by the ground staff.

0820: Eng 144-1 (45 overs)
Cook can't get Fernando away as he tries to play an attempted yorker, stubs it into the ground and it bounces just over the stumps. He tries a cover drive, which is a better shot but only finds the cover sweeper and they run one. Bell edges through the vacant area of third slip for his first boundary. The eccentric Colombo scoreboard (see 0616) displays England's batsmen's names including "Collinwood" and "Hamison".

Get involved on 606
"That dismissal of Vaughan will be on 'A Question of Sport' in 'What Happened Next?' soon"
Sisterkaren on 606

0815: Eng 139-1 (44 overs)
Murali has no fewer than four close fielders for new batsman Bell, who appears to be using his feet well at this stage. He sees off a maiden against the Kandy man, including a doosra or two.

"Just woke up, has the pitch been prepared to ensure that Sri Lanka cannot get bowled out twice? By the way, OSJ in Ankara, could you email me about living in Turkey, my wife and I are thinking of moving there to retire"
Steve Ditchburn, in a cold and wet London, in the TMS inbox

0810: Eng 139-1 (43 overs)
Fernando charges in, "grunting like Monica Seles" according to Aggers on TMS, Cook slices one through point towards the singing Barmy Army and it just evades the fielder as it crosses the rope for four. Matthew Hoggard assists the drinks trolley operative as drinks are taken.

0805: Eng 135-1 (42 overs)
While a Barmy Army member shows off his juggling skills with some oranges in the stand, Murali gets one to spin sharply at Bell as it flies off his pad to short leg. The fielders appeal but umpire Aleem Dar isn't even vaguely interested. A maiden.

For those of you who may be interested in what else is happening in world cricket, India (and Sourav Ganguly in particular) are continuing to take Pakistan to the cleaners in Bangalore, while the Zimbabwe-West Indies ODI has been delayed because of rain in Bulawayo. Check out the latest scores on the BBC Sport website.

0802: Eng 135-1 (41 overs)
Fernando replaces the Slinger - Sri Lanka aren't happy about the condition of the ball, but umpire Harper has a quick look and throws it back to them. Cook takes a single and Bell cover-drives and they run one as he gets off the mark. Aggers on TMS reveals how his driver went the wrong way around a roundabout yesterday, causing a brief moment of panic as a bus headed towards them.

"Oops - sorry everyone. I've been reading the commentary while listening to music (and occasionally working) then decided to turn on the commentary to hear Vaughan get his century - just in time to hear Agnew describing how the ball had stuck between the fielder's legs..."
Martin Cluderay in Swaledale, in the TMS inbox

0758: Eng 133-1 (40 overs)
As Aggers and Vic Marks on TMS wonder whether the England captain may throw down his bat as he returns to the dressing-room, Cook is joined by Ian Bell and there is plenty of chat from keeper Jayawardene junior as three close fielders surround the new batsmen. Bell survives - but Muralitharan has made the breakthrough, however fortuitously.

Wicket falls
0753: WICKET - Vaughan c Mubarak b Muralitharan 87 - Eng 133-1 (39.2 overs)
A loose delivery from Murali is cracked through the covers by Vaughan for his 12th four. But the England skipper then departs when he aims a full-blooded shot to leg and it lodges between forward short leg Jehan Mubarak's thighs when it looked like it was heading for four. Astonishingly, Mubarak completes the "catch" without either of his hands, eventually retrieving the ball from between his thighs. Vaughan can't believe his luck. But he has to go.

0752: Eng 129-0 (39 overs)
Another no-ball from the Slinger - his third of the innings. Vaughan then gloriously cover-drives for four. (I was only joking about the apple crumble, skip). The Slinger tries a slower ball, which flies out of his hand and sails through as a head-high beamer. Vaughan has a bemused grin on his face as Malinga holds out a hand in apology. As a head-high full toss, that's another no-ball. Vaughan works a single to leg to take his score to 83.

"Just woke up to a lovely morning in Turkey and England have not lost a wicket. Maybe I am still dreaming"
OSJ, Ankara, in the TMS inbox

0746: Eng 122-0 (38 overs)
Captain Mahela Jayawardene trots down the track to have a word with his talisman, who's been wicketless this morning, and he tosses an inviting off-spinner up to Cook, who stoutly defends. But Cook tries to defend the next ball and it flies off an edge for four past gully. This is now England's best first-wicket partnership against Sri Lanka.

0743: Eng 118-0 (37 overs)
Cook turns a single to deep backward square leg off the Slinger, who then fires in a yorker which Vaughan digs out. He ducks a bouncer off the final ball of the over. Vaughan has only scored three runs since lunch - should he have turned down that second portion of apple crumble?

Simon Hughes
"England have kept rotating the strike against Murali - he's bowled 10 overs now but not bowled any maidens, so he's not been allowed to build up the pressure on any one batsman. But England have got to be positive, as they've got to give their bowlers enough time to take 20 wickets in the match"
Simon Hughes, "The Analyst", on TMS

0739: Eng 117-0 (36 overs)
Cook tickles a single to the extra cover boundary off Murali, and Vaughan safely sees off the rest of the over.

0736: Eng 116-0 (35 overs)
Vaughan guides the Slinger through midwicket for a couple, and the England skipper then lofts a drive over the bowler's head but there's no run. Malinga then slings a bouncer down the leg side which evades diving keeper Jayawardene junior and sails away for four byes.

Get involved on 606
"Am I the only person who thinks this Test will be a long draw? England score 500 or 600, SL do the same. Maybe not... MV might score 300. AC 200 and SH take 7-12, now I am dreaming"
Mshypz on 606

0731: Eng 110-0 (34 overs)
A change of bowling as Muralitharan returns for his third spell of the day. Vaughan steers his first ball between forward short leg and short fine leg for a single. Cook cuts sharply where Sangakkara makes a smart stop at Reasonably Short Extra Cover.

0727: Eng 109-0 (33 overs)
Cook - "a born opening batsman with something of the John Edrich in him", says CMJ on TMS - pushes the Slinger away for a double. He then rolls his wrists to smash a four through midwicket (off a no-ball for good measure) to take his score to 29. They run another two to round off the over.

0723: Eng 100-0 (32 overs)
Cook drives Vaas past the silly mid-on fielder and they run a quick single off the last ball of the over to bring up England's hundred - the first England century opening stand for 15 Tests, since Strauss and Trescothick against Pakistan at Headingley in 2006.

Simon Hughes
"Prasanna Jayawardene has excelled with the gloves so far in this series - he's a natural gloveman. And I shook Sangakkara's hand the other day and it nearly cracked a couple of knuckles - he has wrists that could crumble granite. Jayasuriya is another one with big forearms and strong wrists"
Former Middlesex and Durham seamer Simon Hughes, aka "The Analyst", on TMS

0719: Eng 99-0 (31 overs)
Captain Mahela Jayawardene decides it's time for another burst from the Slinger. He has two orthodox slips and a fourth slip against Cook, who declines the invitation to hook as umpire Harper signals a no-ball. A forward prod by Cook looks destined to go for four until the burly Fernando makes a good diving stop at mid-off. Then Malinga slings in another short ball and Cook does hook this time, all along the ground for a single to square leg. Vaughan misses a legside full toss from the Slinger and keeper Jayawardene junior makes a good tumbling stop.

0713: Eng 97-0 (30 overs)
Vaas is bowling to a well-protected off-side field against Vaughan, which includes a slip and a Reasonably Short Extra Cover. The sky is overcast now, but conditions are still fairly warm as Vaughan drives safely into the off side. A well-controlled maiden over.

0709: We're back - Vaas to continue for his 11th over.

0708: Here's a full list of the England fathers-and-sons from Martyn Jepson in the TMS inbox:

"Jeff and Simon Jones
Alan and Mark Butcher
Colin and Chris Cowdrey
Joe Hardstaff and his son Joe
Len and Richard Hutton
Frank and George Mann
Jim Parks and his son Jim
Arnie and Ryan Sidebottom
Mickey and Alec Stewart
Fred and Maurice Tate
Charlie and David Townsend
and of course the Broads!"

"Regarding the father-son pairing to have played for England, would not the Sidebottoms be 10th, with Jeff and Simon Jones being the 11th pairing?"
Spaceman in the TMS inbox

"From an Pom living in Australia - I'm quite enjoying this start to the 2nd Test, won't be holding my breath though! (Enjoyed the boxing as well, apart from the result!) Most of the news down here over the past week has been focused around Shane Warne's record being undisputedly more impressive than Murali's... opinions?"
Tom Rice in the TMS inbox [I think we covered a lot of that ground on the day he broke the record - MM]

"Midnight + 10 in Dallas, Texas, great start for England. Always thought that Vaughan chap was a class player. Tempting fate again? Prove us all wrong Vaughany"
Stuart Fleming in the TMS inbox

"Would you say the 0627 toga party was inspired more by alcohol, or the intently soporific nature of Cook's innings? Has he been taking lessons from Geoff Boycott or Chris Tavare?"
'Sleepless in South Lancashire' in the TMS inbox

"Vaughan's on the wrong continent. He hits harder than Hatton"
Greg Slater in the TMS inbox

0633: That's the first session of the day - I recommend some refreshment, but I'll be back soon. The lunchtime discussions continue on TMS.


0630: Eng 97-0 (29 overs)
Should be the last over before lunch. Cook prods forward to Murali, and Vaughan has to turn sharply to regain his ground at the bowler's end. The opening pair take a single each, and Cook plays a textbook forward defensive to round off the session. That's lunch, with Vaughan 75 not out - a great morning for England. But rest assured, no chickens are being counted here by me - remember how Sri Lanka were 42-5 at a similar time last week.

0627: Eng 95-0 (28 overs)
Vaughan clips Vaas off his pads and the ball slowly trickles to the boundary - only just making it to the rope. The four is signalled by the umpire, as well as a group of laurel-wreath-wearing England supporters who appear to be holding a toga party behind the boundary rope.

0623: Eng 91-0 (27 overs)
A rapid over from Murali brings just a single to Vaughan - not long until lunch now. Looking to build on his attempted commentator's curse from the 21st over, Mr Lillywhite doesn't think Murali's even turning it much today...

Monty Panesar
0620: Eng 90-0 (26 overs)
Vaughan is solid in defence against Vaas, before glancing a single off his pads. Mention of the Montster in the last over reminds me that someone showed me his official website the other day - which very kindly reproduces our own text commentaries in the "Latest News" section, along with some other news stories. It also allows you to read all about Monty and send him your photos.

0616: Eng 89-0 (25 overs)
Simon Hughes on TMS notes that Sanath Jayasuriya's retirement from Tests has not only deprived them of an experienced opener, but also their regular fifth bowling option with his his slow left-arm spin. Cook and Vaughan take a single each off Murali, while Aggers mentions that the eccentric Colombo scorecard has had Broad at number five, Cook at seven, the Montster at 10 and reserve keeper Phil Mustard in the team at number nine for most of the morning until he was finally removed.

0613: Eng 87-0 (24 overs)
Vaughan nonchanantly works Vaas off his legs for four through midwicket, which Simon Hughes on TMS describes as "Viv Richards-esque", while summariser Angus Fraser thinks there will be a lot of runs in this pitch. Simon adds that Stuart and Chris Broad have become the 12th father-son pair to have played for England - the 11th being Ryan and Arnie Sidebottom. Others include the Cowdreys, Stewarts and Butchers. Vaughan is happy to see off the rest of the over.

0609: Eng 83-0 (23 overs)
Murali comes back on, replacing Fernando, but Cook viciously clubs a long-hop back towards cow corner for four. Murali's response is to bowl round the wicket, but Cook's response to that is to give himself room to square-drive for four off the back foot. Another back-foot push brings two runs to midwicket. That's 10 off the over.

Text in your views on 81111
"Shame about the boxing, now about the cricket. It's looking good early on, but then it was the same last week..."
Warren in a pub in Tooting, via text on 81111

0605: Eng 73-0 (22 overs)
Vaughan takes a fresh guard against Vaas, and he uses his feet well to work the veteran away for two to leg. Some poor fielding from Fernando at mid-off brings another four to the England skipper as Fernando, who's had a poor morning with the ball, lets one straight through his legs like a ninny. (I drum my fingers on the desk and mutter the words "long barrier" under my breath).

"Good evening again from a WET Auckland, between your text coverage and Alex Trickett's in Las Vegas the refresh button's taken a hammering, similar to poor Ricky! Hope Strauss is bringing his 'Winter' woollens for his spell with Northern Districts! He'll be a 'shoe-in' for the tour here, wait and see. Great work as ever"
Lez and Lou Morgan, Auckland NZ, in the TMS inbox
[Alex Trickett's not in Vegas, he's at the other end of the office from me! MM]

0600: Eng 67-0 (21 overs)
Fernando is kept on, despite having conceded three fours to Vaughan in the last over. He's a little tighter this time around. Vaughan takes a two and a single, while Cook is beaten outside his off-stump. My BBC colleague Jamie Lillywhite, who is my "wing-man" on match report duties today, outrageously tempts fate by saying "I can't believe we could get to lunch without losing a wicket" - if that's not a commentator's curse, with half-an-hour until lunch, I don't know what is.

"Hi Mark. It's getting on to midnight here in Wisconsin. The silence stretches into the night as the snow falls, quiet and gentle. It feels like an affront to all of nature that two grown men have been cutting each other up a a few hours from here. Mercifully, cricket is a genteel sport..."
Miriam in the TMS inbox

0556: Eng 64-0 (20 overs)
Vaas replaces Murali at the press box end - the Kandy man is off after four overs, might he be changing ends? The field is still quite tight for Cook, including a man at the position I like to call Reasonably Short Extra Cover. He is content to defend against Vaas in the battle of the lefties - a maiden over.

That's 50
0552: Eng 64-0 (19 overs)
Fernando sends down a loosener which Vaughan despatches with a fierce Robin Smith-style square cut. It can't be overstated how he's dominating this opening stand - he now has 46 out of 56. Another short ball is hooked by the England skipper to a very fine, fine leg - and that's his fifty. An emphatic innings so far. The next ball is even worse, a rank long-hop which Vaughan pulls for his third four of the over. Is it too late to get him onto the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year if he gets a big score today?

0548: Eng 52-0 (18 overs)
CMJ abandons his panama hat/headphones combo as his headphones keep slipping off, but he reveals that Murali has 143 Test wickets on this ground, which is more than any other bowler on any one ground. Vaughan carefully guides one through midwicket for another well-run three, which brings up the half-century partnership. CMJ and Vic think nine-tenths of the fans in the ground are from England - which might be a slight worry for the Sri Lankan board.

0545: Eng 49-0 (17 overs)
Fernando continues, and Cook edges one between first slip (Sanga) and second slip (skipper Mahela Jayawardene)! One of them gets a hand to it, and they run a single. It looked like either of them could have taken the catch - but neither did. A big let-off for Cook. Vaughan then gets some chin music from a disguised bouncer, which he weaves away from and keeper Prasanna Jayawardene takes at full stretch above his head. Vaughan tucks one off his legs to the Slinger (still the most active of all 11 fielders) for a single to round off the over.

Get involved on 606
"I have a worrying feeling Cook is going to go out very soon. And unlucky Hatton, you gave it your all"
Bennybez on 606

0540: Eng 47-0 (16 overs)
Vic Marks watches TMS colleague CMJ carefully put on a panama hat, and then put his headphones on top of the panama, while Vaughan calls for a fresh pair of gloves while the drinks are taken. When we resume, Cook takes a single off Murali, while the Slinger is an absolute ball-magnet in the field at the moment, having to make another stop. A tidy over yields just the one run.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins
"I always thought that Mayweather had a good punch on him"
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS

0534: Eng 46-0 (15 overs)
The stands are starting to fill up as Vaughan, who is taking most of the strike and rightly so in this form, swishes outside off-stump against Fernando. The first extra of the innings sees Fernando overstep for a no-ball. Vaughan flicks one off his legs, and the Slinger shows his soccer skills at fine leg by stopping the ball with his foot as they run two. Debutant Stuart Broad, watching from the England balcony in a blue and red England warm-up vest, brushes his hair out of his face. He looks very happy - and so he should be. Another two from Vaughan, and we have a drinks interval.

0529: Eng 41-0 (14 overs)
Murali posts two close catchers for Vaughan, who prods forward and is beaten millimetres outside his outside edge. The Slinger is back on the field, presumably with a fresh pair of trousers. Vaughan punches one through cover, while some excellent relay fielding between Michael Vandort and the Slinger restricts them to three runs. And it's all over for the Hitman - Mayweather has beaten Hatton in Vegas.

Get involved on 606
"I'm cautiously pleased with Vaughan's batting and also England's so far. Keep up the good work!"
Danny Muttley on 606

0526: Eng 38-0 (13 overs)
Vaughan drives a full-length ball from Fernando, which is retrieved just inside the long-on boundary as they run three. Cook finally comes out of his shell when he cover-drives a half-volley for his first boundary, which scatters a number of seagulls from that particular part of the Colombo outfield. Fernando a little expensive so far.

"I'm also in Vancouver, from England, but lacking a television so am relying heavily on the BBC live updates for the cricket and boxing... thanks guys!"
Nick in the TMS inbox

0522: Eng 31-0 (12 overs)
It's a double change in the attack as Murali replaces the Slinger at the press box end. The Slinger has left the field completely, to be replaced by 12th man Malinga Bandara - though Roshan Abeysinghe thinks he may just have gone to change his trousers after that sprawling fielding stop in the last over. Vaughan takes a single, while Radio 4 LW listeners are dragged away, kicking and screaming, for the Shipping Forecast.

"Surely Ricky Hatton's ability with the gloves, combined with his evident liking for trash talk, makes him one of the favourites to be England's wicketkeeper for the New Zealand tour? It certainly wouldn't be the selectors' most eccentric decisions in recent years..."
Ryan in the TMS inbox

0517: Eng 30-0 (11 overs)
First change of bowling - Vaas is replaced by the pacier Dilhara Fernando, while Roshan Abeysinghe takes up the mike in the TMS box. Vaughan leg-glances Fernando's first ball, and the Slinger shows his "Boundary Fox" credentials with a sprawling stop which saves the four and restricts them to two. But there's nothing any of the fielders can do about Fernando's second ball, which Vaughan gloriously cover-drives for four. Shot of the day so far, we reckon, and Vaughan now has 26 out of England's 29 runs. A misfield by Muralitharan at wide mid-on yields a single - Vaughan moves on to 27 out of 30.

0512: Eng 23-0 (10 overs)
Vaughan off-drives against the Slinger but it doesn't pierce the infield. A much better-timed on-drive sees him guide one through midwicket for four. The new ball is still looking nice and shiny - Vaughan resists the temptation to hook and pinches the bowling with a single off his legs.

"Cricket just starting via the net... Hockey on the TV in one room and hatton on the TV in the games room... plenty of beer at hand let's get the evening started... come on the Hitman"
Dave, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in the TMS inbox

0509: Eng 18-0 (9 overs)
Vaas is still bowling to a 7-2 off-side field, but the England skipper dabs one into the off-side for a quick single, Tharanga's throw from cover hits the stumps at the bowler's end but no-one backs up the throw and it shoots away for four overthrows - so Vaughan has scored a "five"!

0504: Eng 13-0 (8 overs)
Malinga slings one towards Cook's leg stump, and he works it off his legs for a single. The first short ball of the day is mis-hooked by Vaughan, and it trickles down to fine leg for a single.

"Lovely day out here in the Persian Gulf, here's hoping that Hatton lasts longer in the ring than Cook does out in the middle... Come on England, let's have some class!"
Martin Bell, Rig Chuck Syring, offshore Qatar, in the TMS inbox

0500: Eng 11-0 (7 overs)
England reach double figures with the first attacking stroke of the morning as Vaughan straight-drives Vaas for four, while non-striker Cook has to jump up out of the way. Simon Hughes on TMS wonders whether a few people have been caught out by the early start - which has been brought forward by half-an-hour for the second and third Tests (0430 GMT rather than 0500 GMT) because we kept going off for bad light in the final half-hour of play during the first Test. Vaas slants one across Vaughan who withdraws his bat at the last minute, and a new addition for the menagerie of wildlife we've seen on the tour - there is a heron on the outfield.

0456: Eng 7-0 (6 overs)
A smattering of England fans are inside the ground, including one Warwickshire fan proudly wearing his Bears shirt. Simon Hughes on TMS notes that Malinga is bowling into a slight breeze but is still slinging it in at quite a pace. The tall Jehan Mubarak has been under the helmet at short leg, but is pushed back a few yards for Cook, who survives a tight maiden over from the Slinger, before glove-pumping with his captain (in the style of Paul Nixon et al).

"If England want to have any chance of winning this series, they must start playing on a much higher level than they have been doing so far. With Murali facing them, their batsmen (especially the top-order) must put in more meaningful contributions so that hopefully the bowlers may just be allowed to finish the rest. While about me I am just off to work (Sunday isn't a weekend here) and will be looking forward to getting sneak previews from time to time"
Ahmed Bashe, Somalia, in the TMS inbox

0452: Eng 7-0 (5 overs)
Vaughan looks slightly more comfortable against Vaas than against the Slinger, but the wily old campaigner is still showing that new-ball bowling isn't all about out-and-out pace. Another maiden for the left-armer. And after all the months of hype, Hatton-Mayweather is finally under way - feel free to check out Alex Trickett's live text coverage (as long as you come back to the cricket straight afterwards...)

0448: Eng 7-0 (4 overs)
Vaughan drives casually at the Slinger but plays and misses as it just misses the outside edge. Use your feet more, Michael. Malinga's shaggy bleach-blond hair looks as long as I can ever remember it. Aggers notes that the crowd is almost silent - a few jet-lagged England supporters only arrived this morning, but he doesn't think there's a huge turn-out from the locals yet. Vaughan takes a single when the ball hits a four-leaved clover and bounces awkwardly in front of Sangakkara at point. Cook digs out his first ball from the Slinger.

0444: Eng 6-0 (3 overs)
Weather report from Aggers - Colombo is hotter and more humid than it was at the first Test and Kandy. There is some low cloud, with the possibility of thunderstorms later. No early thunderstorms for England, though, as Cook plays out a maiden from Vaas.

Text in your views on 81111
"Watching that fight thing, then some fine English batting (I hope) before doing my paper round! The joys of being a 16-year-old sports fan"
Daniel Clarke, via text on 81111

0440: Eng 6-0 (2 overs)
As Tom Jones belts out "God Save the Queen" in preparation for the Hitman's fight, Lasith Malinga takes the second over. He has three slips and a gully in place for Vaughan, who guides a four past the slip cordon - which is then reinforced with a fourth slip. Meanwhille, in keeping with the huge number of local wildlife observed on this tour of Sri Lanka (dogs, snakes, scorpions, bees to name but a few), Aggers recalls watching an enormous tuna fish arriving at the ground yesterday. In a van.

0435: Eng 2-0 (1 over)
Cook, let's not forget, spent more time at the crease in the first Test as a runner for Matthew Hoggard than as a batsman in his own right. Vaas gets some early swing, as Cook plays and misses at the first ball before edging to third man for two. He survives the first over, at least.

0429: Alastair Cook taking first strike against Chaminda Vaas. As they would say in Vegas, let's get ready to rumble!

Vic Marks
"My gut reaction to the team changes is that if the ball starts swinging around corners, England now haven't got the bowlers to do it, apart from Sidebottom"
Former Somerset and England off-spinner Vic Marks on TMS

0425: Aggers and the TMS crew are up and running - you can listen on BBC Radio 4 Long Wave, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website (UK users only).

Text in your views on 81111
Don't forget, we want you to get involved and let us know what you think of the game - e-mail (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" in the subject line - so we can distinguish your texts from all those about the Ricky Hatton fight), or use 606.

"Morning Mark! Just thought I'd let you know that not everyone's so wrapped up in the Hatton fight that they can't keep an eye on the cricket. Admittedly, I'm watching it on the TV, but the Lacy - Manfredo fight's not great and I need to know the team news! Good to see Broad in the team and I'm looking forward to seeing him in a Test. Think we need a bit of raw pace after watching the swingers toil in the second innings last time"
Ian in the TMS inbox

0410: Debutant Stuart Broad reveals that Sir Ian Botham visited the dressing-room earlier today to give him a pep-talk about what it means to play for England. Here are the full teams:

Sri Lanka: Michael Vandort, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Silva, Jehan Mubarak, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan.

England: Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan (capt), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar.

Umpires: Aleem Dar of Pakistan, who stood in the first Test, is on duty again. His shaggy-haired compatriot Asad Rauf is replaced by Daryl Harper of Australia. Gamini Silva is third umpire (TV replays), Rohitha Kottahachchi is fourth umpire (replacement balls etc) and the match referee is New Zealand's Jeff "cousin of Russell" Crowe.

TOSS NEWS: England win the toss and elect to bat first. Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene claims he was thinking about fielding first if he'd won the toss, and he reckons it may have been a "good toss to lose". It's his home ground - he should know all about it. As anticipated, they make one change - with opener Sanath Jayasuriya having retired from Tests, Upul Tharanga takes his place at the top of the order.

0400: As you may have heard, we also have the small matter of the Ricky Hatton-Floyd Mayweather fight going on at the same time this match is starting. If you're interested in this particular dust-up from Vegas, Alex Trickett is currently bringing you all the build-up on the BBC Sport website. (It also includes comments from the legendary Ben Dirs). So - choose between the cricket and the Trickett!

0355: A very good morning - welcome to BBC Sport's live coverage of the second Test, and we start with some England team news.

Pace bowlers Steve Harmison AND Stuart Broad both come into the team - while Matthew Hoggard had already been ruled out by injury, fellow seamer James Anderson has been dropped. Full teams to follow.

England checked by Malinga burst
09 Dec 07 |  England
Vaughan urges technology rethink
09 Dec 07 |  England
Sri Lanka v England photos
09 Dec 07 |  Cricket
England in Sri Lanka 2007
28 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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