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Last Updated: Monday, 3 December 2007, 12:08 GMT
First Test day three as it happened
First Test, Kandy (day three, close): Sri Lanka 188 & 167-2 (52 overs) v England 281

Muttiah Muralitharan created history in his hometown of Kandy as Sri Lanka seized the initiative on day three of the first Test against England.

Muralitharan took the one wicket he needed to pass Shane Warne's Test record of 708, and raised the bar to 710 with excellent figures of 6-55.

England rallied to be 281 all out, securing an important 93-run lead.

But Sanath Jayasuriya's ebullient 78 swung the match back Sri Lanka's way as they closed on 167-2, ahead by 74.

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES GMT)

By Mark Mitchener

606: DEBATE

BAD LIGHT STOPPED PLAY - CLOSE

1207: That's it from me today - TMS is back on the air at 0425 GMT tomorrow morning, with play set to recommence at 0430. The debate continues on 606 - but I hope you'll join me bright and early tomorrow morning for Day Four. Thanks for your company, and especially for your e-mails and texts.

1159: If you want to read more on Muralitharan, I can heartily recommend Paul Grunill's feature on the BBC Sport website - "Muralitharan the record-breaker".

1154: Aggers on TMS reveals that it's been announced that Sanath Jayasuriya is retiring from Test cricket. "This is my last Test match - I'll continue to play one-day cricket," the man himself confirms.

Jonathan Agnew
"What a day - it began with England fearing the worst with Collingwood in with the tail-enders, but Sidebottom did well to make 31 and hung around a long time. The moment everyone was waiting for came when Collingwood was bowled by Muralitharan, who finished with 6-55. But since then, it's been Sri Lanka's afternoon"
Jonathan Agnew sums up play on TMS

And a few more cricketers-as-sweets:

"Matt Prior would be the green triangle in a tin of Quality Street - nobody likes it and you wonder why they keep producing it"
Tim Jones, Dublin, in the TMS inbox

"The green triangles are beloved by so many that they started making giant ones that you can buy separately. In that respect they are more like Freddie - widely loved by the people, but often out of its tin"
Rebecca, Cambridge, in the TMS inbox

"Warney must be a yorkie - chunky but a few mouthfuls is all you want. McGrath is a curly-wurly (remember them?) - looks sickly but surprisingly always hits the spot"
Neal, London, in the TMS inbox

"I'd go for Hoggard being a Mars bar, nothing flashy or new, but reliable as hell and always good, Vaughan is a Wispa, fantastic till it went off the radar two years ago, but now enjoying a long-awaited comeback"
Joe Williams, Sheffield, in the TMS inbox

"I can't help wondering what those trappist-monk-truffle-makers were doing in a convent?!"
Paul, London, in the TMS inbox

Bad light stops play
1144: With pace bowler Anderson still on, Sri Lanka's batsmen are offered the light and they take it immediately. England don't look too happy. Presumably if they'd wanted to carry on, Vaughan would have had to put another spinner on (himself?) - but then again, the light might only have lasted another over or two anyway. That's it for the day.

52nd over - SL 167-2
The umpires consult on the light between overs. No sign of a nightwatchman as captain Mahela Jayawardene takes the responsibility of seeing out the last few overs himself. Bopara's off, and the Montster's back. Sanga takes a single, and Vaughan encircles the new batsman with several close fielders.

Wicket falls
51st over - WICKET - Vandort c Bell b Anderson 49 - SL 166-2
Vandort brings up the fifty partnership, by despatching a long-hop from Anderson with the contempt it deserves to the midwicket boundary for four. But Vandort's 143-ball defiance is finally ended on 49 when Anderson finds his outside edge and Bell takes a good catch at first slip, diving to his left as his sunglasses fall off his cap.

"Sidey is one of those liqueur-filled chocolates that you try as a child and find horrible, then years later you try again and wonder how you could have missed out on it for so long. Plus, you have to agree that selectors do seem to lack maturity and foresight sometimes..."
Cam in the TMS inbox

"Murali hits the record and people go back to judging his action. Watching the great man smile for all these years in cricket is almost as pleasurable as watching him take so many wickets. The guy's a hero and a great professional, please bask in his greatness and not bad mouth him on such a great day"
L Cooper, Kandy, Sri Lanka, in the TMS inbox

50th over - SL 162-1
Surprisingly, Prior is standing back to medium-pacer Bopara, but Sanga plays out a maiden over as the light begins to fade, although the umpires haven't consulted yet.

"I'm not witty enough to think of a good cricketer/sweet link, so will go for a generic Pietersen and KP nuts mention, and let more intelligent people take it from there. I'm more interested in Sarah from Canterbury since I've just moved to Canterbury after years of reading her comments on TMS (she is not the sole reason I moved though!)"
Danny, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

49th over - SL 162-1
There are still technically 16 overs to be bowled in the day - but Aggers expects we may struggle to get them all in, as it's half-an-hour until the scheduled close. Vandort steers a single into the covers to take his score to 45, Sanga guides a double through midwicket and runs a quick single to pinch the strike. He has 29 already.

Angus Fraser
"Ryan Sidebottom would make a good monk, as he's quite at ease with life. I can't see him shaving his head, though"
Angus Fraser on TMS

"I'm sure that some 15 minutes ago I heard the trumpeter play the theme tune to 'Last of the Summer Wine'. Is this a popular Sri Lankan number or a subtle attempt to demoralise the England team?"
Mike Terry in the TMS inbox

"If anything, Saj Mahmood is more like a sweet wrapper - rubbish"
Louis, Henley, in the TMS inbox

48th over - SL 158-1
Vandort prods Bopara for a quick single, Prior shies at the stumps and misses but Monty P backs up the throw. That's the only run from a tidy over, while the sprinting Sri Lanka physio makes another cameo appearance.

"The debate between Murali and Warne will long live on but the simple fact of the matter is that we have been lucky to see two legends of the game battle it out to have the world record. Both are equal with the fight and will to succeed at the highest level"
Ste, Widnes, in the TMS inbox [A very valid point - MM]

47th over - SL 157-1
Another double change as Anderson relieves Sidey, while a number of Sri Lanka fans join a conga led by an attractive blonde carrying a SL flag. Prior takes his eye off the ball (literally) for a minute as he fails to stand behind the stumps to collect a Hoggard throw from the outfield, which hands Sanga some overthrows - he scores a "five". Vandort tries to leg-glance and picks up four leg byes. Anderson sinks to his knees with an lbw appeal off the last ball, but they run a single to conclude an expensive over.

"Re the Murali v Warne argument (as to who carries the most merit), one aspect that I've never heard any so-called cricket expert mention is that Warne never had to take any Aussie wickets during a period when they were undoubtedly the most difficult international line-up to bowl out. If he had needed to bowl at Waugh (x2), Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Gilchrist etc, perhaps he wouldn't have reached 708 after all. Does this not count in Murali's favour?"
Steve in Guernsey in the TMS inbox

46th over - SL 146-1
Just as my colleague Oliver Brett, sitting across the desk from me, calls for Bopara to join the attack, Michael Vaughan in Kandy takes the hint and tosses the ball to the Essex man. The Montster takes a rest after a 17-over spell. So far in the match, Bopara is the cricket equivalent of "carbon neutral" as he's contributed eight runs and conceded eight runs off his bowling. Vandort adds a two and a single to his score - he's now on 42. Sanga takes a fresh guard to face the medium-pacer, and defends a good length ball.

45th over - SL 143-1
Sidey is still looking for that crucial breakthrough, but he's not getting much swing at the moment. Prior claps his gloves together in encouragement. Vaughan tweaks the field - we now effectively have a wickie, second slip, fourth slip and a gully for Vandort, who angles the ball past gully's left hand, and they take a single which increases their lead to 50.

"It's taken until the last hour of play to receive the first message of the day from Sarah in Canterbury. Is that a TMS Live Text record? Well done MM"
John, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

44th over - SL 142-1
Sanga is beginning to look his usual fluent self, off-driving the Montster for two fours through the covers. The pair exchange singles, while CMJ notices that a host of crows have made their way onto the outfield as the evening draws in. The lead is now 49.

"Further to the thought-provoking sweets comment from Sarah, surely Harmy would be liquorice allsorts... You're never quite sure what you're going to get!"
Glen in Marlow, via text on 81111
[Is that like Forrest Gump and a box of chocolates? MM]

"I am beginning to miss Strauss now, a regulation catch dropped by the first innings' top scorer"
LysiusJ on 606

[My view on the incident was that a taller player than Bell would have taken the catch. It was a difficult chance, but still a chance, and Bell did get his hands to it. England have now lost their three slips from the 2005 Ashes - Tresco, Freddie and Strauss - MM]

"Sarah is wrong about Sangakkara. If he were not from Sri Lanka, he would be refered to as the world's greatest batsman. As a wicket-keeper his stats were better than Gilchrist, who was regularly touted as 'the greatest ever wicket-keeper/batsman'. Sangakkara has every shot in the book, and always leaves you wanting to come back for more. He scores double-hundreds with extraordinary regularity, and he is also one of the most intellectually rigorous sportsman in the world today, having qualified as a lawyer while performing in the Test team. He is, and I will take no challenge to this, a large box of the finest truffles, hand-prepared by trappist monks in a Belgian convent, with only the finest ingredients, and they really really knew what they were doing. Oh yes"
Tom in the TMS inbox

43rd over - SL 132-1
Sidey yields a single to Vandort, and Sanga works him past full-time sub fielder Swann at midwicket for another single. Another drinks interval, and the drinks-trolley-operator is accompanied on to the field by KP and Steve Harmison.

"Re: Phil Marchant (Murali comment): I rather think the panel judging him would have spotted that, but regardless, sometimes you just have to give a little trust to the man that he does throw fully in training. Picking on the man seems like eternally arguing about things like ball crossing line incidents, LBW decisions etc. Can't we just all rejoice that he's brilliant, or if you're not Sri Lankan, that your best batsman has taken so many runs off him...?"
Phil Monk in the TMS inbox

42nd over - SL 130-1
Sanga works Monty away for two, then has to dash back into his ground when he overbalances while trying to sweep and Prior nearly has him stumped. Vic Marks on TMS wonders whether Vaughan should try something different, and bowl Bopara or even himself (Vaughan) for a couple of overs (given that the other occasional option, KP, is off the field).

41st over - SL 128-1
Vandort fidgets around but plays out an uneventful maiden to Sidey. And as for "cricketers as sweets", what about when you buy a big tin for the Christmas holidays, and then after Christmas all the good sweets are gone, and you have to reluctantly try one from the bottom of the tin that you wouldn't normally pick because you have no real choice? Sajid Mahmood getting picked for the post-Christmas Ashes Tests last winter comes to mind... Am I being harsh?

40th over - SL 128-1
Monty's not getting much luck here - when he does find the edge of Vandort's bat, it falls just short of the fielder at short midwicket. Vandort sweeps and misses and they run a bye, while the pair take a single apiece to round off the over. We're coming up to the final hour of play - will the light last?

"Having just given in to a craving for a walnut whip (lovely!), I have been pondering cricketers and sweets! Monty and space dust are surely kindred spirits because of his effervescent leaping about; Sanga would be a toffee - sticks around and is therefore irritating; and Prior I would liken to a wispa bar - promises much but leaves you with a sense that it should have been better..."
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

39th over - SL 125-1
Hoggy takes a rest after a five-over spell, and Sidey returns for his third stint. Sanga pierces the off-side field with a beautiful back-foot shot through the covers for his first boundary. It's the only scoring stroke from the over, but a shot like that is worth any number of streaky singles to a cricket purist.

"Robert, I'll never argue that he is not a great bowler and a extremely likeable person but maybe people can't accept that whenever the world's best bowler needs to take a few wickets to catch up with Warne, a home Test series against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe always seems to be on the calendar! Although the way England are going, a regular 'Ashes' series against Sri Lanka might have seen him break the record even earlier..."
Howzat from Edinburgh in the TMS inbox

"It is a pity that, as per Max's e-mail [30th over], Ricky's surname is not Pointing as we could then have had hours of fun calling him 'Dissa'."
Martyn, Reigate, in the TMS inbox

38th over - SL 121-1
Sanga prods forward to Monty, then guides one that turns to Bopara at deep square leg for a single. The Barmy Army trumpeter performs an impressive rendition of the "Grandstand" theme tune - which, as a Channel 4 sitcom once pointed out, is uncannily similar to the "Cagney and Lacey" theme tune.

Vic Marks
"Hoggard was dropped after the first Test here in 2001 and was never seen again on that tour - but six years later, he's undoubtedly England's most potent seam bowler"
Vic Marks on TMS

37th over - SL 120-1
An interesting field change as keeper Prior (clad in helmet and sunglasses) stands up to the stumps to Hoggard. This forces Vandort to remain in his crease, but he manages a single, while Sanga plays his most attacking stroke so far - a fierce straight-drive which is cut out for a single at deep mid-off. Remember, deduct 93 for Sri Lanka's lead - they're "net" 27-1.

"Why don't they end the debate by analysing Murali's action DURING a Test match rather than in controlled conditions afterwards? He's hardly likely to be bowling his doosra at full 'revolution' when he knows he's being tested?"
Phil Marchant in the TMS inbox

36th over - SL 118-1
Vandort works Monty away for a single, and Sanga takes a lot of time before settling down against the left-arm spinner. Again, he's carefully playing himself in at this stage.

"Marky Mark, you're doing a solid job but when's Dirs coming back? I miss his panache, his infuriatingly ramblings, his mastery of the simile. He can't still be in France?"
James in the TMS inbox
[You can read plenty from the Dirs over the next week, he's our man in Vegas for the Ricky Hatton fight - MM]

35th over - SL 117-1
It's safety first for Sanga as Hoggy enters his 10th over. He may have hit a very fluent 92 in the first innings, but he defends a maiden over.

34th over - SL 117-1
In comes Kumar Sangakkara, who batted marvellously first time out. He's the non-striker as Vandort guides the Montster to third man for a single. Aggers on TMS notes that 20 or more of the monks from the monastery overlooking the ground are now watching proceedings rather serenely. Sanga is off the mark with a couple of singles as he and Vandort rotate the strike.

"Hoggard is a legend! Now let's go and get two or 3three quick wickets and before we know we could have them at 130-3 or 4!"
T_Toon on 606

Wicket falls
33rd over - WICKET - Jayasuriya lbw b Hoggard 78 - SL 113-1
Hoggy's still bravely soldiering on, and Vandort works him to midwicket for a single. Jayasuriya scampers a quick two, beating Anderson's throw from the boundary. He then pulls away just before Hoggard's delivery stride as the field was moving, so the Yorkshireman has to trudge back and run in again - this time there's a shout for lbw and he's gone! It pitched just on the line of leg stump, so was borderline. But will that be his last Test innings? Watch this space. Remember, SL are "net" 20-1.

32nd over - SL 110-0
Vandort steers Monty away for a two and a single, then Jayasuriya guides him to deep point for three. After Vandort takes a single, Jayasuriya calls for a drink, and the physio comes on to treat him for a sudden bout of cramp. The physio (who impressively sprints on and off whenever he's needed) manipulates Jayasuriya's leg into some unlikely positions, and we can continue.

31st over - SL 103-0
Hoggy looks very unhappy as he raps Jayasuriya on the pad with one that pitched on middle stump and looked pretty straight, but umpire Dar says "not out". It's all going wrong for Hoggy as Jayasuriya lifts him for six over square leg. CMJ reckons this is a record first-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka against England. A press release from MCC announces that it has unveiled a new portrait of Muralitharan.

30th over - SL 97-0
Vandort drives Monty to midwicket, where Anderson falls awkwardly. He looks to be in difficulty for a minute - the seamers are dropping like flies! Physio Kirk Russell comes on to have a look. Jayasuriya cuts Monty through the gully region for four, thus wiping out England's first-innings lead, before pushing a single to take the strike. When my dad taught me the basics of cricket (I was five or six years old) and how two-innings matches worked, he would tell me in this instance to imagine at this stage that Sri Lanka are 4-0 in a one-innings match. I hope it works for you too.

"Why not give the gloves to Nixon? I know he's knocking on a bit but what a great competitor! And he's annoyed the hell out of Ricky Pointing in the past, and that has to be a good thing"
Max from Saltburn in the TMS inbox

29th over - SL 91-0
Hoggy takes up the attack, following that two-over burst from Sidey. He's still grimacing as he walks back to his mark, having hurt his back earlier. Jayasuriya takes a single, as does Vandort, and Hoggy does look in pain here. Simon Hughes on TMS ponders whether it's not just his back, but related to his old knee injury.

"The 'it looks a bit dodgy' argument is worthless. The University of Western Australia, after exhaustive research, decided it was an optical illustion he was throwing. So, however dodgy it looks, it's a trick of the eye. They also discovered it was an optical illusion other bowlers didn't flex their arms. They nearly all do to some extent. Muralitharan has no unfair advantage. The problem seems to be that people can't accept that possibly the greatest bowler ever is a funny-looking little guy from Kandy with a bent arm"
Robert Wright in the TMS inbox

1001: It's eyes down for the final session, and Simon Hughes on TMS has picked up the first day cover issue of Murali's commemorative stamps. His first wicket was Craig McDermott, and his 200th was the late Ben Hollioake.

"I grew up in Kandy, and attended Trinity College, the great rivals of St Anthony's College, which Murali attended. I remember watching 'Big' matches and one days as a student which were played between our schools, and all of us 'disliked' Murali with all the passion of schoolboy rivalry, while being mostly convinced of his future greatness. Being from the rival school, some of us were also doubters of his action, and this doubt lingered... until I saw footage of the tests that he underwent; this is what most people don't understand. Chucking is straightening one's arm during delivery - Murali LOOKS like he straightens his arm, in actual fact, he DOES NOT straighten his arm more than other people who have very conventional actions, such as Glenn McGrath"
Dinesh from Lancaster in the TMS inbox

"Good to see I'm not the only Bottom left in England, Regards to all ex Crown Hills Leicester pupils of the late 60's. Great cricket team thanks to Indian spin bowler Patel"
Simon Bottom of Southampton, in the TMS inbox

TEA INTERVAL

"Regarding the 'Panesar outscored Prior' comment [by Ian from Barcelona in the 4th over], Panesar also outscored Alastair Cook - should he be discarded also? I always thought that a wicketkeeper had an obligation to be the 'cheerleader' of the side? No? If people actually got behind the guy maybe he would put in some quality performances. Lord's wasn't that long ago and everybody was raving about the bloke! Get a grip people!"
AJ, The City of London, in the TMS inbox

28th over - SL 89-0
This will probably be the last over before tea, and the Montster has several close fielders posted for Jayasuriya, who's happy to defend from the crease. A scampered single reduces the deficit to four. Vandort prods at one which hits Cook at short-leg in the midriff but rebounds to safety. That's tea.

27th over - SL 88-0
Jayasuriya takes a single off Sidey - it's been 20 deliveries since his last boundary, when he had that one-over assault on Anderson. Vandort is clearly playing for tea now. And many thanks to Mrs Brett of North London, who's allowed those of us in the office to enjoy the true TMS experience by baking us a cake which her hubby Olly (who's my wing-man today on match report duties) brought in.

26th over - SL 87-0
Seven runs to go - can Sri Lanka wipe off England's first-innings lead before tea? Another heartfelt lbw shout from the Montster, as it hits Jayasuriya on the back of his right thigh, but still no joy for the Northants left-armer. After he takes a single, it's Vandort's turn to be hit on the pad, but it's a less convincing shout than the first appeal. One run from the over, Sri Lanka trail by six.

25th over - SL 86-0
Aggers on TMS laments the fact that he hasn't seen any monkeys in Sri Lanka since the one-day series in Galle, when one of the aforementioned primates was spotted relieving himself into a swimming-pool containing CMJ (who was doing lengths). A change of bowling as left-arm swinger Sidey returns in place of Anderson. Vandort steers him past the slips down to third man for four.

24th over - SL 82-0
Panesar trots in to Vandort, who steers a single to long-on. Aggers spots a cloud in the distance, but there's no chance of rain apparently. Just the one single from the over.

23rd over - SL 81-0
A good stop by Collingwood at backward point restricts Jayasuriya to a single off Anderson when a boundary looked likely. Vandort is playing a good supporting role, having been chosen ahead of Upul Tharanga in the opening berth. He walks out of his crease to leg-glance a single to long leg. Jayasuriya carefully caresses a single to the cover boundary, and Vandort guides one wide of mid-on to rotate the strike again. England's lead is down to 12 runs.

22nd over - SL 77-0
Vandort uses his feet to Panesar, guiding him to long-on for a single. Jayasuriya rolls his wrists to carve a single to midwicket. Monty has 0-16 from his six overs.

"My mate who owes me a tenner has just texted me from Kandy, bragging how warm it is. Could someone who is there spill their pint on him for me please?"
Darren Phillips, Worcester, in the TMS inbox

21st over - SL 75-0
How will Anderson cope after Jayasuriya's fireworks in the last over? Well, Vaughan keeps the Lancastrian on, and even puts Collingwood in at second slip. Jayasuriya chops at one outside off-stump but it bounces before going through to Prior. A maiden, and Jimmy has figures of 5-2-32-0 - and 24 of those runs came off one over!

"This Murali controversy will not go away for me. Looking at his bowling it is clear be it through no fault of his own that his arm is simply not straight and so he can get more spin and pace on the ball by not being restricted by having a straight arm. Try it yourself in the office even"
Andrew Gell, Teddington, in the TMS inbox

20th over - SL 75-0
Vandort tries to reverse-sweep the Montster, the ball skies up in the air and Vaughan takes the catch at slip. England appeal, but umpire Rauf rules that it came off his pad. He pushes Monty away for two, and at the end of the over, Alastair Cook returns to the field and 13th man Owais Shah departs.

That's 50
19th over - SL 73-0
That's more like the Jayasuriya we know - he flays Anderson over extra cover for a second-bounce four. He slashes at the next ball which goes just over Ian Bell at first slip - nothing against Bell, but a taller player might well have caught that. Another four. Jayasuriya then carves one through point for his third successive four. A pull to square leg, and that's four fours in a row! The "Burnley Express" is taking a pounding! The fifth ball is lofted over mid-off - five fours in a row! That's his 31st Test fifty, having begun the over on 31 not out. He then slices the last delivery through the vacant third slip area - six fours! 24 runs off the over - maybe he doesn't feel ready for retirement just yet!

18th over - SL 49-0
Vandort turns Monty away to leg for a single, while Monty then sends one in which pitches just outside off-stump, turns prodigiously and sails past Prior for four byes. Monty then hits Vandort on the pad but it looked like it was missing off-stump. Jayasuriya tickles a single to round off the over.

17th over - SL 43-0
The heroic Sri Lankan broadcaster Roshan Abeysinghe on TMS mentions that you can follow this match, and indeed the series, on bbc.co.uk/cricket - and as well as mentioning the TMS blog and daily podcast, even mentions this text commentary. Mr Abeysinghe, I salute you, sir. Jayasuriya tries to lift the ball over point where Alastair Cook not only misjudges the catch but takes a painful blow in the face. The England physio comes on to give him the once-over, and Cook's going off. As well as 12th man Graeme Swann (on for KP), we now have 13th man Owais Shah on the field and he's despatched to backward point. Confusingly, Shah has already been on since the drinks interval as cover for Sidey, who now returns to the field. As long as they've only got 11 on the field at one time, I think they'll be fine. A maiden for Jimmy.

16th over - SL 43-0
Jayasuriya pushes a single off Monty to take his score to 28. Vandort takes a wild swing and obtains a single as the ball is fielded at deep mid-on. The opening pair exchange a few more singles, looking increasingly comfortable, and reduce the deficit to 50 runs.

Simon Hughes
"When I used to play at Colombo, I'd keep some loose change in my pocket so I could buy chunks of pineapple and eat them on the boundary while I was fielding. The only trouble was that it made your hands sticky, and I think I bowled a few long-hops after that"
Simon Hughes reminisces about his club cricket days in Sri Lanka on TMS

15th over - SL 38-0
Jayasuriya leg-glances a single off Anderson, and Sidey does the fielding, pushing his wild hair out of the way of his wraparound sunglasses. We take a drinks break (well, the players do). And Shane Warne has sent his congratulations to Murali for overtaking his record:

Shane Warne
"Murali's been a wonderful player for a long period of time. He's an excellent competitor and has been great for Sri Lankan cricket. He's a great bloke too. I've been to Sri Lanka to help him after the Tsunami and we now even have a trophy named after the two of us. He'll probably go on and get 1000 now but today I'd just like to say 'well done on the record'."

"Re: Mr Bottom. Why is it that people with mockable surnames are so attracted to the teaching profession?"
Alex, Englefield Green, in the TMS inbox

14th over - SL 37-0
Jayasuriya mistimes a legside hoist which flies just over midwicket's head and goes for four - Monty raises his arms in frustration. He's bowling over the wicket to the two lefties, and Jayasuriya dabs a single to point. Vandort prods forward, England appeal for lbw but umpire Rauf is happy that the batsman was playing a shot so it's not out.

13th over - SL 32-0
It's a double change as the grimacing Hoggy takes a rest and James Anderson takes over. Jayasuriya gets a bottom edge as he tries to hook, but it still runs away to fine leg for four. After he takes a single, Vandort nudges one off his legs, Monty gives chase at long leg and they run back for two.

12th over - SL 25-0
Monty P comes into the attack earlier than he did in the first innings, and his first ball whips straight through past Vandort. He tries to work Monty to leg, but Bell is panther-like at short midwicket, denying him any chance of a single. Vandort pushes forward to the last ball but it falls well short of the helmeted Cook at short leg. A maiden for the Montster.

"It's no debate, no debate at all, Murali may have more wickets but Warney was the best 'bowler' the world has ever seen... and that's coming from an Englishman!"
Howzat from Edinburgh in the TMS inbox

11th over - SL 25-0
Despite that back twinge, Hoggy's all right to continue, and he sends down a maiden over before wiping his sweaty face on his shirt sleeve. But he does grimace for a few seconds after bowling his last delivery.

Simon Hughes
"There are a lot of Sidebottoms in Yorkshire - my niece comes from Huddersfield, and her headmaster is called Mr Bottom"
Simon Hughes on TMS

10th over - SL 25-0
Worryingly, Hoggard is rubbing his back as he retreats to fine leg. A couple of England players and staff are sent around the boundary to check up on him. Jayasuriya square-cuts again and it goes towards Bopara at cover... but it bounces just in front of him. Sidey, "a bit of a Shakespearean actor" according to CMJ, again holds his head in frustration. Jayasuriya again prods a quick single to the Montster at mid-off. Sidey digs one in to try and extract some bounce from the pitch, but to no avail.

9th over - SL 22-0
Vandort shoulders arms as a ball from Hoggy flicks the top of his pad, but the appeal from behind the stumps isn't even half-hearted - barely quarter-hearted, if you like. Vandort then dabs a single as Vaughan tinkers with his field whenever the two cross. Jayasuriya forward-pushes towards the cover boundary as some smart chasing from Swann restricts him to three runs.

8th over - SL 18-0
Sidey strays down the leg side - had this been an ODI, it would either be a wide, or Jayasuriya might have flayed it towards the midwicket boundary. Jayasuriya then square-cuts for four - he didn't hit it very hard but it was just hard enough to evade the chasing Anderson. KP update: CMJ says that as his cracked finger is classed as an external injury, he will be able to bat in his usual position in the order, even if he doesn't field.

7th over - SL 14-0
Jayasuriya guides Hoggy wide of mid-on for a single to take his side into double figures, while a superb David Gower-esque off-drive brings Vandort four through the covers (CMJ on TMS reckons it was more like Frank Woolley, who was a bit before my time).

6th over - SL 9-0
Jayasuriya pushes a quick single to Panesar at mid-off as the two left-handers look to rotate the strike against Sidey, who raises his eyes to the heavens in frustration as he beats Vandort's outside edge. Sri Lanka still trail by 84.

"Warm here with a lovely breeze whipping up the green-blue sea. Cricket here is played on a concrete strip with a coconut mat on top and rolled sand outfield. Scyld Berry once played here for a season and took his trousers off to bowl (he did have shorts on underneath) but it always bewildered the umpire not knowing where to wrap them. Our golf is also played on sand and we carry plastic grass to play our shots off aiming for the brown (rolled oil sand) rather than a green"
Derek Hicks, Kuwait, in the TMS inbox

5th over - SL 8-0
Jayasuriya scampers a single off Hoggy, while Vandort nudges the last ball for two. The ground is now bathed in sunshine - a contrast to the gloom and rain from yesterday.

"How big a lead do you think England can safely allow Sri Lanka to get, given weather and deterioration in pitch? I figure anything much over 150 looks challenging"
Richard in Jersey in the TMS inbox

4th over - SL 5-0
Sidey continues, with sub fielder Graeme Swann brought in at third slip. He sends down a tight maiden over to Vandort. An England media release announces that KP has fractured a bone in the little finger of his right hand - he won't field in this innings but will be available to bat. (And I guess that means, if he doesn't field at all, he wouldn't be able to bat above number seven).

"Panesar outscores Prior. That says it all. In the case of the latter, never has there been a player with such a disproportion between the number of runs scored and words spoken"
Ian, Barcelona, in the TMS inbox

3rd over - SL 5-0
Vandort and Jayasuriya carve out three easy singles in the first over after lunch. Hoggy hits Jayasuriya on the pad, but it's only a half-hearted lbw appeal. If you're just getting up and setting off for the day, don't forget you can follow the action here on BBC Sport on your mobile or PDA.

0742: The England fielders are out there again, minus KP who remains in the dressing-room with his finger heavily strapped.

0705: While I disappear briefly to seek out some iron rations, here's some reaction from Murali about his record:

Muttiah Muralitharan
"It's my hometown, my parents are here, my wife is here all the relatives are here and all my schoolfriends. It's a bigger moment than if I had taken it in Australia. I tried to spin the (wicket-taking) ball and it went the other way, but that's a special wicket"

LUNCH INTERVAL

2nd over - SL 2-0
Kevin Pietersen is off the field with a finger injury - possibly the same injury he had a spell off the field for treatment with during the first innings. Fresh from his batting heroics, Sidey takes the second over, and Jayasuriya gets Sri Lanka off the mark with a double. There's still talk around the ground about whether this might be Jayasuriya's last Test (or last series). As the over finishes, the umpires take the bails off for lunch, and Jayasuriya takes a few seconds to work out why everyone's walking off.

"I knock off in half an hour. What with the 20-minute stroll home (through Sydney's beautiful botanical garden) should mean I'm sitting down just as Hoggy & Sidey are preparing to rip through the Sri Lankan top order with brand new cherry in hand. Lovely stuff"
James O'Donnell in the TMS inbox

1st over - SL 0-0
Hoggy is bowling to a field which includes a silly mid-off (Bopara), a slightly wide silly mid-on, a short leg standing a little further back than usual, and the Montster at the position I like to call Reasonably Short Extra Cover. MP makes a good stop to deny Vandort a run, as does Bopara. A maiden.

0655: We're going to have a brief look at Sri Lanka in their second innings before lunch. Hoggy taking the new ball, while Vandort is taking strike, rather than Jayasuriya, once again. England have a first-innings lead of 93, by the way.

Simon Hughes
"They need to make scorebooks bigger when you have to write dismissals like 'c Jayawardene b Muralitharan' - while Chaminda Vaas has five initials (Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas)"
Simon Hughes, "The Analyst", in the TMS inbox

"Mark, keep the info coming from Kandy (a magical place). You are a sporting oasis in a desert of 'football' and basketball here in Los Angeles. Keep it going England I need the bragging rights with my good Sri Lankan friend Arjuna"
DM in LA in the TMS inbox

"Gaol not jail, surely? Can't believe the BBC spelling police allow you to get away with the latter or am I being crusty? Sunny day here in Kabul. Early this morning I could see the southern edge of the Panjshirs covered in the first snow of the season"
Nicholas Lunt, NATO Civilian Spokesman - Kabul, in the TMS inbox[You're being crusty - MM]

Vic Marks
"People talk about England's long tail, but the last five wickets have added nearly 100 runs"
Vic Marks on TMS

ENGLAND FIRST INNINGS

Wicket falls
93.1 overs - WICKET - Anderson lbw b Vaas 9 - Eng 281
Vaas returns in place of Malinga, and traps Anderson in front with a straightish ball from his first delivery. The innings is finally over - an heroic two not out from the Montster. And Murali finishes with 6-55.

"I had a teacher called Bunny Bayfield who listened to TMS during maths via a radio hidden in his desk drawer. If we made a noise he threw the board rubber at us"
Fingers, via text on 81111

93rd over - Eng 281-9
Anderson sweeps Murali, and 38-year-old Jayasuriya rolls over well to restrict them to a single. Monty guides it away for a single of his own - surely he won't be slog-sweeping Murali for six like he did in England? Anderson nudges a single to midwicket.

92nd over - Eng 278-9
Aggers reveals that the TMS team will be comparing Murali and Warne in a discussion during the lunch interval, while Malinga sends down a wide out of Anderson's reach. A slower ball is also wide of the crease, and the "Burnley Express" lets it go through. Anderson guides the ball past gully and they run two as Vaas fields just inside the boundary rope. With every run precious, they run another quick single and Jimmy just makes his ground at the bowler's end.

"Grind it out boys - keep up the great work TMS!"
A Welshman in LA, in the TMS inbox

Monty Panesar
91st over - Eng 274-9
Monty's off the mark, pushing a single off his second ball, and Anderson scampers a single as Murali has to field off his own bowling. There's a half-hearted lbw shout against Monty, but ump Dar is unmoved.

Wicket falls
90.1 overs - WICKET - Hoggard st P Jayawardene b Muralitharan 15 - Eng 272-9
Hoggy tries to sweep Murali but misses it down the leg side, and Sri Lanka appeak for a stumping. The third umpire correctly rules that Hoggy's back foot was in front of the crease, and Murali has a six-for. Time for the Montster!

90th over - Eng 272-8
With Colly gone, Sri Lanka must fancy their chances of knocking England's last two wickets over. Anderson takes a single off Malinga, while Hoggy fends off a no-ball which brings him a single as well. Another single from Anderson (his third from four deliveries), and Hoggard calls for a quick run when he dabs the ball towards midwicket.

"Glorious sunshine here in Wellington. Looking forward to the ODI and Test here next year. Settling down for dinner after a hard day at the office (honest)."
Nigel Lloyd in the TMS inbox

"Obviously umpires Rauf and Dar didn't get the money I sent them yesterday, otherwise my prediction from yesterday of Sidey's maiden half-century would have come true"
Steve in the TMS inbox

Vic Marks
"In a way, the celebrations were quite restrained compared to when Brian Lara broke the batting record in the West Indies. Play stopped then for about 20 minutes"
Vic Marks on TMS

89th over - Eng 267-8
New batsman is left-hander James Anderson, who drives his first ball to third man for a single. Hoggy defends the final delivery of the record-breaking over.

Muttiah Muralitharan
88.4 overs - WICKET - Collingwood b Muralitharan 45 - Eng 266-8
Jayawardene's response to the dropped catch is to bring Muralitharan back into the attack after three unsuccessful overs from Vaas. Colly edges one into the air behind square on the leg side, but it evades the diving keeper Jayawardene. But off the next ball, he bowls Colly as the batsman misjudges the length - MURALITHARAN IS NOW THE HIGHEST TEST WICKET-TAKER WITH 709. The fireworks go off as Kandy salutes its local hero.

88th over - Eng 266-7
Colly drives Malinga hard to mid-on, where a smart stop by Murali prevents a run. Will the local boy get another bowl before lunch (scheduled for 0700 GMT)? Colly then has to hurry back for two when he turns one down to Vaas at long leg. Colly is then dropped at slip by former wicket-keeper Sangakkara, diving to his left. "To rub salt into the wound, they ran a single" says Vic Marks on TMS.

"What are the odds for Murali to NOT break the record?"
Darren Freeman in the TMS inbox

"Nice to hear from Gus Fraser. Twas he who innocently asked Des Haynes: 'Hey Des, why do your boys call me Volvo?' Haynes cracked up. 'Because you so easy to drive man!' Gus shortened his length by half a yard and took eight for not many in the next innings!"
Paul Money in the TMS inbox

87th over - Eng 263-7
Colly takes a single and Hoggy digs out a couple from Vaas before a super hard-hit cover drive brings him another four. He then bashes one towards cow corner, chased by Jayasuriya, and they run two. The lead is now 75.

Vic Marks
"You feel Collingwood may be the least naturally talented of England's specialist batsmen, but he scores a lot of runs"
Former Somerset and England off-spinner Vic Marks on TMS

86th over - Eng 256-7
Hoggard plays and misses against The Slinger, and then he glances a no-ball off his thigh (signalled as a bye) and they run one. Colly turns one to midwicket and they run two to a misfield in the deep.

"Well done on the hard core coverage. I'm at work in Dubai and I wasn't up in time for the start of play today. I think it's a shame that Warne is going to lose his record for most wickets, especially as his action has never been questioned. Imagine what he could have managed if his mum hadn't thought him a bit porky?"
Rick T, Dubai, in the TMS inbox

85th over - Eng 251-7
Colly obviously trusts Hoggy, taking a single to the first ball of Vaas's over. 12th man Upul Tharanga brings on a helmet as Vaas brings in a short-leg fielder for Hoggy, who is off the mark with a scampered two past short leg. Hoggy then nearly plays on when he gets an inside edge, but it runs away to safety. He then hits one in the air just wide of mid-off and it sails away for four. As Hoggy takes a single off the last ball, Colly's trust was not misplaced.

"Lovely afternoon, here in Brisbane. Massive teeth on those scorpions!"
Ian Dunn in the TMS inbox

"It's only 10pm in this outpost of the USA and forget wetness in Wales, we are expecting snow! Am I being spiteful in hoping that Murali does not get that wicket for a while? (At least until we have a good lead!)"
Liam, Blackfoot, Idaho, USA, in the TMS inbox

84th over - Eng 243-7
New batsman is Matthew Hoggard - can he follow Sidey's example and hang around for a while? Hoggard was England's nightwatchman for a spell, but his batting declined to the extent that last winter in Melbourne, he went in at number 11 after the Montster. Malinga boosts England's score with a no-ball, and Hoggy finally gets bat on ball for the final ball of the over.

Wicket falls
83.1 overs - WICKET - Sidebottom c P Jayawardene b Malinga 31 - Eng 242-7
Sidey appears to glance Malinga behind as Jayawardene dives forward, Sri Lanka appeal but Sidey stands his ground. Umpire Rauf consults umpire Dar, and after a brief chat, Rauf raises his finger - Sidey's gone after his 81-ball innings.

83rd over - Eng 240-6
Well, all the expectation this morning was around Muralitharan, but he takes a break after a marathon 29-over spell encompassing three sessions. Veteran left-arm swinger Chaminda Vaas takes up the attack, and Sidey sees off his first five balls before taking a single off the last. He has 29 now, Colly has 37.

"Let's hope Colly and Sidey and friends can get England to 250 at least! BTW, good morning to any of my pupils at Burnham Market Primary School - make sure you are at school for 9 o'clock!"
Mr Hales, Little Snoring, Norfolk, in the TMS inbox
[Quite right - BBC Sport does not endorse any form of truancy, especially as you can follow all the action here on your mobile phone - MM]

82nd over - Eng 239-6
The second new ball is taken (a moral victory for England?), as Aggers on TMS teases summariser Angus Fraser. Gus has apparently signed up to represent England in a beach cricket tournament which is being sponsored by a well-known provider of very tight swimwear. Surely they won't be providing such apparel for the likes of Gatting and Gooch? The mind boggles. Meanwhile, Malinga has an lbw shout against Sidey but umpire Asad Rauf (making up a shaggy-haired trinity with Malinga and Sidey) is unmoved as the ball was going down leg. Sidey pinches the strike as they run a bye to a loosener down the leg side, and it's time for a drinks break.

Angus Fraser
"England batting coach Andy Flower told me that he's been telling the lower-order batsmen that they should aim to be able to bat for 40 balls"
Angus Fraser on TMS

81st over - Eng 238-6
The second new ball is available but is not taken just yet as the increasingly-accomplished Sidey pushes a single off Muralitharan. He posts three men in the deep for Colly but still has three close fielders.

"Whenever the side batting first makes a low total, the other side is always for some reason expected to take a big first-innings lead. In fact a low score between roughly equal sides usually means that it's not a great batting wicket. England have done well to get into the lead here. In a low scoring match a lead of 40 on first innings is pretty good going. I think that we are going to see a very close and exciting match here"
Paul Money in the TMS inbox (or possibly Paul In in the TMS moneybox)

80th over - Eng 237-6
Sri Lanka can take the second new ball after this over - if they choose too. Colly takes a single off Malinga, to wild applause from the England fans because the scoreboard at the ground displays (wrongly) the last wicket having fallen at 182 - thus giving the illusion of a 50 partnership - when in fact it fell at 185. A leg-bye boosts the score, and Colly steers another single to deep cover. The two wildest haircuts in Test cricket continue their duel as Malinga beats Sidey's outside edge, before he turns one off his legs for three to deep midwicket - that really IS the fifty partnership. It's also Sidey's highest Test score. Well batted, chaps.

Angus Fraser
"I think if you'd offered England a 40-run lead today they'd have taken it"
Former Middlesex and England seam bowler Angus Fraser on TMS

79th over - Eng 231-6
Colly provocatively reverse-sweeps Murali and they run three. The Kandy man responds by tossing a couple up to Sidey who plays and misses twice before steering one through the covers for two. England's lead is now 43.

"Wet and windy here in Melbourne, Australia. Sat watching the cricket and reading the comments. Bliss. We need to find a way to score 70-80 more today as Murali will be a nightmare on the last day. They aren't picking him again"
Ed, originally from Newark, Notts, in the TMS inbox

Simon Hughes
"The band who are chanting and playing wind instruments in anticipation of Murali's 709th Test wicket are going to be very hoarse if they're not careful"
Simon Hughes, "The Analyst", on TMS

78th over - Eng 226-6
Colly has to duck a bouncer from The Slinger, and has to weave away from another one. A third bouncer is called as a wide as R4 LW listeners return. Colly then straight-drives for four to take his score to 31, and takes a single to pinch the strike.

"I'm following online from the Cayman Islands, I reckon we'll get to about 230 today. I'll have to go to bed at the innings change, Sunday is effectively a school night! Hopefully I'll wake to the news that our bowlers have managed to give us an excellent chance of finishing this one off on day four. It'll be a shame for Muralitharan to be on the losing side when he's broken the record, but if you're English it's not as important! In fact every wicket he takes from now on is a record breaker"
Lee Wooding in the TMS inbox

77th over - Eng 220-6
Sidey drives uppishly at Murali, and it bounces just in front of Jehan Mubarak at cover. He then flicks one into the on-side, and they trot back for two as Sidey reaches 22 - four short of his Test-best score of 26 not out, at Chester-le-Street against the Windies when he added 35 with Colly for the eighth wicket.

"Dwayne Leverock is actually a prison van driver. And Murali should ring him up because he has the wicket of one Paul Collingwood to his name, attained during a warm up match for the 2007 World Cup. I am in my office in Sydney for another half hour, and will be home half an hour after that. Perhaps Murali could be given a rest for an hour"
Richard Stevens in the TMS inbox

76th over - Eng 218-6
As Fernando takes a rest to be replaced by Malinga, Radio 4 long-wave listeners enter the shadowy realm of Ye Shipping Forecast. Sidey guides a single past the slips, and Colly has to dig out a reverse-swinging yorker from The Slinger, who's bowling with a leg slip but not a normal slip.

75th over - Eng 217-6
Colly tickles a single off the first ball of Murali's sixth over of the day. Sidey opens his shoulders for a legside heave which just brings a single as the ubiquitous Vandort chases it to wide mid-on.

"Hi Mark, just nearing the end of a 12-hour night shift, please ask Colly and the boys to stay until I get home at 0715. Thanks awfully old boy"
Fingers, via text on 81111
[Don't forget, if you're out and about, you can always follow the action on BBC Sport on your mobile or PDA - MM]

74th over - Eng 215-6
Captain Jayawardene twiddles with the field before Fernando decides to go round the wicket for the first time to the defiant Sidebottom, who shoulders arms and is hit on the side of his rib cage. Sidey works the next ball to fine leg, where the tall Vandort restricts him to a single. Colly also prods a single to midwicket. Sidey then finds the boundary for the third time when he edges Fernando through gully.

"With the news of the scorpion in the ground, is it too cliched to hope for a sting in the England tail, too?"
Tom McGillicuddy, Aberystwyth, via text on 81111
[And you thought my jokes were bad - MM]

"How well are the English boys getting on? Just with reference to the way Sidebottom looked at Monty after he almost took his head off in fielding a ball on Day One"
Tom the Pom in Adelaide, in the TMS inbox

73rd over - Eng 209-6
Murali now goes round the wicket to Colly as well, watched by a huge contingent of young Sri Lankan supporters in matching white shirts and trousers. Colly steps back and cuts him for four to the vacant backward point boundary.

Simon Hughes
"Ryan Sidebottom has the potential here to make some useful runs, given that he's the best batsmen of the four bowlers playing in this Test. England will be looking for a lead of 60 or 70"
Simon Hughes, "The Analyst", on TMS

72nd over - Eng 205-6
Colly pulls a rare short ball from Fernando, and they have to run hard but they scamper back for two. He glances a single off his hip to bring Sidey on strike, and when Fernando slides one down the leg side (which would be a wide in one-day cricket), keeper Prasanna Jayawardene (not to be confused with captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is no relation) makes a smart stop.

"Thanks for entertaining me over the last few hours of my last three night shifts. Last one tonight then a week off to do the Christmas shopping. Murali and Malinga's actions wouldn't have happened at my school"
Mike in the TMS inbox

Simon Hughes
"Sidebottom's done very well so far - he's playing Murali down the line of the ball"
Former Middlesex and Durham seamer Simon Hughes, aka "The Analyst", on TMS

71st over - Eng 202-6
Sidey tentatively prods forward to Murali but he's still keeping his end up (so to speak). A fascinating duel here, but another maiden for the Kandy man.

"Morning, or evening as it is here. England need to be agressive. Hopefully our wagging tail will inspire me to finish this mountain of work... A Sidebottom half-century anyone?"
Anatol, NY, in the TMS inbox

70th over - Eng 202-6
Aggers spots a huge Alsatian just outside the fine-leg boundary, while one of the aforementioned prisoners (see 65th over), who has been working with the ground staff, has been bitten by a 'scorpion' on the edge of the outfield after it had been lurking under the covers! Colly sees off a Fernando maiden - 10 overs until they have the option of the new ball.

"Hello Mark. Could you please let Murali know that the anticipation of his breaking the record is the one bright spot of the evening? I'm in freezing Madison (Wisconsin) trying to write an anthropology paper"
Miriam in the TMS inbox

69th over - Eng 202-6
Aggers on TMS advises anyone travelling to New Zealand for England's tour in February and March, particularly those visiting Hamilton and Napier, to book their accommodation as soon as possible if they haven't already. Colly takes a single off Murali, who then goes round the wicket to the left-handed Sidey, who expertly clips one off his legs to the midwicket boundary for four to bring up England's 200. He joins Pietersen and Bell as the only batsmen to have hit Murali for four in this match.

"I am so tired... wake me up when Murali claims his next victim please, sir Mark!"
JW, Nottingham, via text on 81111
[Believe me, you'll hear about it - MM]

68th over - Eng 197-6
Colly seems happy to give Sidey the strike as he dabs a single off the first ball. Sidey runs a quick single when he prods another lifting ball into the gully. Colly drives through the covers for a single, and England lead by nine.

"Mark, just had the almighty relief of finding out that a 10,000-word uni report is not due in the week after we come back from Christmas but is in fact due in April - result! So thought I'd treat myself to some cricket-based entertainment"
Andy in Nottingham in the TMS inbox

67th over - Eng 194-6
Sidey tries another straight-drive when Murali gives it some air, but misses the ball completely. Murali goes round the wicket for the final delivery, and beats Sidey's outside edge as he prods forward but he's still there. Two maidens for Murali today.

"Morning, Mark - I'm glad to be with you for Murali's impending record! How best can I swap a wet'n'wild Wales for Kandy?"
Tom McGillicuddy, Aberystwyth, via text on 81111
[Having studied at Cardiff University myself, I'm all too aware of how wet Wales can be - MM]

66th over - Eng 194-6
Fernando, who is sporting a small goatee beard on his chin, runs in to Sidey with an audible "grunt" which Aggers compares to those of female tennis players. Sidey tries an audacious pull shot which trickles safely towards midwicket. He does better off the next ball as he guides a lifting ball down to fine leg for two, before showing he holds no fear by taking a single off the last ball to take strike for Murali's next over.

"I am about to embark on essay thus i hope England can display inspiring fortitude!"
Krishan Sapra, St Cuthbert's Society, University of Durham, via text on 81111

65th over - Eng 191-6
Aggers reveals that some people who he thought were ground staff yesterday, were in fact prisoners from a local jail. No sign of the world's most famous cricketing jailer, portly Bermuda spinner Dwayne Leverock, though. Murali, who has been bowling unchanged for 18 overs now, since yesterday morning, bamboozles Colly with a doosra as he plays out a maiden.

Jonathan Agnew
Vic Marks
"I think Panesar's left-handedness could be vital against Muralitharan"
"There speaks a man who has Panesar in the press sweepstake for the 709th wicket"
Vic Marks and Jonathan Agnew on TMS

64th over - Eng 191-6
To the sound of drums (honestly), Fernando begins the day with a slow yorker which Colly pats back down the pitch. Colly takes a single off the fourth ball, and then Sidey surprises us all with a very competent straight-drive back past the bowler for four. England have a first-innings lead, courtesy of the wild-haired Notts swinger's boundary.

0428: Sri Lanka's fielders emerge, followed by a confident-looking Paul Collingwood and a slightly more pensive Ryan Sidebottom. To be fair, not many people have Sidey down as a Test number eight - will he surprise us? As Murali bowled the last over last night, Dilhara Fernando's opening up.

0425: Aggers and the TMS crew are up and running. He feels the weather isn't as bright as it was on Day 1, but it's better than it was on Day 2 (yesterday).

Don't forget, with an early start like this, we need your contributions more than ever - get involved by texting 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word), e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject) - or join the debate on 606 after 0900 GMT.

0410: Morning, everyone - and if you haven't twigged, we're starting a little earlier today in a bid to make up for some of the time we lost yesterday, when play was curtailed towards the end of the afternoon session because of rain.

The state of play is this: England trail Sri Lanka by two runs, with four first-innings wickets remaining - Paul Collingwood and Ryan Sidebottom at the crease.

But more importantly, Muttiah Muralitharan drew level with Shane Warne on 708 Test wickets yesterday - and with England's tail exposed, surely the Kandy man will reach the magic figure of 709 this morning.

SEE ALSO
Muralitharan breaks Test record
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan - the record-breaker
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Jayasuriya to retire from Tests
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Pietersen suffers finger injury
03 Dec 07 |  Cricket
England in Sri Lanka 2007
28 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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