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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 12:31 GMT
Woeful England collapse in Galle
Third Test, Galle: (day three, close)
Sri Lanka 499-8 dec v England 81 all out & 2-0

By Paul Fletcher

Michael Vaughan leaves the wicket after falling lbw to Chaminda Vaas
Vaughan's England failed to mount any serious resistance

England ended day three of the third Test in Galle needing 416 to avoid an innings defeat to Sri Lanka.

The visiting team were dismissed for a record low Test score against Sri Lanka of 81 and finished 2-0 at the close after one over of their second innings.

Earlier, Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene made a brilliant undefeated 213 as his team declared on 499-8.

England's top order was then ripped out by Chaminda Vaas, who took 4-28, while Paul Collingwood top scored with 29.

The team's previous lowest score against Sri Lanka was 148 at Colombo in 2003.

It was an embarrassment for England coach Peter Moores and his team, who had watched Sri Lanka compile a huge total over almost seven sessions and then utterly failed to make any impact on the figure of 300 to avoid the follow-on.


It leaves England with a desperate battle to save the Test, which will resume at 0400 GMT on Friday, and some searching questions to answer after their capitulation on this tour.

Muttiah Muralitharan opened the bowling for the one over possible of England's second innings before bad light stopped play - and there was a vibrancy about the home team in the field that was in complete contrast to their opponents.

The first hour of the day was dominated by the magnificent Jayawardene, who continued his scintillating form in the series by reaching his fourth Test double-century.

England might have set a different tone but wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who has endured a torrid time in Galle, dropped Jayawardene with a straightforward chance off the bowling of Ryan Sidebottom.

The Sri Lanka skipper, 154 at the time, went on to punish the visitors as he shared a partnership of 183 with Vaas before the left-hander top-edged an attempted pull that Vaughan managed to hold at the second attempt at midwicket.

Matthew Hoggard managed a rueful smile at Vaughan's struggle to hang on to what was an extremely simple catch but in truth there was little for England to laugh about as Sri Lanka looked to increase the scoring rate after two successful, if pedestrian, days at the crease.

By the time of their declaration the hosts had scored 115 off 19.5 overs in the morning session to further underscore their dominant position.

Jayawardene had raised his double-century with a majestic lofted cover drive off Steve Harmison.

And shortly after Collingwood bowled Malinga with a full delivery, Jayawardene declared to leave England with a nasty 40-minute period before lunch.

Mahela Jayawardene celebrates his double-century
Jayawardene was dropped on 154 by wicket-keeper Matt Prior

It was a spell that England woefully failed to negotiate as Vaas at one point boasted figures of 4-14.

Michael Vaughan fell plumb lbw to Vaas after opting to leave a ball that swung, while Ian Bell was run out at the non-striker's end after a direct throw from Tillakaratne Dilshan following a mix-up with Alastair Cook.

As the wickets tumbled Cook nicked a delivery from Vaas and Kevin Pietersen gloved a wicked short ball from Lasith Malinga to leave England in total disarray at 24-4 by the end of the first session of the day.

The misery continued after the resumption, with Ravi Bopara misjudging a fullish delivery from Vaas and chipping a simple catch to Chanaka Welegedara.

Prior's match then took another turn for the worse when he was bowled by Vaas to a straight delivery that kept low.

From the horrific position of 33-6, Collingwood and Sidebottom took the score on to 61 before a storm rolled in and stopped play.

A delay of nearly three hours provided provided England's only respite as on the resumption their final four wickets fell for the addition of a further 20 runs.

Sidebottom's 70-ball vigil ended after he inside-edged a delivery from Muralitharan and Collingwood followed soon after, bowled by Chanaka Welegedara for his first wicket in Test cricket.

Neither Hoggard nor Monty Panesar troubled the scorers, with the latter the victim of a shambolic run-out that was emblematic of England's awful day.

Jayawardene makes England suffer
19 Dec 07 |  England
Harmison leads England fightback
18 Dec 07 |  England
Galle stages historic Test match
18 Dec 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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