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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 18:54 UK

England v Sri Lanka as it happened

ICC Champions Trophy Group B, Johannesburg:


e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as first word) or use 606 (Not all comments can be used)


By Ben Dirs

2114: Right, that was a pretty clinical display from England all in all. Some fine bowling, from Anderson in particular, and a couple of decent knocks, with Morgan revealing a very mature head to see England home. I've said it before and I'll say it again, he's got something of the Neil Fairbrother about him, and I like it. Many thanks for the chat, it's been enjoyable. Yours sincerely, Ben Thunders... sorry, I meant Dirs...

"Frankly Mr. Dirs, I feel cheated by the loss of the 20th over of the England innings. First Arlene Phillips and now this. I want my license fee back."
Irate, Swindon, in the TMS inbox

"Maybe Stan has a point - if you 'public servants' were doing your job properly I would like to see a drawing of each ball delivered, possibly automatically uploaded from an etch-a-sketch, Ben? (if that is your real name of course!)"
Peter in the TMS inbox

45th over - Eng 213-4 Prior's not mucking about, he makes room and slams Mendis through cover for a couple, before crashing him through wide long-off four four. Prior wants the glory of hitting the winning runs, but his smear to long-on is only worth one. So it's Morgan, rightfully, who strikes the winning runs, whip-cracking Mendis to mid-off for a single.

44th over - Eng 205-4 Malinga with a slower ball - Prior's fallen foul of a few of those this summer - and the Sussex gloveman works it away for one. Morgan slashes at a wide one and misses, but the Irish-born left-hander picks up four with a top-edged cut. A wide from Malinga, before Morgan takes England to within eight of the target with a thrashed drive over extra-cover. Fine knock from Morgan. Stan (see below), it may indeed seem like a simple job updating this website, but you ignore the fact that it involves me staring with one eye at a computer screen and another at a TV screen for pretty much eight hours solid. While typing. Almost constantly. Mistakes will, alas, happen, and the auto-refresh technology, while magnificent, means that unless you manually refresh the page, they cannot be rectified.

"Dear Ben Dirs, Can that be your real name? The point I was making is that it's a simple straightforward job to update this website and when I was a lad about sixty years ago, I was taught that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well. That's all."
Stan in the TMS inbox

43rd over - Eng 194-4 England have got this game by the jaffers now, Prior unveiling a smashing straight drive for four. Prior follows up with a skewed off-drive for one more, and Morgan nicks a couple with a nibble to leg.

That's 50
42nd over - Eng 186-4 Bold from Morgan, taking Kulasekara on and drilling him over mid-on for four, just beating the fielder. That's his seventh ODI fifty, only his second for England, and it came from 74 balls and included five fours. Sonia from Eastenders on Strictly this evening, I believe. I saw her outside having a fag earlier on, in her pink dancing outfit, with all the sequins and heels and everything. She looked like a bridesmaid standing outside a church in Harold Hill.

41st over - Eng 180-4 Nice shot from Prior, using his feet and nudging Murali through wide long-on for a couple. England still haven't taken the powerplay, not sure if that's a good thing or not. A couple more singles, before Prior picks Murali up and deposits him, one bounce, into the square-leg fence. Murali's taken a bit of a hiding today, England have handled him well.

"If Kandamby's fifty was as gritty as a punnet of winkles, then I guess Shah's innings was something like a bucket of whelks..."
Richard in the TMS inbox

40th over - Eng 170-4 Prior cuts to the sweeper out on the cover boundary before Morgan plays an airy old waft outside off and is beaten... and again. Malinga serves up some chin music, and Morgan plays it well arching his back and pulling his head out of the line.

"One of the best comments from a commentator heard for a long time: camera pans onto a group of young South African school kids in cricket whites, commentator says: 'Wonder how many of them dream of playing for the three lions...'"
Stuart in the TMS inbox

39th over - Eng 169-4 Prior moves to five with a drive to long-off. Quicker, straighter ball from Murali, and Morgan plays it well, moving to 43 with a clip to mid-wicket. One more for Prior with an ease down the ground, England need 44 from 66.

38th over - Eng 166-4 Malinga back on and he digs one into Prior, who works him fine for a single. Morgan pushes to point for one, before Prior plays all around one, but the ball was sliding down leg and probably high.

"Dear Alan (see 17th over), would you like your tweed trousers sauted, fried, baked or boiled? Come on the boys."
Duncan Jenner in the TMS inbox

"I know George and Lynne aren't real, but do you think that is really Morpheus from the Matrix?"
Stew in the TMS inbox

37th over - Eng 163-4 Prior goes for the sweep and he inside edges onto his pad for a couple to fine-leg. Prior with a confident clunk down the pitch, England now require 50 from 13 overs.

36th over - Eng 159-4 That was a pretty handy delivery from Murali, it looked like the doosra to me. Matt Prior's next up the ramp, and he looked like he was batting with a Flymo in the series against Australia. Morgan pushes down the ground for one before Mendis has an lbw appeal turned down against Prior - that struck him a few inches outside the line of off-stump.

"I wish I had a pet tortoise, so I could watch him crawling around instead of watching Colly or Shah bat."
Ryan, Pimlico, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
35th over - WICKET - Shah c Sangakkara b Muralitharan 44 (Eng 158-4)
Murali tosses one up and Shah edges him for four, quite deliberately. A couple more singles, before Murali makes the breakthrough, Shah lunging forward and feathering a catch to Sangakkara behind the stumps.

34th over - Eng 151-3 It's just tap-tap-tap from England at the moment, no great heaves of the axe, just slowly chipping away at Sri Lanka's lead. Four singles from Kulasekara's over. Oh, and a leg-bye. morpheus (see below), you know George and Lynne? You know they're not an actual couple?

"Ben, surely statements like 'BRING THEM HOME' really aren't that helpful? As someone who openly deplores the British media's schizophrenic treatment of sportsmen, shouldn't you help us all accept the facts: England aren't that great at ODI (or even Test) cricket. They are not in a transitional period. They are not going to be number 1, or even number 4, for a long time. It may be hard to stomach this comparison, but I don't see Bangladesh's press shouting about bringing their team home after a loss to a top cricketing nation..."
morpheus in the TMS inbox

33rd over - Eng 146-3 Murali to continue, and Shah uses his feet to him and laces him through the covers for four. Shah stepping it up now, he's now 36 from 66. Another wide from Murali, who looks really out of sorts at the moment, before Morgan dabs him to point for one. A few of you emailing in to ask why there is no TMS commentary in South Africa, and I have to be honest and say I have absolutely no idea. If I had to guess, I'd say it's because they decided that the majority of the country is more interested in who wins Saturday's episode of Total Wipeout than who wins the Champions Trophy.

32nd over - Eng 138-3 Morgan clips to mid-wicket for one before Shah drives into the covers for a single. Just the two runs from Kulasekara's over, and that's drinks.

From zamoraisthenewmessi on 606:

"Shah is as entertaining as an Eastenders episode focused solely on Dot"

31st over - Eng 136-3 Morgan twirls through the covers for one before the gum-slapping Shah, who anticipates every delivery like a man about to walk across the ring towards Floyd Mayweather, dabs a single of his own. Two more singles, then a wide, then a single round the corner from Morgan, and if England lose from here, they should BRING THEM HOME!

30th over - Eng 130-3 Morgan steers to backward point for one before Shah yanks the recalled Kulasekara for one more. Morgan prods into the off-side for another, before Shah picks Kulasekara up outside off-stump and deposits the ball over square-leg for six. Eighty-three needed from 20 overs, this partnership now 48.

"Please stop knocking Shah. I love watching him bat. Entertaining and effective are not necessarily the same thing. Just like Malinga's hair, Shah's batting style is ridiculously over-thought, but great to look at. Watching him play an extraordinarily elaborate defensive shot to a full-toss is more fun than watching Collingweed smack a six."
Sam in the TMS inbox

29th over - Eng 121-3 Very smart single from Morgan for a prod to point and Shah picks up one more with a tuck round the corner. Murali being handled quite easily by this pair, as England bag a leg-bye from the fifth ball of the over. Shah goes for an ugly swipe through the covers and is beaten by the bounce.

28th over - Eng 118-3 Too short from Mendis and Shah cuts for a single. One more for Morgan with a nudge into the off-side, he's now 26 and rattling along nicely.

"Oh dear Stan. Now is not the time to talk about 'public servants'. 'Private servants' have cost us 75 trillion, and are still demanding bonuses. Ben's mistakes cost us a little irritation - I'll take that."
Peter, Bishop's Stortford, in the TMS inbox

27th over - Eng 116-3 Shah and Morgan exchange singles before Shah nibbles to square-leg for one more. Was there a nick on that? Murali gets one to turn away from Morgan, there is an edge, and the ball evades Sangakkara's gloves and races away for four. Less than 100 needed.

26th over - Eng 108-3 Morgan with more sauce, dropping to one knee and dabbing Mendis down to third-man for a couple. Bit airy from Shah, and Mendis very nearly breeches his defences with one that nips back. This Shah innings is making for painful viewing, it reminds me of the time I had a very long-rooted wisdom tooth removed. I could hear it creaking like a door.

25th over - Eng 107-3 One for Shah before Morgan passes his Middlesex team-mate with another streaky edge off Murali for four. Shah has now been out there for 100 minutes for his 18, he's got to turn this into something or you'd have to think he's toast. England require 106 from 25 overs to win.

24th over - Eng 101-3 Morgan drops to one knee and picks up four fortuitous runs with a top-edged paddle sweep before playing an uppish drive for four more. That's the England ton. Stanley, Stanley, Stanley (see below), have yourself a manual refresh and calm down a bit. I'd hate to be there the next time someone puts a pizza delivery leaflet through your letter box, you'll probably spontaneously combust.

"When are you "public servants" going to get a grip? TWO 45th overs in the Sri-Lankan innings and NO 20th over in England's innings. What do we pay you for?"
Stan Pritchard, Kendal, in the TMS inbox

23rd over - Eng 93-3 Murali is finally wheeled into the attack, and his first ball is short and cut away by Morgan for one. A leg-side wide before Shah uses his feet and drives straight for one. Two more singles from the over, six runs from it.

"Ben, I think it's wrong of you to liken Malinga to Chief Chirpa. When in fact the Ewok he most resembles is the spookily-named Wicket W. Warrick."
Blake Williams in the TMS inbox

22nd over - Eng 87-3 Iffy drive from Shah, the ball skewing into the off-side for one. Still no Murali, it's Malinga to continue. Morgan is off the mark with a cheeky single, before Shah does well to keep out a slow yorker from Malinga. Malinga strays onto Morgan's pads and is chipped away for one. Would have been two, but Morgan lost his footing.

21st over - Eng 83-3 Malinga gives new batter Morgan his traditional greeting, a toe-seeking yorker, and the little left-hander does well to dig it out. Right, Mathews looks like he's bowling right through, although they might try a bit of spin against new man Morgan. Outrageous appealing again from Mathews, skipper Sangakkara and everyone else in the Sri Lanka team - that ball missed the edge by about a foot. The team directive appears to be, if the batsman is beaten, appeal and hope the umpire makes a terrible error. Whatever it is, it's naughty, very naughty.

"Surprised to see George Shiel (see below) was paying attention to the text, let alone anything, as he is usually seen wandering around empty headed, totally vacant and most definitely in another world at third man for Howick CC. He may not like buying ivory jackets but he likes buying fantastically good, expensive bits of willow that we all borrow to bat with!"
Ed Durie, from Alnwick, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
20th over - WICKET - Collingwood b Malinga 46 (Eng 82-3)
Rigid prod from Collingwood and he's beaten again by Malinga, who, teeth bared, looks more like Chief Chirpa than he normally does. BOOM! Short from Malinga and Collingwood hammers over square-leg for his third six of the day. But he's a goner a couple of balls later, playing a nothing shot outside off and chopping on.

19th over - Eng 74-2 Short from Mathews and Shah tries to fetch him from outside off, and misses, but England pick up a wide. Nicely played by Shah, opening the face on the walk and gliding down to third-man, and Colly adds a single with a nurdle to leg.

"No, you can't say anything that references a nationality ever now. So Chinese takeaways can't be talked about, let alone ordered from. And French cricket has been banned. Oh hang on, of course you can say Chinese cut, it is either a) a pork steak or b) a cricket shot developed in Shanghai during the Bradman dynasty."
Dennis in the TMS inbox

18th over - Eng 71-2 Strangled lbw appeal from Malinga against Shah - looked like the Middlesex man was beaten for pace - but it's a leg-bye instead. Collingwood feels for one outside off, before very nearly holing out at cover with a leading edge. Collingwood looks like he's having trouble picking up Malinga's slingy action, but he picks up that one, jabbing Malinga over square-leg for six. Colly nicks the strike with a poke into the off-side.

17th over - Eng 63-2 Mathews to continue, and Collingwood bags four for a Chinese cut (am I still allowed to say that?). Colly clubs into the covers and scampers one, before Shah plays an educated edge with soft hands for a single.

"For reasons which I cannot divulge, I own the world's largest collection of very substantial and tickly Tweed trousers. If England manage to avoid their usual collapse and go on to win, I shall eat every single one of them. The trousers, that is."
Alan in the TMS inbox

16th over - Eng 55-2 Shah slaps Mendis to long-on for one, and we've got a slip in now. No need to take any risks against Mendis, and England aren't, Collingwood blocking out a maiden over.

15th over - Eng 55-2 Quick single from Shah with a drop into the off-side before Collingwood cuts for one. Shah uses his feet and turns Mathews round the corner for a single, before Colly charges and Mathews spots him coming and digs one into his ribs.

"Has Colly been manually refreshed?"
Rachel Tyrrell, Lincoln, in the TMS inbox

14th over - Eng 52-2 Shah punishes an over-pitched delivery from Mendis, slapping him over the man at mid-off and away for four. Shah takes a sharp single off an inside edge.

13th over - Eng 47-2 That's a maiden over from Mathews, Collingwood giving him the charge on a couple of occasions but deciding to smother at the last minute.

12th over - Eng 47-2 Time for Mystery Mendis, and he's never played against England before. There you are Colly, that's how he rolls - the ball goes straight on and beats the Durham man outside off. One for Colly with a nurdle to leg before Mendis fizzes one past a rather tentative lunge from Shah. Mendis gets one to nip back slightly and cramp Shah up, that was the googly, but Shah survives the over.

"Great Scott! The market town of Alnwick, voted least likely place to buy a decent ivory jacket in the UK 2009."
Gary, Swindon, in the TMS inbox

11th over - Eng 46-2 One for Shah with a steer to point before Collingwood climbs into an over-pitched ball from Mathews and picks up four more through extra-cover. Colly finds the gap again with a classic nurdle through mid-wicket for four more. Collingwood's now hit 22 from his last eight balls, and he nicks the strike with a cut shot for one.

"I had an ivory suit that I bought in Bruges which was MADE OF REAL IVORY. I handed it in during an amnesty in 1985. Still got the rhino horn cummerbund though."
Donnie, East Grinstead, in the TMS inbox

10th over - Eng 36-2 Many thanks Mitch, this is Ben Dirs once again, manually refresh... Kulasekara is making life very uncomfortable for the England batsmen at the moment, getting the ball to shape and nip back into the right-handers. Colly charges, but is the ball nibbles back and raps his pads. But a couple of balls later Collingwood breaks the shackles, flicking the ball off his pads for a much-needed maximum. Another nice stroke from Collingwood, moving across his crease and diverting Kulasekara to the long-leg boundary, before clipping the fifth ball of the over off his pads for four more. Big over for England.

By Mark Mitchener

9th over - Eng 22-2
Mathews, in a sleeveless sweater, has Colly playing and missing at thin air as he gets the ball to move away from the right-hander, then the Durham man steers a quick single to extra cover. A score Richie Benaud would approve of - 22-2 - and I'm going to hand you back to the fully refreshed Dirs.

Text in your views on 81111
From Brian, Northumberland, via text on 81111:"Re: Yankees [4th over]. They do that at every Yankees home game, 80 games a year for years!"

8th over - Eng 21-2
Time for England's fire-fighter, Paul Collingwood. he straight-drives his first ball, Shah is sent back but slips a couple of yards from the crease. As he tries to regain his ground, mid-off strangely (or sportingly, considering the Mathews incident in Sri Lanka's innings?) doesn't shy at the stumps. Kulasekara and Sangakkara appeal for a catch behind but it's signalled as a wide... bit of a silly appeal really. Colly's off the mark with a single.

Wicket falls
7.3 overs - WICKET - Strauss c Kandamby b Kulasekara 9 - Eng 19-2
It looks increasingly chilly at the Wanderers as Strauss square-cuts but a superb stop by the leaping Mathews at cover point prevents a run. Then, it's a huge wicket for Sri Lanka as Strauss tries to pull a short ball but unerringly steers it into the hands of the burly Kandamby at mid-wicket!

7th over - Eng 19-1
Having bowled just one over in his opening spell against South Africa, Malinga takes a rest after three overs and is replaced by the medium-fast Angelo Mathews. Shah watches a couple go by outside off stump, plays out a maiden over and oh dear, Murali's warming up...

From Rory, Leeds, TMS inbox: "I took a bet with someone at university that we would successfully make it to double figures without losing a wicket. I never truthfully imagined I'd end up a tenner poorer"

6th over - Eng 19-1
After Shah nudges a leg bye, Strauss forces a single through the covers where it's fielded by Sanath Jayasuriya, who's confusingly wearing non-playing squad member Dammika Prasad's jumper. Shah rotates the strike, then Kulasekara sends down a wide.

5th over - Eng 15-1
Strauss helps a shorter ball down to fine leg for one, surely Sri Lanka will have learned the "pitched-up good, short ball bad" lesson from their innings. Shah is off the mark as he digs out a yorker, dropping the ball at his feet and running one after some characteristic hesitation. Another attempted yorker is forced through fine leg for four by the skipper.

Get involved on 606
From bgolden on 606: "Key danger is England being too conservative. Afraid of getting out rather than scoring runs can be self-fulfilling"

4th over - Eng 9-1
New batsman Owais Shah defends his first ball - this could be an important innings for him as now Bopara's been dropped, Shah appears to have taken up the role of a fairground "Aunt Sally" to have most of the brickbats thrown at him by media and fans alike.

From Bernard Akinla, TMS inbox: "Re- Just Can't Get Enough: At the Yankees stadium recently (Yankees 2, Texas Rangers 7), between the 5th and 6th innings, the crowd went wild as a group of five or six groundsmen came out with their rakes to smooth out the infield to the tune of YMCA, and did a smashing choreographed dance routine whist sweeping away! Fantastic!"

Wicket falls
3.5 overs - WICKET - Denly lbw b Kulasekara 5 - Eng 9-1
Safety first from England - Denly looks to defend but rides his luck with an inside edge which whips past the stumps for four. However, the Kent man's luck runs out when he is hit on the pad (at about the knee-roll) and despatched by Billy B's crooked finger of doom. Hawk-Eye thinks it would have just clipped the top of middle stump.

3rd over - Eng 5-0
Denly is off the mark with a jabbed single, Strauss guides a slower ball down to third man for two. And for those of you still emailing in, I fully realise I mistyped England's target as 313 rather than 213, I changed it almost immediately (and explained I had done so at 1743 and that you need to manual refresh). Please stop emailing on that subject...

2nd over - Eng 2-0
Nuwan Kulasekara takes the second over after his cameo innings of 17 not out, there's a big appeal for a catch behind against Strauss... Umpire Bowden shakes his head, and rightly so, it didn't touch anything. Maiden over.

Get involved on 606
From Mackem03 on 606: "Mr Strauss is key. he needs to get in and stay in. Also, he needs a wingman. more of a goose, not the ducks we seem to supply the captain with"

1st over - Eng 2-0
Lasith Malinga opens up with his usual slingy action, his first ball carries way higher than expected and keeper Sangakkara has to take it well above his head. With two slips in, Cap'n Strauss opens with a single, Denly is steadfast in defence against the man who was (rather briefly) his team-mate at Kent. The first no-ball of the match (there were 21 wides in the SL innings) earns Denly a free hit - he steps back but doesn't make contact with a clever slower ball from The Slinger.

Get involved on 606
From hortonforeng on 606: "At the start of today I would have taken 213 to win without a second's thought. But given the start we had we let them get away. That said, I still think that 213 is a very gettable score and we should be able to get. I'm more concerned about our middle order batsmen than I am with the SL bowlers. And I'm really concerned about their bowling attack!"

1743: Mea culpa - that England target should be 213, not 313. Manual refresh it again, while Strauss and Joe Denly take guard for England...

1739: Right - while Ben takes a rest, consider me your "pilot of the airwaves" for a while. But having done the start of the Sri Lanka innings while Ben and half of London were stuck on the Central Line, just don't label me as a start-of-innings pinch-hitter. Give your page a manual refresh and you'll see (a) my name and (b) more importantly, England's target appear above.

By Ben Dirs


1715: I'm off for some dinner. Mark Mitchener will do a bit after the interval, I'll be back later on...

1713: Difficult to know what to make of that. Great start for England, and they bowled pretty well at the end, but I can't help feeling Sri Lanka will be pretty happy with a score of more than 200. Fancy batting against Mendis, Murali and Malinga under lights on a dewy pitch? Nah, me neither...

Wicket falls
48th over - WICKET - Mendis c Strauss b Anderson 5 (SL 212)
Wide from Anderson, miles over the head of Mendis, before Mendis nibbles outside off and captain Strauss takes a very smart catch diving low to his right.

47th over - 211-9 Wright to continue, and Mendis does well to fend a short ball off his helmet. Kulasekara drives a low full-toss to long-on for a single, before Mendis picks up one with a drive to mid-wicket. The umpires then go upstairs for a catch at point, but it was a bump ball. Difficult one though.

"I'm sure you wouldn't find one of those Ivory Jackets (see below) in the market town of Alnwick (voted best place to live in the UK 2002) or most other places in the area. You are more likely to find that outfitters down south in the Midlands or somewhere else. I find you a very ignorant man."
George Shiel in the TMS inbox

46th over - 208-9 Kulasekara with a storming stroke, rocking back and whip-cracking Broad three rows into the stand at backward-point. Blanket weather in Jo'Burg, all looks a bit grim out there, up on the grass mounds. One leg-bye and a single for Mendis, who nicks the strike.

45th over - 200-9 Anderson teases outside off and Mendis fences and is beaten for pace. Mendis nudges Sri Lanka up to 199 with a tuck off his pads for one, before Kulasekara brings up the 200 with a flick off his pads.

"Re: Just Can't Get Enough. I see cricket is taking a leaf out of the American Sports book and choosing incongruous out of context music to "dramatise" key moments in the game. Here in LA at Dodgers Stadium, they frequently play old Gary Glitter numbers and Baba O'Reilly by the Who. Really quite disconcerting. But then they also play Sweet on US "rock" radio stations without a hint of irony."
TrickieDickie, Hollywood, in the TMS inbox

44th over - 198-9 Ajantha 'Mystery' Mendis is next out of the hutch, and he just about survives the hat-trick ball, squirting a single into the off-side. Mendis is beaten, before smothering the final ball of Broad's over.

Out for a duck
44th over - WICKET - Malinga b Broad 0 (SL 197-9)
AND ANOTHER! A one-ball stay for the Slinga, Broad making splinters of his off-peg again.

Wicket falls
44th over - WICKET - Muralitharan b Broad 18 (SL 197-8)
Murali clears his lefty leg and has a mow and misses. But Murali has his furniture rearranged next ball, Broad ripping out his off-stump.

43rd over - 197-7 Anderson back on, and he immediately has a lbw appeal against Kulasekara turned down. One for Kulasekara, before Murali goes for some more humpty, skies it, and Strauss very nearly takes a fine catch over his shoulder. However, it's two more to the total. Anderson very nearly yorks Murali, who picks up a single, and there are two more singles from the over.

"Could Stuart in Germany confirm whether or not the Kilmarnock FC centre forward he is referring to is the great Willie Watters?"
Duncan, Battersea, in the TMS inbox

42nd over - 191-7 Murali clears the front leg and slashes his first ball from Wright over long-off for four, despite the efforts of Jimmy Anderson. Stuart Broad into the attack, and Sri Lanka take the batting powerplay. Kulasekara rocks back and swishes. And misses. Nice shot next up, Kulasekara bending his back and deflecting Broad to third-man for one. Oh Lordy, Murali's just had Broad on toast, marmalising him over wide long-on for six. Good comeback from Broad, beating the bat, before Murali squirts him into the off-side for one. Four more! Leg-side from Broad and Murali swings him round the corner. He's now scored 14 from five.

Wicket falls
41st over - WICKET - Mathews c Prior b Wright 52 (SL 176-7)
Justice done? Perhaps. Wright sticks one down the corridor of uncertainty, Mathews nibbles, Prior takes a neat low catch.

40th over - 170-6 Mathews moves to 50 in lucky fashion, a leading edge just evading Collingwood at backward-point. Another wide, the 20th of the innings, and that's just not good enough. Very odd moment now: Mathews comes back for a second run, collides with Onions, stops in his tracks, and is out by about 20 yards. After hanging about for a couple of minutes, he eventually traipses off, before England skipper Strauss calls him back. That's split opinion in this office, with some lamenting Strauss' naivety and others applauding his sense of fair play.

39th over - SL 166-6 Apologies, I lost my overs again, manually refresh and everything will be fine again, like when your mum used to kiss you on the head when you were poorly. Wright back on, as the TV camera hovers lovingly on the Champions Trophy 'ivory' jacket, presented to members of the winning team. In case you haven't seen it, the 'ivory' jacket looks like the type of thing you'd see hanging in the window of a gentlemen's outfitters on a rather run-down high street in the North-East of England. Next to the monogrammed handkerchiefs. Two for Mathews with a punch off the back foot through cover, and Mathews nicks the strike with a single into the off-side.

Wicket falls
38th over - WICKET - Kandamby run out 53 (SL 163-6)
Mathews twirls Colly to third-man for one, before Sri Lanka gift England a wicket out of the blue. Kandamby steers to point, goes for the run, Mathews turns him down, and Kandamby is run out by a ruddy mile.

37th over - SL 162-5 Still plenty in this pitch if you pitch it up, as Onions demonstrates. First Kandamby is beaten by a ball that spits off a length, before Onions gets one to nip back and clip the left-hander on the thigh. Big appeal, Umpire Bowden correctly turns it down. Mathews gives Onions a blind charge and is beaten, before Kandamby comes down the pitch and has an avuncular word with him, something along the lines of "stop being a muppet".

"We are researching how we can make use of Twitter at work this afternoon. Fiona, sat opposite me, has just found Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson's pages and is trying to work out how to stalk them online. In a nice way of course. Oh, and she's happily married to a surgeon."
Mark, Knutsford, in the TMS inbox

36th over - SL 160-5 Kandamby walks down the pitch to Collingwood and clips off his pads for one. Mathews is beaten by one that wobbles, before Mathews flicks Colly through mid-wicket for one.

35th over - SL 157-5 Onions back into the attack, can he rip a couple out? Mathews darts down the track and clips him to the wide long-on fence, and that boundary triggers a burst of Just Can't Get Enough, which is darkly ironic, considering I don't know a single person who doesn't think there's been too much cricket played already this year. Short from Onions, and Mathews yanks him round the corner for four. Not sure what's up with the England team analyst's laptop. It started this Sri Lankan innings throbbing like the Large Hadron Collider, but now appears to have all the processing power of a hand-held Donkey Kong. PITCH IT UP, MEN!

34th over - SL 149-5 Mathews shuffles across his stumps and clips Colly to square-leg for a single. Collingwood runs his fingers across the seam and Kandamby is cut in two, before Collingwood has a rather desperate lbw appeal turned down. That was going over by about a foot.

Re: Studio Five. Firstly, who thought of Melinda Messenger? Who then got from her to Ian Wright? And then who piped up in the office, 'I tell you what, do you know who would fit perfectly with these two? How about the decent looking blonde with no presenting experience from The Apprentice?'"
Mark, Reigate, in the TMS inbox

33rd over - SL 148-5 That's sweet as a nut from Mathews, gliding Swann down to third-man for four. Four easy singles from the rest of the over.

That's 50
32nd over - SL 141-5 Bit of spit there from Collingwood, Kandamby beaten. But there's Kandamby's fifty, his fifth in ODIs, courtesy of a nibble off his pads for one. That came from 71 balls, and was as gritty as a punnet of winkles.

"Talking of comedy centre forwards, I followed Kilmarnock FC through their not so glorious years in the old Scottish Second Division. Our heroic but not so slim centre forward, after scoring a hat-trick against Berwick and having partaken of a few beers the night before, grabbed the railing running round the pitch and uttered the immortal words: 'Hoad me up, am gonna boak!'. Those were the days."
Stuart in Germany in the TMS inbox

"'This match has all the atmosphere of a branch of Greggs.' Are we talking in terms of a early afternoon visit, surrounded by affluent young go-getters purchasing organic ciabatta sandwiches? Or the post-work melancholy after you've jettisoned your gym bag and you're jonesing for a Steak Bake?"
Mike, Macclesfield, in the TMS inbox

31st over - SL 139-5 Kandamby squirts Swann into the off-side for one, a little uppsihly, before Mathews plants his front foot and heaves Swann to the square-leg boundary. That's drinks.

30th over - SL 132-5 Collingwood fizzes one past the edge of Kandamby' bat - nice ball that, pitched up, just as it should be on this deck - before Kandamby gets off strike with a dab to cover.

29th over - SL 131-5 Four singles from Swanny's over - only slow turn for the Notts' tweaker - before Mathews very nearly shovels a ball from outside off onto his leg stump.

28th over - SL 127-5 It's those challenging middle overs, a veritable oasis in the desert if you're Paul Collingwood (whether batting or bowling), like having your arm sawn off with the serrated edge of a cling-film box if you're not. Kandamby runs Colly to third-man for a single, before Anderson is wrong-footed by a ball that spins off the surface. Full from Colly and Kandamby square-drives for a couple. "We ended up eating fairy cakes in a horse stable," says a colleague as he swans past. I've been off the clubbing scene for a good while now, is there something I've missed?

27th over - SL 123-5 Nice shot that from Kandamby - too short from Swann, and he's steered down to the third-man boundary. Swann sends down the 18th wide of the innings, before at least forcing a false stroke from Kandamby, the ball popping into the off-side. Easy single from Kandamby, and the left-hander nicks the strike.

26th over - SL 116-5 Kandamby is almost outfoxed by a Collingwood yorker, but squirts it to fine-leg for one. Four singles and a wide from that over. This match has all the atmosphere of a branch of Greggs.

25th over - SL 109-5 Kandamby shows the maker's name, the ball ricochets off the stumps, and somehow still reaches the fence. That's some ice rink they've got there. Kandamby picks up one more with a wristy cut. Another troublesome partnership this, anyone fancy England's chances of chasing down 200-plus? Don't go sticking the Bang & Olufsen on it. Samaraweera is out, of course, contrary to what I said a couple of overs ago! Many thanks to Paul Blackwell for reminding me.

"I once saw Mick Quinn play for Newcastle. Someone in the crowd shouted 'Micky, how many Yorkshire puddings have you had today?' To which our rotund hero retorted: 'Only three, but they were biiiiiiiig ones!' You just don't get 16 stone moustache- laden comedy centre forwards any more - sigh."
Andy, Oxford, in the TMS inbox

24th over - SL 104-5 Stuart Broad has been given the old heave-ho, and it's time for Collingwood's dibblers and dobblers. He'd have to fancy his chances on this deck. Kandamby steers him to point for one, before Colly sends down a wide. Two more singles from the over, four runs in total.

23rd over - SL 100-5 Compact shot from Kandamby, who moves to 26 with a nuggety cover-drive for one. Bit iffy from Mathews, mis-timing Wright to mid-wicket for one. Wright strays onto Kandamby's pads and is tucked away for one. A mix-up in the Sri Lankan ranks, Collingwood hits, but the ball dribbles away for a couple of overthrows. Samaraweera was well in, and that's the ton up.

"Re Studio Five: What about the legendary wrestler Mick McManus? His presence, even at age 81, would certainly keep Ian Wright in check. Apparently he went on to work in the public relations department of an Uxbridge distribution company so maybe he's just the man to smooth over the rough edges?"
Andrew in Sheffield in the TMS inbox

22nd over - SL 95-5 Stuart Broad into his seventh over. He strives for a yorker and is squeezed away for one by Kandamby, before Mathews treats Broad with the contempt he deserves, the Notts man digging one in and finding himself flogged away for four through mid-wicket. Odd bowling display from Broad - he picks up his only wicket pitching it up, then reverts to bumpers every other ball. A wide, that's 16 so far...

21st over - SL 88-5 Angelo Mathews got a tasty welcome to the crease, Broad digging one in before sending a few spiky barbs his way. A bit like turning up to a party and knocking on the door, only for the host to open it and punch you in the face. Luke Wright of Sussex into the attack now. Wright finds the edge of Mathews' bat, but the ball falls well short of Prior. That's stand and deliver stuff from Mathews, standing upright and clipping Wright straight down the ground for four. Mathews picks up two more with a streaky outside edge, and there are seven from the over.

"We might be bowling well and got early wickets but remember we will have to face Murali and Malinga when we bat and I have heard they are quite tricky to face especially when your batsman can't bat too well."
Daniel Mantell in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
20th over - WICKET - Samaraweera c Collingwood b Broad 30 (SL 81-5)
This partnership worth 57 now. Make that 63, Broad digging one in and the ball clearing Prior behind the timbers and racing away for four. Not clever bowling that, no idea why the England pacemen are suddenly testing the middle of the pitch. "That's better," I say, as the next ball makes its way towards Samaraweera. Pitched-up, Samaraweera has a dart at it, and Collingwood takes a simple catch at backward-point.

19th over - SL 74-4 Leg-side half-volley from Onions and Samaraweera flips him away for four. Oh, and that's a pearler from Sama, crackerjacking Onions straight down the ground for four more. Gareth (see below), what about Mick the Miller? Grab his jaws and get him to say "sausages" every now and again, and he'd be a perfect foil for Wrighty.

"RE Studio Five: A work mate and I were trying to work out other celebs to join Fleetwood in the pantheon of great Micks who could make it even more uncomfortable viewing. We came up with messrs Fleetwood, McCarthy and Quinn (admittedly a Micky). Any others?
Gareth Dunning in the TMS inbox

18th over - SL 64-4 Broad wide again, miles outside Samaraweera's off-peg. Bit of nip back into the right-hander, and Samaraweera's edged back into his orchestras. Nasty. Bit short from Broad, but other than the wide, that was another miserly over.

"RE: Studio Five. I disagree. I always find it reassuring to know where Ian Wright is. What if we just didn't know? He could be behind you right now."
Daniel in the TMS inbox

17th over - SL 63-4 Another beauty from Onions, sweet bounce and carry and Kandamby, feeling, can't do much about that. Nice work from Onions, just one from the over, and the Durham seamer has 2-34 from six.

16th over - SL 62-4 Many thanks to John in Manchester, who has correctly pointed out that it should be "pas de poisson" and not "pas de poissons", as I wrote below. Not pedantic, John, just correct. One more wide from Broad, before Samaraweera steals the strike with a fend into the leg-side.

"The gods are smiling upon England here in Jozi. Overcast skies, a slight breeze and a green mamba of a pitch are conspiring to give your lads the best shot at a victory they are likely to see in the group stages. Must admit though that Anderson is hitting his marks beautifully. Elegant shapes to that man's balls. So to speak."
Conrad Kemp in the TMS inbox

15th over - SL 60-4 That's a wicked delivery from Onions (and I mean wicked as in how your nan would mean wicked, I'm not a hoodie), the ball rearing up and seemingly electrocuting Samaraweera, who played it pretty well. That must have been like opening a letter bomb. Short and wide from Onions and Kandamby crashes him through point for four. Short from Onions and Kandamby rolls his wrists on it and picks up a couple. Drinks...

"Anderson has been superb so far. Just need Broad to find his radar and we could have them all out for 80. Hyperbole? Me?"
Stewart, Huddersfield, in the TMS inbox

14th over - SL 52-4 Better length from Broad, but his line is awry and he's nibbled round the corner by Kandamby for one. Samaraweera drives for a single, before Broad loses his line again and is called for a wide... and again... Sri Lanka digging in.

"Re: Studio Five. I'm delighted someone else has realised what absolute garbage that programme is. I was sat there earlier this week unable to believe the tripe that was being served up before me. It is effectively an ex page 3 girl and a losing contestant from a reality TV show trying to get a word in edge-ways whilst Ian Wright shouts."
Mark, Reigate, in the TMS inbox

13th over - SL 48-4 Bit of nibble from Anderson back into Samaraweera, but the batsman gets some wood on it. Just two from that over, one of them a leg-bye, Anderson's keeping it tighter than Muammar Gaddafi's forehead.

12th over - SL 46-4 Sorry about that, got my overs mixed up there, I blame auto refresh. For pretty much everything really. Interestingly, in England's only victory on this ground, they had South Africa four down for single figures. Broad tickles Samaraweera up in the ribs and is tucked away for one. Kandamby nibbles round the corner for one before Samaraweera nicks the strike.

11th over - SL 43-4 Apologies, that was Broad into the attack in the previous over. Anderson pitches one up and Kandamby jams his bat down on it just in time. Kandamby feels outside off and is beaten, and Anderson repeats the trick later in the over. Tough out there, for the batters anyway.

10th over - SL 43-4 Unsurprisingly, my arrival in the hotseat triggers two magnificent boundaries from Samaraweera, the first a doozy of a cover-drive, the second a theatrical drive off the back foot. Anyone seen Live From Studio Five? If you were down the pub and those three were sat next to you talking like that, you'd get slightly angry and move tables. Perhaps only a combination of Garth Crooks, Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood could look more uncomfortable sharing a desk.

9th over - SL 35-4 Searching length from Anderson, drawing Samaraweera forward and the right-hander skewing to third-man for one. Bit of a shock to the system seeing England wreck this Sri Lanka top order like this. At this rate, Joe Calzaghe will be pulling pas de poissons out of his hat on Saturday. Bumper from Anderson and it's called a wide, before Kandamby and Samaraweera exchange singles.

8th over - SL 31-4 Samaraweera squeezes Onions through mid-wicket for a few before Onions digs one in and Kandamby fends him through the slips for one. One more for Samaraweera to point before Kandamby is beaten by a ripper that rears off a length.

"The punters seem to forget that England's attack has not been the problem, it is our batting that has proved totally inept. Expect Sri Lanka to scrape to about 200 all out and the game to go right to the wire."
Reuben Boughton in the TMS inbox

7th over - SL 25-4 Yoyoyo! Many thanks Mitch for standing in while I sat perspiring wildly on the Tube. Manually refresh to see my stupid little name at the top of the screen. As I join you, Samaraweera is first beaten by a ball that comes back in before nibbling away, before the right-hander is scythed in to. A wide down leg, that's the only notch to the total.

By Mark Mitchener

6th over - SL 24-4
Left-hander Thilina Kandamby is the new batsman - England even have a short leg to add to their three slips. Onions strays with another wide, then Kandamby prods a single off his legs. Samaraweera rotates the strike, then Kandamby has hearts in mouths as he leg-glances one out of the reach of short leg and away for four. And Ben Dirs is in the house, and will be taking over now. Ben, you know who they're going to blame if England throw it away from here...

Get involved on 606
From sublimesupersuper on 606: "Mr Mitchener do you honestly expect me to believe that we have Sri Lanka 17-4 after about 5 overs? Now if you don't mind could you put up the real score now please."

Wicket falls
5.2 overs - WICKET - Sangakkara c Strauss b Onions 1 - SL 17-4
Thilan Samaraweera is the new batsman, considering the strength of Sri Lanka's top order I can't imagine he often gets to bat this early. Then Sangakkara sticks his bat out and edges Onions to first slip! Crazy scenes!

Text in your views on 81111
From Nick, Chelmsford, via text on 81111:"Woah woah woah, calm down guys! When did England become any good at this ODI thing?"

Wicket falls
5th over - WICKET - Jayawardene lbw b Anderson 9 - SL 17-3
Jayawardene ambles down the pitch to Anderson but can't connect, although a firm straight drive off the next ball brings him two. He then forces another two through the covers - but when he prods half-forward, he's rapped on the pad and that's out! Incredible start!

From Simon Jowitt, TMS inbox:"I thought England didn't have any wicket-taking bowlers?"

4th over - SL 13-2
The left-handed Sangakkara is off the mark with a single off his legs, Onions also has three slips in for Jayawardene who flicks one down to fine leg for four. A single brings Sanga back on strike, then Sanga takes one right in the, erm, midriff (actually below the midriff, if you know what I mean) and sinks to his knees, grimacing.

From Richard Paterson, TMS inbox:"Maybe time for the 140-year-old Jayasuriya to hang up those batting gloves"

3rd over - SL 7-2
Former captain Mahela Jayawardene joins his successor Sangakkara at the crease. Excellent line and length from Anderson in the early stages, the three slips are now joined by an orthodox gully, almost unheard of at this stage of an ODI. A wicket maiden for the "Burnley Express".

Wicket falls
2.3 overs - WICKET - Dilshan c Morgan b Anderson 2 - SL 7-2
Dilshan flashes outside off stump, and bashes it straight to Eoin Morgan at backward point! Huge wicket!

From Darius Bradley, TMS inbox:"A Taxi for Shah? I will go get a dinghy, sail to South Africa, run to Johannesburg, give him a piggy back and then sail back. It would be cheaper than a Taxi"

2nd over - SL 7-1
So, just as on Tuesday, Jayasuriya has fallen early - but that was the cue for Kumar Sangakkara to join Dilshan for a thrilling partnership. England will hope history doesn't repeat itself today.

From Mike Brown, TMS inbox:"Won toss and fielding, eh? I think that's a good move by Strauss. Now if we can just nip out Dilshan, Jayasuriya and Jayawardene early... and Sangakkara... and Samaraweera, Kandamby, Matthews, Kulasekera and Murali, we'll be into their tail!"

Out for a duck
1.5 overs - WICKET - Jayasuriya c Prior b Onions 0 - SL 7-1
Graham Onions, playing only his second ODI (wearing 90 on his back), takes the second over. Dilshan jabs a quick single to mid-off, then a wild and wooly one down the leg side evades Jayasuriya, keeper Matt Prior and sails away for five wides. But Jayasuriya's gone for a duck as Onions gets him to nibble at one just outside off stump and feather a catch to the keeper!

From Richard in sunny St Neots, TMS inbox:"Negativity from Chris Grant [1320]? I would say he's just about on the mark. Have England the poorest number three in the tournament? Another failure today and surely it will be taxi for Shah"

1st over - SL 1-0
Anderson has Dilshan fishing early on, earning him some words of encouragement from his team-mates. Dilshan aims an optimistic heave to leg but misses - England stick in a third slip, but Dilshan prevents the ignominy of a maiden over by prodding the last ball to third man for a single.

1329: Dilshan is opening with 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya as usual, and James Anderson will take the new ball. England are back in their all-dark-blue kit - which may be just as well, considering how they got taken to the cleaners by Australia while wearing all-red.

1325: Well, fielding first means that England can put off their "how on earth do we play Ajantha Mendis?" panic attacks for a couple of hours or so, but first they will have to contain the mighty Tillakaratne Dilshan, who bashed, crashed and Dilscooped the world's number one ODI team, South Africa, into submission the other day. Teams line up for the national anthems, and the singer gets a few words of the England anthem mixed up, which gives Graeme Swann a fit of the giggles.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1320: As mentioned on previous days, I'm afraid there's no TMS for this tournament, but you can hear updates every 15 minutes with Alison Mitchell on BBC Radio 5 live, and also follow Alison on Twitter. While the customary England negativity comes from Chris Grant (below)...

From Chris Grant, TMS inbox: "Let the pain commence - SL to race to 330 odd, England all out for 140, Strauss to top score with 63, no other batter will get more than 17, Shah involved in three comedy run-outs"

1317: Here are the full teams:

England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Joe Denly, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions.

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilina Kandamby, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.

1315: A bit more on England's changes. As well as Bopara, Tim Bresnan is also left out of the team who played in the 7th ODI against Australia - with Luke Wright and Stuart Broad returning from injury. Owais Shah is on the card to bat at three, with Colly at four, Morgan at five and rather-out-of-form Matt Prior pushed down to six.

Get involved on 606
From worldaudience on 606: "The pitch is more suited to England bowlers... If they can sneak in two early wickets, particularly Dilshan, they have a realistic chance"

1307: Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara says he would have batted first if he'd won the toss - and well he might, after their thumping win against South Africa in the opening game. They're unchanged from that game, while England have dropped Ravi Bopara, and field just one spinner in Graeme Swann. If you're an Adil Rashid fan, you'll have to make do with reading Pranav Soneji's excellent feature on the Yorkshire leggie.

1305: Afternoon, everyone. I'm just keeping this seat warm for Ben Dirs for a while, but I can tell you that England have won the toss and have elected to field first.

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Live Scores - England v Sri Lanka


  • England beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets
  • England: 213-4 (45.0 overs)
  • Sri Lanka: 212 (47.3 overs)

England Innings

Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 4 213
Strauss c Kandamby b Kulasekara 9
Denly lbw b Kulasekara 5
Shah c Sangakkara b Muralitharan 44
Collingwood b Malinga 46
Morgan not out 62
Prior not out 28
Extras 1nb 11w 7lb 19

see also
Morgan leads England to victory
25 Sep 09 |  England
England v Sri Lanka photos
25 Sep 09 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka cruise to opening win
22 Sep 09 |  Cricket
One-day squad needs work - Flower
21 Sep 09 |  Cricket
Strauss urges change of attitude
20 Sep 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
21 Sep 09 |  England
Champions Trophy team guide
20 Sep 09 |  Cricket
A history of the Champions Trophy
21 Sep 09 |  Cricket
In defence of the Champions Trophy
21 Sep 09 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2009
05 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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