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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 December, 2003, 09:44 GMT
England hold on for draw
1st Test, Galle, day five (stumps): England 210-9 & 235 drew with Sri Lanka 331 & 226

Paul Collingwood

England hung on bravely on a dramatic final evening in Galle to draw the first Test against Sri Lanka.

The visitors, set an improbable 323 to win, had just one wicket in hand on 210-9 when bad light came to their assistance four overs early.

Ashley Giles defended like a lion to be 17 not out off 111 balls, keeping Sri Lanka's spinners at bay after tea.

Muralitharan took 4-47 for match figures of 11-93, but could not find a way past Giles and Matthew Hoggard.

Mark Butcher (54 off 132 balls) and Paul Collingwood (36 off 153) were other key figures in a memorable display of defensive batting.

England lost three wickets in the morning session, including skipper Michael Vaughan in the third over after he had been struck on the head by Dinusha Fernando on the first ball of the day.

Graham Thorpe leaves the field after being dismissed
England rallied so well after losing Thorpe before lunch

Marcus Trescothick scored freely early on, but the left-hander soon breached the line between aggression and foolhardiness, advancing Sanath Jayasuriya only to be bowled.

Just 11 runs were then scored in a 30-minute period that culimanated with Graham Thorpe skying Murali into the hands of Chaminda Vaas, reducing England to 73-3.

Butcher and Collingwood dictated matters in the first hour following lunch, defending manfully and even affording the luxury of some liberal strokeplay.

England passed 100 with a Butcher six over long-on before the left-hander reached his 17th career fifty with a straight-driven four off Muttiah Muralitharan.

But the gritty fourth-wicket stand of 52 came to an end following the re-introduction of Vaas, Butcher offering an edge to the keeper.

England lost 3-23 with Butcher's dismissal, Andrew Flintoff and Chris Read departing cheaply soon after.

Sri Lanka struck a huge blow just before tea when Collingwood's epic resistance came to an end thanks to a one-handed catch by Hashan Tillakaratne at bat-pad off

Batty and Giles survived 45 minutes after tea before Batty lost the plot, attempting a slog-sweep off Murali but seeing his stumps crashed instead.

Richard Johnson then played on to Murali trying to leave the ball, setting up the most tense of last-wicket stands as Sri Lanka tried in vain to make the last, critical breakthrough.


Sri Lanka: ST Jayasuriya, MS Atapattu, DPMD Jayawardene, HP Tillakaratne (capt), KC Sangakkara, TT Samaraweera, HDPK Dharmasena, UDU Chandana, WPUJC Vaas, KADM Fernando, M Muralitharan.

England: MP Vaughan (capt), ME Trescothick, MA Butcher, PD Collingwood, GP Thorpe, A Flintoff, CMW Read, AF Giles, GJ Batty, MJ Hoggard, RL Johnson.



Links to more Sri v Eng stories


 

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