*Cricket Articles Archive-No Comments* (Page 67)

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 02 October 2007 at 11:30am | IP Logged
Fracture rules Morkel out of tour

Morkel took 3-86 on his Test debut against India in December 2006

Fast bowler Morne Morkel will play no further part in South Africa's tour of Pakistan after fracturing his foot.

The promising 22-year-old suffered the injury in bizarre fashion when he stepped on a pebble during a three-day tour match on Friday.

"Since this kind of injury takes six to eight weeks to heal, his tour is over," a South African spokesman explained.

The selectors have yet to decide whether to send a replacement for the second Test starting on 8 October.

The South Africans will announce a separate squad for the five-match one-day international series which starts in Lahore on 18 October.

Officials said that Morkel would return to South Africa on the first available flight after X-rays confirmed the fracture of his left foot.

Morkel had an impressive ICC World Twenty20 campaign, claiming nine wickets, including 4-17 against New Zealand in Durban.

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 02 October 2007 at 11:32am | IP Logged
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
E-mail this to a friend      Printable version

Key ECB jobs for Morris & Gatting

Morris (left) and Gatting will start work immediately

Hugh Morris and Mike Gatting have been handed key managerial roles as part of a major restructure of English cricket.

Morris, current England and Wales Cricket Board deputy chief executive, will take over as managing director of the England team from next Monday.

Former England captain Gatting has been given the task of overseeing the first-class and recreational game.

The moves comes in the wake of the Schofield report into England's heavy Ashes defeat a year ago.

The structural overhaul also sees former England women's captain Clare Connor succeed the retiring Gill McConway as the head of women's cricket.
     606: DEBATE
What do you think of the new appointments?

"I am delighted that Hugh, Mike and Clare have accepted these positions," said ECB chief executive David Collier.

"These appointments were recommended within the England Review and approved by the board this summer."

Morris, 43, was a member of the seven-man Schofield committee and it is expected that he will take on overall responsibility for all aspects of England team affairs.

A former captain of Glamorgan, Morris appeared in three Tests for England against West Indies and Sri Lanka in 1991 and acted up as ECB chief executive when Tim Lamb resigned in 2004.

BBC Radio 5live cricket reporter Pat Murphy said: "Morris will deal with discipline and acting as a liaison between players and head coach while taking responsibility for selection of players who've got injury problems.
     Another selector is high on the list of priorities to ease a punishing workload in the summer
BBC's Pat Murphy

"He'll also have input into programming of future tours."

One of Gatting's key roles as Managing Director Cricket Partnerships will be to improve communication between the ECB and first-class and minor counties.

The 50-year-old is also responsible for raising standards across first-class and non-first class cricket.

He told BBC 5live: "I think our development programme is as good as anywhere else in the world.

"In fact the Australians have invited us over recently just to go through how we're developing our game through the grass-roots.

"So I think we're in pretty good shape around the bottom rungs and we just have to make sure the lines of communication are open so everybody has their say and the right decisions are made to improve the players coming through."

The ECB is also thought to be seeking a national selector - a role which former England captain Gatting has filled in the past.

Gatting, who appeared in 79 Tests and captained England to their last Ashes victory in Australia in 1986/87, was last on the selection panel in 1999.

He also acted as coach, alongside former team-mate Graham Gooch, during the ill-fated series defeat to New Zealand that left England bottom in the unofficial Test rankings.

The creation of the new positions fulfils one of the recommendations of the Schofield report, which was published in May.

The report, which suggested 18 other steps to improve the state of English cricket, called for: "The establishment of a new management structure within the ECB with full accountability and responsibility for the selection and performance of the England cricket team."
WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

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Posts: 6442

Posted: 02 October 2007 at 11:33am | IP Logged
Sri Lanka v England 1st ODI
1 October 2007, Dambulla
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As it happened
Eng reaction
Sri reaction

Collingwood only managed nine as England's middle order fell apart

Captain Paul Collingwood acknowledged England's shortcomings with the bat after their 119-run loss to Sri Lanka.

Their hopes of achieving a victory target of 270 evaporated after they slumped from 58-1 to 102-6.

"Losing the middle order the way we did, obviously that was the crucial part of the game," said Collingwood.

"It's not many times you lose Bell, Pietersen and myself for not many runs - and Owais [Shah]. Hopefully we can improve on that area next time."

Interview: England skipper Paul Collingwood
Interview: Man of the match Farveez Maharoof

Collingwood defended England's decision to leave out spin bowler Monty Panesar despite the amount of turn obtained by replacement Graeme Swann.
     606: DEBATE
[England] Looked like a team on a lost mission. What a disgraceful performance
2+2=5 Always

He said: "I thought the way the boys bowled on that pitch was excellent.

"Swanny came in and bowled against some very good Sri Lankan players. I think he did a great job for us. I'm pretty happy with the team selection."

But Collingwood admitted: "Sri Lanka's bowlers are at the levels we have to try to get to.

"[Farveez] Maharoof showed what you have to do on that kind of pitch; he banged away at a really good length, had a mixture of slower balls as well and he was very hard to hit - likewise [Dilhara] Fernando and [Lasith] Malinga as well."

Collingwood backed his side to bounce back in the best-of-five series, with the next two games also in Dambulla on Thursday and Sunday.

"It's not over yet, and there's still plenty of confidence in the dressing room... but it was disappointing to get bowled out for 150 on that pitch," he told BBC Sport.

Opening batsman Alastair Cook was England's top scorer with 46 but it was a painstaking effort as he struggled to keep the momentum going as wickets tumbled at the other end.

"It's tough with the rate going up, it's hard knowing what to do. You want to bat through but can't keep letting the rate go up," Cook commented.

"We will talk about how we can perform and we can put them under pressure. We now know that the wicket is going to be like here so there can be no excuses."

Cook offered words of encouragement for new opening partner Phil Mustard, who marked his England debut with 27 off 17 balls.

"It was good fun. He's a clean striker of the ball. If he can keeping getting us off to a flier, then that's good for us," he added. Embarrassed
farisss4 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 10 November 2006
Posts: 2585

Posted: 07 October 2007 at 10:36am | IP Logged
Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Lahore

Osman Samiuddin in Lahore

October 7, 2007

Inzamam-ul-Haq gets ready for his last Test match AFP

Apart from looking light of paunch, not much about Inzamam-ul-Haq's last touch-football training session appeared any different to the many that preceded it. He ambled around on the periphery, occasionally roused himself to sprint and throw passes, before stopping to amble again. The others accorded him the respect they always have by not really running after him that hard.

Cool as you like he had a bat in the nets, but admitted the occasion got to him. "Today when I went to do batting practice in the nets I got a little bit emotional."

The last year has been unkind to Inzamam and it has brought him to this: resignation from the captaincy, ODI retirement and now from Tests, when he feels he can still play on for a year. "It was a tough decision, but when I looked at the youngsters in the dressing room, I thought they shouldn't be put under pressure and it was better to quit. Every player should realise himself when it is the right time for him to leave.

"There are lots of youngsters who have bright futures and I hope by the time the next World Cup (2011) comes, the team will be in better shape. The way we have performed in the World Twenty20, there are lots of encouraging signs."

Inzamam praised the Pakistan board for affording him this send-off, dignified if a little forced, but it's one very few ex-players have been able to command. He wasn't thinking ahead just yet, however. "My priority is to perform well and help Pakistan draw the series."

His return puts Pakistan in an unusual situation. Shoaib Malik, the captain, rightly sees it as a bulking up of the middle-order, especially with the return also of Mohammad Yousuf. But it could leave them distracted as well, as Graeme Smith has pointed out.

"Both players are coming back after a while and it might affect Pakistan," said Smith. "We're making sure we concentrate on playing the style of cricket we played in the first Test."

But Smith acknowledged that both were serious batsmen, no matter what the situation or context. "We were prepared for Yousuf in the first Test and we have played against Inzamam recently so our game-plan is pretty much in place for these two batsmen. We are pretty comfortable but they are world-class players. How they fit back in their setup is their challenge and how we bowl is our challenge."

Over 20,000 international runs, 35 hundreds and 17 years after his debut, against West Indies in 1991, Inzamam will play his last game at the venue where it all began: the Gaddafi Stadium. "I still remember that game. It feels as if it was only yesterday." If it was, then some day it's been.

Osman Samiuddin is the Pakistan editor of Cricinfo
farisss4 IF-Dazzler

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Posted: 07 October 2007 at 3:10pm | IP Logged
Inzamam times it perfectly, and leaves behind an enviable legacy

The big man goes

Osman Samiuddin

October 5, 2007

Inzamam-ul-Haq's glittering career will come to an end with the Lahore Test AFP

A sombre press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi brought down the curtain on one of the most glittering careers in Pakistan cricket. Inzamam-ul-Haq probably wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The former captain - and arguably the greatest Pakistan batsman alongside Javed Miandad - announced that next week's second Test against South Africa at Lahore will be his 120th and his last.

As ever, neither mood nor expression nor inflection could be gauged from Inzamam's face. He said, "I am available for the Lahore Test. This will be my last Test for Pakistan. It was a difficult decision for me but I decided it is better for Pakistan." He could just as easily have been talking about a poor day in the field and Pakistan's propensity for no-balls and extras.

He looked considerably slimmer than at the World Cup, fitter perhaps for he had, until recently been prepared to fight for his Test place. A brief stint for Yorkshire revealed his desire, though not perhaps his class, as only one fifty in three county matches shows.

Inzamam acknowledged he could have played on physically, but mentally might have not fit into a young dressing room with a new captain. "I have played cricket all my life and I felt I had 12-18 months left in me still. But I realised the boys are playing well since the World Cup and felt that the age gap between me and them, in the dressing-room, might have been too much. It could have affected the dressing-room."

Through this Test, and the days preceding it, the air has been rife with talk of deals. Perhaps it was an inevitable produce of rumours of the biggest deal in Pakistan - between the President and Benazir Bhutto - but Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, denied numerous reports that a golden handshake agreement had been reached with Inzamam to send him off into the sunset.

Instead, he chose to focus on a "new tradition" of a great player announcing his retirement at the right time and in the right spirit. "All reports regarding any deal are just not correct. Inzamam came to me himself and said that he doesn't want to put undue pressure on the dressing-room with his presence. Inzamam has started a great tradition which we haven't seen in Pakistan before and we should respect and praise him for that. This is a decision for the future of Pakistan cricket."

Such talk will undoubtedly recede over coming days and the focus will rightly switch to Inzamam's body of work. An impressive one it is too: third-highest ODI run-scorer, most Test centuries for Pakistan, 17 match-winning hundreds from 25, one of the best slip catchers and series wins as captain over a strong England and Indian side in 2005-06.

He stands also, just 20 runs short of Miandad's tally as the leading Test run-scorer for Pakistan. Lahore provides him an opportunity for a fitting finale, though the record is not on his mind. "This is not important to me. Obviously it is a big thing to break it, but breaking Javed bhai's record is not such a happy thing." More disappointing, though he didn't say publicly, will be missing out on making 10,000 Test runs.

As is a must on such occasions, he was asked to name his single most memorable moment. The reply was trademark Inzi, dry and self-deprecating. "If I had only one moment to recall in a 119-Test career, it wouldn't be much of a career. It's difficult, but the first was the World Cup 1992 win and the other was my comeback Test against Bangladesh in Multan in 2003." One of his finest hundreds it was, even taking into account the opposition, for the multifarious pressures he was under at the time. Had he not won it, he admitted, he would've retired then, not now.

However and predictably, with the happy days come the sad, most recently the 2007 World Cup campaign where he oversaw Pakistan's ouster to Ireland. It heavily dented, he said to reporters later, his passion and motivation for the game. Undoubtedly there were others, but on balance, it was a career well-constructed. "There are many things you want to achieve but you can't always. Overall, I can look back and thank God for the career I have had."

All of Pakistan, and much of the cricket world, will no doubt thank him for the career he has had.

farisss4 IF-Dazzler

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Posted: 12 October 2007 at 5:34am | IP Logged
Bowlers on Inzamam-ul-Haq

'Inzamam had all the time in the world'

Interviews by Nagraj Gollapudi

October 12, 2007

For the better part of two decades Inzamam-ul-Haq has earned the respect of bowlers the world over. Cricinfo asked five men who went head to head with the man for their impressions of him.

Kumble has been among the very few bowlers who has had consistent success against Inzamam AFP

Anil Kumble
He was one of the top five batsmen I bowled to in international cricket and I was fortunate enough to get him on more than a few occasions. He always had a lot of time, knew when to take the risk and when just to push along. He was very good at planning an innings.

Inzy could hang in there and control the game and guide the Pakistan batting, but at the same time he could occasionally become impatient.

I always felt that he was more vulnerable if he first faced spin when he came in than the fast bowlers, because against fast bowlers he could move his feet easily. I trapped him quite a few times in front of the stumps - not just because of his late foot movement, but also because I tended to bowl quicker since he was a bit suspect in front of the wicket.

If you weren't successful, he could be a challenge. As he proved against India, in his second-last Test here, in Bangalore during the 2005 series, where he just went on and on to pile up 184. My other favourite Inzy innings was the one against Bangladesh at Multan in 2003.

He was not someone who was aggressive in his body language; he was always self-contained. I don't think one could play mental games with him.

Favorite Inzamam shot The back-foot punch.

Allan Donald
Bowling to Inzy was almost like bowling to a brick wall. Everything about him was unfazed, nothing could rattle him - he was so solid. He was very calm of nature, and even as captain you felt he never got angry. The only time I saw him angry was when Pakistan were called off the field at The Oval last year.

As a batsman he was a very, very difficult guy to bowl to. He was not the most elegant batsman ever seen, but he was very effective in his own way - a bit like Steve Waugh; and I'm not comparing him to Steve Waugh, just comparing their natures. Inzi was very resilient and put a very high price on his wicket.

When he was playing really well he had all the time in the world and all the shots to go with it. He played from quite deep in the crease and that gave him more time. The minute you started coming a bit fuller, thinking you might get him through the gate, the timing of his shots was incredible. He had such good balance for a big guy.

Our strategy was to bowl a little bit fuller and make sure that it was on the off stump, and not middle and off, because he was very good working the ball off the stumps. In the first 15-20 balls he didn't really look to get into the ball or at the ball on the front foot, so we concentrated on bowling fuller and finishing on the off stump. Then we would try peppering in the short one from time to time, because the bounce had been his undoing here in South Africa sometimes.

You can't compare Inzy to any of his team-mates, or even former Pakistan batsmen. This guy, to me, was the one batsman who showed a bit more real guts: to get out there, apply himself, get over the hot period and get himself in

Allan Donald

But over a period of time we realised we were wasting our time trying to bounce him early on because he almost wanted us to do that. What made our job difficult was he was very patient, and that was because he was very disciplined: He left a lot of balls and was a good judge of pitches and how to leave balls on the bounce or lack of bounce. He was good at wearing bowlers down. Sometimes it felt as though if anything was going to get him out it was him getting bored and playing a rash shot or running himself out. Mentally you couldn't upset him. It didn't matter what you said. In that respect he is like Jacques Kallis.

You can't compare Inzy to any of his team-mates, or even former Pakistan batsmen. This guy, to me, was the one batsman who showed a bit more real guts: to get out there, apply himself, get over the hot period and get himself in.

He was no doubt a great batsman and he would be in my top five: Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mike Atherton.

Favourite Inzamam shot My favourite Inzy shot was the straight drive. He didn't really look to hit through the line to a ball that was full: he would always hit it down the ground past the bowler, the hallmark of a top-class player.

Damien Fleming
During the 1994 tour of Pakistan, in the game before my Test debut, at Karachi I was the twelfth man and I was asked to put the champagne on ice when the ninth wicket for Pakistan went down. But by the end of it Inzamam and Mushy [Mushtaq Ahmed] put on 60-odd to win the game. Inzamam showed a lot of maturity, a lot of class, putting faith in his partner not to panic even if he was a No. 11. He was an intelligent cricketer.

I did get Inzamam a few times early in his innings. Being a swing bowler I backed myself to get a nick or to trap him lbw early, as he was never a great starter, but once he got going he covered all types of bowling, playing with no obvious weakness. Like all great batsmen, once he got in the zone he didn't throw his wicket away - he went on to get big scores.

For a big man he didn't try and over-hit the ball. And he didn't need to, because he had wonderful timing and immense power.

Hoggard thinks he has his man, at Multan in 2005 AFP

Yes, he could be quite slow on his bat swing and on getting his front foot down at times, and so a couple of times I hit his pad before the bat came down. But over the years his defences couldn't be breached and the only way out then was to build the pressure and make him run hard between the wickets without giving him any cheap singles or doubles.

I still remember his great hundred against us in Hobart in 1999-00. At one point I was pretty flattened out and out of ideas. So I came round the wicket and bowled a couple of dot-balls and pushed him back. Then I thought I would bowl him the slower one, the offspinner, which used to get a lot of batsmen driving on the up. It came out perfectly but he picked it up, waited for it to land and just smashed it through the covers for four. Normally the weight of the batsman is on the back foot and the loopy one brings them forward, and if they are not to the pitch of the ball it goes in the air. But Inzy adjusted his shot and his timing - and this was during the second innings when it was real difficult. Only great players can do that.

One of my lasting memories of Inzy was during his last trip to Australia [2004-05]. The Australian press asked him what he felt about Glenn McGrath targetting him during the series. Inzy's response was, "Isn't that what bowlers do?" Always made his point in his own way without saying too much.

Favorite Inzamam shot I like batsmen who hook and pull and Inzi was always a good one to watch in that regard.

Chaminda Vaas
It was always a challenge to bowl to Inzamam, one of the greats of international cricket in both forms of the game. It was not difficult to bowl at him as such, but his was never a cheap wicket - he always was among runs. You had to bowl in good areas; the margin of error against him was very, very limited.

As a left-armer my natural delivery to him was the inswinger and that seemed to put him in trouble often, but if it was not pitched properly he would dominate soon. What I mean by good areas is: good line and length, around eight inches up always, and keep hitting particular spots the pitch which would get him.

For him it came naturally: he was very relaxed, just like Mark Waugh and Carl Hooper. Without a doubt he is among my top five batsmen

Chaminda Vaas

Inzamam was as strong in defence as he was in attack. He had good eyes and was a good timer of the ball. He always made many runs on subcontinental wickets against both pace and spin.

I have seen very few cricketers in international cricket who have so much time to play their shots. For him it came naturally: he was very relaxed, just like Mark Waugh and Carl Hooper. Without a doubt he is among my top five batsmen.

Matthew Hoggard
Inzamam is one of the greatest batsmen that has ever lived. And one of his greatest virtues was that he had so much time for his shots. That was because he always hung back; he didn't lunge at the ball and get forward mentally - like all great batsmen in history.

He was very much an accumulator of runs but, having said that, you didn't know what mode he would come out in to bat. He could switch from defence to attack without any trouble. And he always looked to bat for long time.

Part of his success was that he played himself in - just looked to stay in till he got the pace of the wicket and the bounce. He would try and make sure he was still there when the bowlers were in their third or fourth spells, because that's when he scored the majority of his runs.

My strategy to get him was simple. He was susceptible to the lbw early on, with the ball nipping backwards, as he didn't move his feet that much. And he was too good to get easily riled mentally. Having said that, he could surprise you with his aggression on occasions. I remember in my second Test, at Old Trafford, I hit him on the head and the next ball he tried to hit me out of the ground. Thankfully he didn't connect properly.

Favorite Inzamam shot The hook and pull were his best shots - he just had so much time to play them.
WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
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Posted: 13 October 2007 at 6:24am | IP Logged

Sri Lanka v England 5th ODI
Live video scorecard with TMS commentary
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13 October 2007, Colombo
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SL v Eng run-by-run

Sri Lanka 180-7 (42 overs) v England

England reduced Sri Lanka to 159-7 in the fifth and final one-dayer thanks to another impressive effort in the field.

James Anderson got Sanath Jayasuriya (26) before debutant Dilruwan Perera (30) and Mahela Jayawardene were caught off in-form paceman Ryan Sidebottom.

Owais Shah bowled Kumar Sangakkara in his first over and Tillakaratne Dilshan was run out going for a risky single.

The recalled Monty Panesar and Ravi Bopara also struck to boost England's hopes of wrapping up a 4-1 triumph.


By Mark Mitchener


e-mail (with 'For Mark Mitchener' in the subject), text 81111 (start your message with the word "CRICKET") or use 606

Dougie Brown
"Panesar has done exactly the job which was asked of him - Sri Lanka haven't got any more recognised batsmen left, so they can't afford to lose any more wickets"
Dougie Brown on TMS

42nd over - SL 180-7
After seven overs of the second "new" (used) white ball, the umpires decide to change the ball again. It's Monty's final over, and a sharp Vaas off-drive yields a single. Two more singles complete the Montster's spell - he finishes with figures of 10-0-31-1.

"Right, back from the football [see 0957 entry] with my team winning and only suffered from some cramp and a moderately sized blister. It appears the cricket is going OK which is to my liking... especially good to see Bopara bowling (I'm an Essex boy by birth)"
Dan (Played averagely and is still alive) in Southampton in the TMS inbox

41st over - SL 177-7
Vaas (wearing a red bandana under his blue helmet) gets a lucky edge off Bopara and it shoots through the vacant skip cordon for four. He and Silva shuffle through for a couple of singles apiece, before Silva chops one that just evades Colly at backward point and it goes for four. An expensive over by contrast to the last one.

"Simon (18th over), if you think you've got a stamina conundrum spare a thought for me. It's 8pm now, I've just started drinking soju, by full-time in Paris the sun will be coming up again and my eyes will be blue from staring at this laptop"
Richard, South Korea, in the TMS inbox

40th over - SL 166-7
Monty fizzes one in outside the left-handed Vaas's off-stump and it turns well to beat his outside edge. The veteran is finally off the mark with a single off the last ball, but that's a good over for Monty and England. It's eyes down for the last 10 overs.

"Mark, any chance of you saying something like Silva is playing in god-like fashion and Sri Lanka should be well on for 300+ no probs?"
TV, Cambridge in the TMS inbox
[It doesn't work if you try to do it deliberately! MM]

39th over - SL 165-7
Silva slashes off the back foot, Cook misjudges a sprawling stop on the boundary and the ball trickles on to the rope. The next ball is a wide which Mustard does well to stop. But good fielding from Bell and Colly means there are no other scoring strokes from the over.

"Dear Danny from Aberystwyth, who is reading a difficult but 'enjoying' book about International Relations Theory - it might be better brushing up on your basic grammar before reading difficult books - last time I checked, enjoying was a verb, not an adjective! Or maybe I'm just nitpicking because I'm reading about EU Law and becoming progressively more nervous about the upcoming rugby game"
Rob Miles in the TMS inbox

38th over - SL 160-7
A half-hearted LBW appeal from Monty against Silva fails to impress umpire De Silva (presumably no relation). The Northants left-armer has Silva tied down for much of the over, and only a single is possible.

"Pietersen at scrum-half? Are you mad? The man would drop his ears if they weren't attached to his head"
Daniel Saunders in the TMS inbox

37th over - SL 159-7
New batsman Chaminda Vaas sees off the final two deliveries of the over.

Out for a duck
36.4 overs - WICKET - Lokuarachchi lbw b Bopara 0 - SL 159-7
Silva nudges Bopara for a single where Pietersen, back on the field, does the fielding. Loku's stay at the crease is thankfully short (nothing personal, I just hate trying to spell his name without cutting'n'pasting) as he misses a straight one and Bopara traps him LBW. Bopara crouches down to appeal, with both fingers pointing towards the umpire like someone striking a disco-dancing pose, and is rewarded with the slow finger of death from Rudi Koertzen.

36th over - SL 158-6
It's the moment I really wasn't looking forward to - the jolly-difficult-to-type-in-a-hurry Kaushal Lokuarachchi (hereafter referred to as Loku) is the new batsman. He defends his first ball.

Wicket falls
Thats 50
35.5 overs - WICKET - Mubarak c Bopara b Panesar 6 - SL 158-6
Silva and Mubarak both sweep Monty for singles, while Simon Mann fears that England's slow over-rate will mean a shortened interval - and I can tell you that's not much fun for those of us sat here for 100 overs with only a short break in the middle! Silva turns one to leg to reach his 50 - but then Monty claims his first wicket when Mubarak fences at a wide one and Bopara sinks to his knees at point to take the catch.

Simon Mann
"Phil Mustard has played four very similar innings on the tour so far - he's hit a few boundaries and then got out, although it hasn't helped that he's had to bat under lights four times"
Simon Mann on TMS

35th over - SL 155-5
As per the new ODI rules, with 34 overs gone, umpire Rudi hands Bopara the "new" (used) ball with which to bowl. The first delivery with the new sphere hits Silva on the pad, but the appeal is in vain as it was going down leg. Silva then hoists Bopara over the infield, Broad tries to use his "Boundary Fox" skills but his tumbling roll can't quite stop the boundary. A single takes his score to 48 but Mubarak can't get the last two balls away.

"What has happened to Maharoof? Is he the Monty Panesar of Sri Lanka?"
RH in the TMS inbox [He's injured - MM]

34th over - SL 150-5
Broad takes another rest and Monty P returns. Silva turns him to midwicket and they jog through for a single. With Sidey still off the field (and Luke Wright sub-fielding for him), Pietersen is also off the field and is replaced by his Hampshire team-mate Chris Tremlett. Silva and Mubarak don't seem to be in much trouble against Panesar, and a succession of singles bring up Sri Lanka's 150.

33rd over - SL 146-5A drinks break is taken, before Bopara resumes with his third over, and he's keeping it pretty tight with what Simon Mann on TMS describes as a "Sunday League run-up" of about 15 yards. Silva twice tries to work him away to third man, but Captain Colly makes a superb stop-and-rocket-throw-in-to-the-stumps at backward point both times. A maiden for Essex's Bopara.

"Anyone got any suggestion on how to recover quickly from a day spent in Blackpool and a hair raising ride on the Pepsi Max [I'm assuming that's a roller-coaster - MM] - does anyone in Blackpool watch cricket?"
Chrissy, north Notts, in the TMS inbox

"For Simon, London - try to stay out of the pub for as long as possible. The last time I went on a sporting all-dayer it made me very ill. I woke up in the night covered in an icy sweat, from the waist down"
Woodzeebeck, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox

"I don't think we can give the cockroach 'Animal of the Series' without a picture. How big is Simon Mann? If he's quite small, maybe the cockroach isn't as big as we thought and is actually the size of a medium-sized bunny rabbit, the sort that wouldn't do harm to anyone and just likes to eat carrots?"
Danny, Amersham, in the TMS inbox

32nd over - SL 146-5
Broad and Mustard appeal for a catch behind as Silva fences at one which is called a wide. The next ball is a high bouncer, leading ump De Silva to signal to Broad "that's your one for the over". Another bouncer is signalled as a no-ball, and De Silva signals to Colly his reasons for doing so. Silva responds with another high-quality cover-driven four, before they scamper a quick single. Bell's underarm throw just misses the stumps - Silva would have been out if it had hit. England bowling consultant Ottis Gibson is sitting next to non-playing squad members Mascarenhas and Tremlett - given the Durham man's role as Hampshire's nemesis on several occasions during the summer, what will they talk about?

Dougie Brown
"It's really good to see England hunting as a pack - they're backing each other up, as it was really poor from Silva to take that second run"
Dougie Brown on TMS

31st over - SL 139-5
Bopara continues for his second over, while England physio Kirk Russell (not to be confused with the similarly-named star of action movies such as Escape from LA) continues to treat Sidey's cramp just outside the boundary rope. Silva and Mubarak take a couple of singles each.

30th over - SL 135-5
The Montster's off after five wicketless overs for 19 runs, and Stuart Broad returns. Silva and Mubarak take a single each, before Sidebottom tries to make a diving stop and appears to collapse to the turf with cramp. Silva calls for a second run while Sidey writhes in agony, and several England fielders converge on Silva to express the view that to take that second run was somewhat unsporting. As Sidey leaves the field for treatment, Broad fires in a bouncer at Silva by way of revenge.

Alison Mitchell
"Graeme Swann told me Ryan Sidebottom is very superstitious - he has to sit in the same seat on the team bus when he's played well. But Swann writes a little F inside his shirt so he uses the same shirt for fielding, rather than batting, in every game"
Alison Mitchell on TMS

Dougie Brown
"Everything Paul Collingwood is doing as captain is turning to gold at the moment - bringing on Shah, and then Bopara"
Dougie Brown on TMS

29th over - SL
Radio 4 LW listeners return, having missed that wicket during the Shipping Forecast, and new batsman Jehan Mubarak sees off the last ball. A great first over from Bopara.

Wicket falls
28.5 overs - WICKET - Dilshan run out (Bell/Mustard) 9 - SL 131-5
Despite haviing made that vital breakthrough, Shah's off after three overs (that lousy wide in the last over may have had something to do with it), and Ravi Bopara takes up the attack. If anything, he's been under-bowled in this series, but Colly's shoulder injury means he's effectively England's fourth seamer today. Silva opens the face to guide one down to third man for a single, and then Dilshan tries to take a suicidal single to Ian Bell at cover, is rightly sent back by Silva and Dilshan is run out by yards. Dilshan is absolutely furious with Silva, but that's the end of him.

28th over - SL 130-4
Dilshan off-drives Monty again, taking two to long-off, before another attempted sweep sees him miss the ball as it spins more than he thought. Dilshan tries to use his feet but Monty keeps him tied down as Radio 4 LW listeners have the Shipping Forecast inflicted on them.

"Shame our sporting governing bodies could not get together. An over from Rooney and one from Andrew Sheridan would rock the Sri Lankans. That coupled with Sidebottom rising like a tin of John West at the far post to get on the end of a Gerrard cross and KP playing scrum-half would be a dream. Feeling patriotic again for the first time in ages"
Bernie, in work in Liverpool, but not for long, in the TMS inbox

27th over - SL 128-4
I hate to say this to the army of Montster fans, but Shah is looking the more comfortable of England's two spinners at the moment. He's getting a lot of turn, although Dilshan and Silva are continuing to tickle the singles with some aplomb. The commentator's curse then strikes again as Shah sends down a very poor legside wide - the batsmen run three but it's so slow that the ball can't reach the fine leg boundary.

Russell Arnold
"250 is still on the cards for Sri Lanka, but they need a partnership here"
Russell Arnold on TMS

26th over - SL 120-4
Dilshan off-drives Monty for a single to long-off, while Silva works him away to fine leg again for two. Colly adjusts the field to try to nullify the threat of the sweep. Monty tosses one up which Silva sends straight to backward point.

"Not a good day for me as I didn't think when accepting to help another store at work today how big this sporting day was. I start working at 12 and finish at seven so miss the cricket and football. A cricket club dinner and awards is this evening so I even miss the rugby as well!"
Edges Wedges in the TMS inbox

25th over - SL 117-4
Shah continues, Dilshan takes a single before Silva tries to guide a wide one down to fine leg for two. Shah tosses one up which Silva carves to backward point for two.

24th over - SL 112-4
Silva takes a single, while the new batsman is Tillakaratne Dilshan, who follows Silva and Sanga's lead from the previous over by sweeping Panesar for a two and then a single. I'm still trying to recover from the sight of Rudi signalling a wide in the last over when Sanga was bowled! You might think the man has it in for England, I couldn't possibly comment.

Wicket falls
23rd over - WICKET - Sangakkara b Shah 26 - SL 108-4
Is this a gamble by Colly? Owais Shah's occasional off-spin is introduced into the attack - although Colly's shoulder injury could see Shah, Bopara and even conceivably Pietersen making up the fifth bowler's allocation. Silva takes a sharp single, while Sangakkara pushes one to Broad, who is at deep cover in two senses of the word, fielding underneath the shadow of the large grandstand. Silva then chops one down to third man for one. The final ball bowls Sanga around his legs as he sweeps and misses at one that turns prodigiously. But Sanga stands his ground while Rudi Koertzen astonishingly signals a wide! After TV replays are consulted, Sanga has to go. Owais, I take back what I said about it being a gamble...

22nd over - SL 103-3
Silva slog-sweeps Monty from outside off-stump for four to bring up the Sri Lanka hundred, while a more orthodox sweep yields a single. A fan on the boundary holds up a "Where's Our Dimi?" banner - a long-distance Hampshire fan, or a Mascarenhas relative? Sanga and Silva take a single each - seven off the over.

"In reply to Dave, Warrington and Al, Bristol - I am that charming lady to accompany their day of sporting fun. But only if I can sit on the sofa, and they fetch my beers! I am a Cardiff Uni student - my two projects lay abandoned at feet - I'm still trying to work whether to wear my England cricket, football or rugby shirts out in Welsh capital's city centre... which would get me the least abuse?!"
Kathryn, pondering, (and wishing to apologise to her project co-workers), Cardiff, in the TMS inbox
[I went to Cardiff Uni from 1993-97 and would recommend you do not wear an England rugby shirt in such circumstances! - MM]

21st over - SL 96-3
As Alison Mitchell on TMS reveals that this stadium was built on swamp land which had been used by Buddhist monks on their way to a temple, Sanga takes a single off Broad which prompts Colly to shuffle his field again. Silva has to dig out a good yorker, but then pulls a looser one past mid-on for four, before guiding a single to third man. Alison notices more enormous black crows which are swooping past the window of the TMS box.

Dougie Brown
"Panesar's been working on bowling a little slower, as sometimes he can bowl too fast in ODIs, where you need to take pace off the ball at times"
Dougie Brown on TMS

20th over - SL 90-3
It's time for the Montster, as Mr Panesar gets his first bowl of the series, looking to improve on his ODI bowling average of 41. Monty bowls over the wicket to the left-handed Sanga who takes two and then works him away for a single. Monty then goes around the wicket to the right-handed Silva, and keeps him tied down for the rest of the over. That's it for the fielding restrictions.

Dougie Brown
"Stuart Broad has saved a number of runs by flinging himself around the boundary in this series - you can save 20 to 30 runs per game in the field"
Dougie Brown on TMS

19th over - SL 87-3
Broad runs in for his fourth over, and Sanga nudges another single from the first ball. He and Silva work away another couple of singles, so it's just three runs from the over.

"I can honestly thank God that I'm able to follow all of today's sport. I had been pencilled in for the 12-9 shift at work but managed to use the old 'it's a religious holiday - honest' excuse to get the day off"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

18th over - SL 84-3
Dougie and Alison on TMS explore England's wicket-keeping options, mentioning Mustard, Matt Prior, Steven Davies, Tim Ambrose, James Foster and Chris Read. Sanga takes a single but England keep it tight in the field.

"Can anyone give any hints on how to manage my boozing throughout this sports intensive day? Initially, I thought I'd start at 10am (cricket), then thinking that wasn't wise, I though 2pm (football), and again realising that my stamina wasn't that huge I'm now going for 6pm (rugby). I'm a pub sleeper, so any advice would be appreciated"
Simon, London, in the TMS inbox
[BBC Sport advises that such drinking should be in moderation]

Dougie Brown
"I'd have thought England would bring two specialist wicket-keepers to Sri Lanka - as if the wicket-keeper is injured on the morning of the match, you need to bring someone in immediately. It's no good if they have to fly someone in from the development squad in India"
Dougie Brown on TMS

17th over - SL 83-3
Silva mistimes one from Broad and fences it just short of Colly at backward point, while Sidey returns to the field in place of Wright. Another good shot from Silva is restricted to a single as Cook makes a good stop at short cover. Sanga tips and runs for another single.

Simon Mann
"I really hope they don't think that Swann, who has done well in this series, should play ahead of Panesar in the Tests"
Simon Mann on TMS

16th over - SL 81-3
The third powerplay is taken, and ump De Silva holds his middle finger, ring finger and little finger into the air to signify that for this five-over powerplay, England can have three fielders outside the circle. Anderson replaces Sidey, and after Sanga glances one off his legs for a single, an amusing incident ensues when the ball flies out of hAnderson's hand during his delivery stride and it trickles away behind him. De Silva calls "dead ball". Silva then gets off the mark with a glorious textbook cover-drive for four. The MCC could do worse than video that one for their famed coaching manual. A single completes the over.

"Oh how marvellous to see the commentator's curse working against Sri Lanka too - poor Mr Perera! Well done Mark, keep it up!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

15th over - SL 75-3
Sidey leaves the field to be replaced by sub fielder Luke Wright - presumably that's his spell over. Broad has Sanga playing and missing. Sidey is then spotted in the dressing-room, necking a bottle of water. Sanga square-drives to third man for a single, to finally get Sri Lanka off the score of 74 at which they lost two wickets. Silva has to go up onto his toes to fend off one from Broad, and that's it for the second powerplay.

"I'm at work so relying on this feed until 2pm when I knock off and sprint home in time for some of the cricket and the football - can't wait"
Nic Charlton, Bristol, in the TMS inbox

14th over - SL 74-3
With the fall of two wickets, an impromptu mid-over drinks break is taken. New batsman is Chamara Silva, and he sees off the rest of the over - it's a double-wicket maiden for Sidey. His figures are 7-2-25-2.

Out for a duck
13.4 overs - WICKET - Jayawardene c Broad b Sidebottom 0 - SL 74-3
While a band in the stadium belts out that old Boney M classic "Rivers of Babylon", Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene walks to the wicket, while Simon Mann on TMS spots a giant crow on the sightscreen and reveals that a cockroach "the size of a cat" was spotted by producer Caroline Short in the TMS box earlier today. Simon took on the Sir Lancelot role (so he says) to get rid of it. But is it too late for the crow or the cockroach to win "animal of the series"? Back on the pich, Jayawardene spoons his third ball up in the air and Broad runs forward to take the catch at mid-on.

Wicket falls
13.1 overs - WICKET - Perera c Mustard b Sidebottom 30 - SL 74-2
Another wicket for Sidey as he finds Perera's outside edge (having had a couple whistle past it in earlier overs) and the Colonel takes a regulation catch.

13th over - SL 74-1
It's the first change of bowling as Stuart Broad brushes his fair hair out of his eyes before replacing Anderson. Hampshire duo Chris Tremlett and Dimi Mascarenhas are chatting away on the boundary, neither of them having been selected for any of these five ODIs. Sanga takes a single off Broad, who then hits Perera on the pad, but again umpire Rudi Koertzen is umnoved. Will Rudi expand his white goatee to a full beard in time for the festive season? Perera then benefits from some comedy fielding from Sidey, who lets a ball he should have stopped sail straight through him for two. I think he should be made to practise the Long Barrier position if they take a drinks break. His Notts team-mate Broad then sends down a legside wide.

"Andy in Leek: all three international sides were playing on the same day on Saturday, 8 September this year - England beat India in the deciding one-dayer, England beat USA in the opening World Cup game, and England beat Israel in the football... three more wins today, fingers crossed!"
Steve in Norwich in the TMS inbox

12th over - SL 69-1
More good running between the wickets sees Perera run two to long leg off Sidey, before they trot through for a leg-bye. Perera now has 27 off 36 balls - not bad for your debut. Sanga carefully steers the last ball to third man to pinch the strike.

"On hearing the news that Andrew Flintoff is now out for around seven months, I have one message for the selectors and coaches: DON'T RUSH HIM BACK!! I have a feeling this is the last chance saloon for Freddie's ankle and if it fails to recover properly this time then we will be deprived of the best cricketer of his generation. The emphasis must be on recovery and rehabilitation rather than on when he will next play for England"
Steve, Rochdale, in the TMS inbox [Hear, hear - MM]

"Paul in Lancs, I'm currently pondering whether to be immensely flattered at the bestowal of such a prestigious award, or outraged at the suggestion I might have a drink problem... unfortunately my brain is a little woolly this morning so I'll have to get back to you on that one..... *hiccoughs*"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

11th over - SL 65-1
Umpire Rudi Koertzen signals the second powerplay by moving his arm in a circle, then aims a two-fingered salute back down the wicket. It looks ruder than it is - he's signalling that this is the powerplay where two fielders will be allowed outside the fielding circle. Anderson continues to bowl too short, and Perera flays him for successive fours through point. He appeals for LBW when the next ball hits Perera on the pad, but Rudi is so unimpressed that he doesn't even signal a leg-bye. Sanga guides one away to square leg for a comfortable two. Another leg-glance trickles down to fine leg, and they take two more runs which brings Sanga to 6,000 ODI runs. A much better over from Sri Lanka.

10th over - SL 52-1
Perera gets the scoreboard going again with a single, while Broad is back on the field. Sanga is off the mark with a streaky waft outside off-stump which sails past second slip for four. Not the first streaky shot played today, by a long chalk. Captain Colly makes a smart stop in his familiar postition of backward point to deny Sanga a single, but yet again Colly feels his injured shoulder after making the stop. Sanga then nudges one off his his legs for two, where Monty does the fielding at long leg. That's it for the first powerplay.

Dog #1, the first dog who invaded the pitch in Dambulla
"I nominate both Dog #1 and Dog #2 for 'animal of the series' as both of them were hillarious and made me laugh and laugh whilst doing some tough uni reading"
Danny (reading a difficult but enjoying book about Inernational Relations Theory), Aberystwyth, in the TMS inbox

9th over - SL 45-1
Alison Mitchell on TMS notices that Luke Wright is on as a sub fielder for Stuart Broad. Anderson continues to new batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who's happy to defend his first six balls. That's two maidens on the trot.

8th over - SL 45-1
Perera finally cuts loose, trying to take the attack to Sidey but gets a wild top-edge. Mustard charges up from behind the stumps but can't quite get there in time. A mixture of line and length and well-disguised slower balls from Sidey keep Perera tied down - and it's the first maiden over of the day.

"Morning Mark, a great day of English sport today. Just sat down to watch the cricket, will catch the football at 3pm, then to top it off, we have reserved a seating area in the Engine Room Public House for 12 of us to watch the Rugby World Cup semi-final. Cannot remember when all three international sides were playing on the same day. And a bonus it's a Saturday. If you want to join us tonight, you're more than welcome, mine is a pint of Stella and the missus will have a large white wine! Come on England!"
Andy Morgan, Leek, in the TMS inbox [Nice thought, but even if this game were to finish early, I'd need a Tardis to make it to Leek in time for kick-off - MM]

Russell Arnold
"Come on the French!"
Russell Arnold on TMS nails his colours to the mast for today's Rugby World Cup semi-final

Wicket falls
7th over - WICKET - Jayasuriya c Pietersen b Anderson 26 - SL 45-1
Anderson drops one in short again, and Jayasuriya clubs his second six of the innings over midwicket. He then works one off his legs, and a wild throw from Bopara as they take the second run is not backed up. They run a third off the overthrow, and think seriously about running a fourth. Monty P then makes his first significant contribution, hitting the stmps at the bowler's end but Perera is easily through for a single. A flashing drive from Jayasuriya ends his entertaining cameo (26 runs off 18 balls) as he hits it straight to KP at wide mid-off.

"In reply to Dave (Warrington), he is quite quite wrong. A charming lady would be an ideal accompaniment to his day on the sofa. She can wait patiently by his feet and fetch the beers when he needs them"
Al from Bristol in the TMS inbox

Russell Arnold
"Perera is a very useful player - he's a good fielder, he can bowl off-spin and he can be very exciting to watch as a batsman"
Former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold on TMS

6th over - SL 35-0
Sidey beats Perera's outside edge again - Dougie Brown on TMS thinks it's like watching two different games at the moment, with Jayasuriya aggressive and Perera becalmed. The latter takes a single, while Sidey then yells another LBW appeal when it looks like it hits Jayasuriya a smidgen outside off-stump. A leg-bye ensues.

"Re today's sporting extravaganza, I have instructions to meet the wife from work at 8:15 tonight, and go to a party where, 'we will only be staying an hour or so!' Am I being paranoid or is this the eqivalent of Dave's military precision working against me? At least I have the cricket and footie beforehand"
Tim, East London, in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"This has been a good, aggressive start from Sri Lanka - the first time in the series we've seen them start like this. Jayasuriya in particular has thrown caution to the wind"
Dougie Brown on TMS

5th over - SL 33-0
Dougie Brown on TMS notices that Ravi Bopara is standing 10 yards inside the rope on the square leg boundary - possibly a puzzling decision considering Jayasuriya has already comfortably cleared that boundary. Jayasuriya off-drives for two before taking a single, while Captain Colly is clearly rubbing his injured shoulder following that collision with Jayasuriya in the last over. Perera then gives Anderson a sharp caught-and-bowled chance when he punches one straight back, but Jimmy can't get his left hand down quickly enough and they trot through for a single.

4th over - SL 29-0
A textbook defensive stroke from Perera - it looks like Jayasuriya's heroics may allow him to play himself in. He then nudges another one to long leg, and some frankly excellent running between the wickets stretches it to two runs. Sidey then raps Perera on the pad and raises both arms in exhortation to ump De Silva, but it clearly pitched outside leg. Perera then pushes one into the infield, they run a quick single and althought Collingwood's underarm throw misses the stumps at the striker's end, Colly collides with Jayasuriya as he runs his bat in and Jayasuriya is forced to hurdle the stumps, dislodging the bails in the manner of the Ian Botham "leg over" incident which provoked the most famous TMS radio clip of all time (featuring Aggers and the late Brian Johnston). Jayasuriya takes a single, and Sidey beats Perera's outside edge with the final delivery.

"I feel that we have seen the last of Freddie, with the ball anyway. I really can't see him bowling again and he must now become a special specialist batsman!"
Gary, Liskeard in the TMS inbox

3rd over - SL 25-0
Perera gets another edge, this time an outside edge which bounces just in front of Cook at second slip. He then chops one to third man for a single. Jimmy drops one in short which Jayasuriya pulls to the square-leg boundary, and two runs are taken. The last ball of the over is also short of a length, and Jayasuriya takes a step down the wicket and pulverises the ball, sending it sailing over midwicket for six.

"Come on England, let's start the day off the way we want it to end, with a win. What a day for English sport this could be!"
Chris, bored at work in Southampton, in the TMS inbox

"I think live text email-er of the series award must go to Sarah in Canterbury - good consistent performance under almost constant hangover pressure, as far as I can work out"
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

2nd over - SL 16-0
Ryan Sidebottom's had an impressive series, and he takes the second over. His nose and lips are covered in white sun cream - which together with his long hair, gives a vague suggestion of resemblance to Andrew Symonds. Jayasuriya, who looks like a man in a hurry today, fences at Sidey's first ball outside off-stump and it is called a wide. He dabs a single before Perera turns one off his hip for a quickly-scampered two. The debutant then gets lucky, getting an inside edge which flies away past keeper Phil Mustard for four. Another wide, and maybe I've given Sidey the commentator's curse even within the space of one over! That's 10 off the over.

"In reply to Dan, Southampton, when I used to play five-a-side at Wiltshire Police, I was nicknamed 'blackberry' because of the nice purple colour I used to go after five minutes. I also used to stay this colour for about two hours after"
Martin in dull miserable and grey Doncaster

"Actually a 4-1 victory could be the only highlight! (That's not the score from England v Estonia by the way)"
Justin Talbot in the TMS inbox

1st over - SL 6-0
James Anderson takes the first over, and debutant Perera takes strike, angling the third ball of the game down to third man for his first run in international cricket. He's right-handed, meaning we have a left-hand/right-hand combo with fellow opener Jayasuriya, and he clubs his first ball over long-on for four. Monty P is at mid-on, but he'd have needed to be the Road Runner to stop that going for four. Jayasuriya then hooks his second ball where it bounces just in front of Broad at long leg. They take a single.

1000: And the news is... Andrew Flintoff is out of the Sri Lanka Test series, and is "unlikely to participate" in the New Zealand Test series in March. Bad times.

0957: About to get under way here - stand by for some big news at 1000. I can't tell you what it is for another three minutes because of a strict ECB embargo.

"I'm playing football for the first time in years at 10.30. If I manage to crawl back to my computer by then, we'd better be in a winning position or else I'll have nothing to dull my physical pain!! Well, apart from the football and the rugby!"
Dan (soon to be hurtung lots) in Southampton in the TMS inbox

"Wotcha Mark, just about to embark on a 12-hour residency on my sofa. The only time I plan to get up is for pit stops to the loo. With almost military precision, I have tactically pencilled those in during the innings break in the cricket, and the half times in the two rugby games and the footy. Few bets, live sport, couple of cheeky beers - who needs women on a day like today?"
Dave, Warrington, in the TMS inbox

0953: A stat from my colleague Oliver Brett - James Anderson is two wickets away from becoming the first person in 2007 to take 40 ODI wickets this year. (However, he will have played more games than any other bowler except India's Zaheer Khan).

"A 4-1 series victory may be buried in (tomorrow's) papers, but it still matters to some of us"
Marco in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"England have put a lot of onus on winning this game, as they will go fourth in the ODI rankings if they win, but stay down in seventh if they lose. It will also give them a confidence boost for the next World Cup here in the subcontinent"
Warwickshire and Scotland all-rounder Dougie Brown on TMS

0947: Right then, the series may already be decided, but I want your nominations for the entire series. Who would be your player of the series? Best batsmen/bowlers? Best catch? Champagne moment? Best comedy moment?

And most importantly of all, who would be your animal of the series? Contenders could include Dog #1 and Dog #2 in Dambullah for their multiple pitch invasions (Dog #3 from the third ODI didn't make enough appearances to qualify), the frog that TMS commentator Simon Mann found in his toilet, the cobra that Paul Collingwood and some of the other players saw by the nets, and the monkeys in the England team hotel.

0940: Here are the teams:

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya, Dilruwan Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando.

England: Alastair Cook, Phil Mustard (wk), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (capt), Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, James Anderson.

Umpires: Rudi Koertzen and Asoka De Silva, third ump on TV replays is Gamini Silva.

TOSS NEWS: Colly calls incorrectly, so Sri Lanka win the toss and will bat first. They make one change - Dilruwan Perera, an opener who can also bowl off-spin, replaces Upul Tharanga at the top of the order. It's his international debut.

0930: Morning, everyone - how many people would have expected England to have an unassailable 3-1 lead by the time they arrived for this fifth and final ODI in Colombo?

As you may have read in the preview, England are forced into their first team change of the series - off-spinner Graeme Swann is out with a torn hamstring, giving Monty Panesar the chance for his first game of the series.

The Montster is England's only change, though - so Luke Wright, Chris Tremlett and Dimitri Mascarenhas (who let's not forget, was born in London to Sri Lankan parents) are carrying the drinks for the fifth successive game. Sri Lanka team news as we get it.
WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 13 October 2007 at 6:38am | IP Logged
South Africa win series with draw
SECOND TEST, Lahore, day five:
South Africa 357 & 305-4dec drew with Pakistan 206 & 316-4

Younus Khan hit 130 for Pakistan but they were never likely to achieve their record chase
Despite Younus' knock a world record chase was never likely

South Africa won their Test series against Pakistan 1-0 after drawing the second and final match in Lahore.

The hosts were set a world record 457 to win and that never looked likely even though Younus Khan (130) began the final morning in aggressive fashion.

Paul Harris dismissed Kamran Akmal (71) and Inzamam-ul-Haq second ball in his final international innings, while Younus edged Jacques Kallis behind.

Mohammad Yousuf, who batted cautiously, was on 63 when the players shook hands.

It was a first subcontinent Test series win for the Proteas outside Bangladesh since 2000.

And apart from early in the morning session, which was extended because of Friday prayers, that and the West Indies' world record chase of 418 against Australia in Antigua in 2003 were never seriously threatened.

Younus hit paceman Makhaya Ntini for three successive boundaries in the third over and drove Kallis for two more in the next over.

But the introduction of slow left-armer Harris in the 10th over slowed the scoring and the breakthrough came when Akmal dragged one back on to his stumps to end a stand of 161.

Graeme Smith shows his appreciation for Inzamam
There was no record for Inzamam but plenty of fond farewells

It could have got even better for the visitors had Hashim Amla held on to a straightforward opportunity at mid-wicket off Kallis when Younus was on 83.

He survived to reach his 14th Test century off 180 balls and had added 89 with Yousuf when he nicked a delivery Kallis angled across him to keeper Mark Boucher.

Inzamam received a rousing welcome from the home crowd as he walked to the crease for the final time as a Pakistan player and he began promisingly by driving Kallis through mid-wicket.

However, going for the boundary that would have taken him past Javed Miandad as his country's leading Test run-scorer, he gave Harris the charge and was stumped by Boucher.

His team-mates formed a guard of honour for his return to the pavilion but with his departure probably went their last chance of a famous win.

Yousuf and skipper Shoaib Malik (20no) scored 34 runs in the 12 overs after tea before a halt was called and the South Africans began their celebrations, with Inzamam and the other members of the team coming back out to congratulate them.

  • Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt has been fined 50% of his match fee for publicly criticising umpiring decisions in the game.

  • South Africa captain Graeme Smith:
    "We controlled nine out of 10 days of Test cricket in this series. We bowled very well and kept Pakistan under pressure from the word go.

    "It is not easy to win in the subcontinent but it's been a great team effort with a couple of good individual performances too.

    "People like to think we are weak against spinners but we have played them consistently well even in our home series this year on turning wickets and on this tour.

    "The style of cricket we played, the way we executed our plans has been surprising and very exciting for our future. The maturity shown by the players is very encouraging."

    Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik:
    "We thought of going at the target, but when we lost Younus and Inzamam in quick time, we aborted our plans.

    "It's a great sign for us that we lost only four wickets in four sessions and we can only improve more from here on. We made mistakes and we will learn from them.

    "We were playing Tests after a seven-month lay-off so it was difficult to adjust but the South Africans were better than us in all departments."

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