Yet another test series in Asia that was preceded by hope and anticipation of
an impressive English show is heading towards a horror finish for the world's
top-ranked test side. After being beaten in the first test match against Sri Lanka, they now risk losing their coveted test ranking when the second test
gets underway in Colombo from Tuesday.
A draw or a defeat will mean that England start the new ICC rankings year with
a demotion on the test teams table. While they were able to just survive at
the top to pocket the prize money on the 1st April cut-off date, the situation
looks rather bleak for them now. A 75-run defeat in which their batting line-up
crumbled twice to persistent spin bowling from Rangana Herath shows how they
have not really learnt from the debacle they suffered against Pakistan a couple
of months ago. While Jonathan Trott scored a valiant century, it was
always going to be an uphill task chasing a daunting target. To make matters
worse, they have lost the services of Stuart Broad who was declared fit
to play in the first match.
Click for Live Score Card of Sri Lanka Vs England
For Sri Lanka, it was delight in front of their home crowd after a long time.
Since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement from test cricket, this was Sri Lanka's
only second test match victory, and first at home. After landing in trouble
early, the old workhorse Mahela Jayawardene scored a massive 180 to propel
his team to a decent total. With a fighting score, it was left to Herath whose
first ten-wicket haul ensured that England's fragilities against slow bowling
were exploited. For the second match, pacer Chanaka Welegedara has been ruled
out with injury, with Shaminda Eranga taking his place. Also included in the
squad is Angelo Mathews who will play as a specialist batsman.
The match will be played in Colombo where Sri Lanka made their entry into test
cricket, facing England, 30 years ago.