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Live Blog: England v Sri Lanka (Day 4) June 23 2014

— 23 June 2014

Hello and welcome to Day Four of the 73rd Test Match at Headingley and the first ever Test between England and Sri Lanka to be played at Yorkshire’s home ground.

Keep up-to-date with all the news and live scores as Alastair Cook’s men aim to win the Investec Test series against Sri Lanka.

If you are heading to the ground, please read our essential matchday information guide. We look forward to seeing you. VIEW GUIDE HERE


    England 57-5

    WICKET Plunkett ct Pradeep b Herath 0

    Well that has been a nightmare day for England who will need an incredible rearguard effort to salvage anything from this Test.

    Plunkett goes to the last ball of the day, needlessly going for an elaborate drive and spooning the ball to cover.

    WICKET Bell b Prasad 8

    Just as I wrote that Bell is bowled by Prasad who has four now…52-4!

    18:15pm England 52-3 (Bell 8 Root 1)

    England just about surviving here, and giving the impression that the wicket is doing all sorts, which is funny because it didn’t seem to be doing anything at all earlier.

    WICKET Robson ct Jayawardene b Prasad 24

    Not a great shot from Robson who edges a wide ball from Prasad to second slip. 50-3 now and this is looking fairly grim for England

    WICKET Ballance LBW b Prasad 0

    Ballance gone first ball, he gets his front foot too far across, the ball swings back and he’s plumb in front

    WICKET Cook b Prasad 16

    He had looked fairly comfortable but as is so often the case these days, he fell after getting himself in

    17:17pm England 30-0 (Robson 16 Cook 12)

    Target 350

    Well I don’t want to put the mockers on these two but it’s a good, solid start. Herath and Mathews are into the attack already but England are slowly and quietly going about their business. Robson looks much more comfortable than in the first innings to me. Over an hour to go until the close of play.

    16:48pm England 5-0 (Robson 3 Cook 1)

    The momentum is with Sri Lanka and the England openers are playing and missing at a few already.

    ALL OUT Pradeep b Anderson 0

    Sri Lanka 457 – target 350

    That’s the end of that. A couple of big blows from Eranga moves the score to 457 before Pradeep is clean bowled by an Anderson yorker.

    This is going to be an important period for the England openers, but particularly Alastair Cook who has a point to prove today.

    This will be England’s highest EVER chase in a Test match if they reach 350, not what you want to hear…

    16:20pm WICKET Mathews ct Ali b Anderson 160

    Mathews’ magnificent innings comes to an end, and in quite bizarre fashion. Anderson gives him a straight full toss and Mathews toes it to Moeen Ali who takes a smart catch at midwicket.

    Eranga is having a bit of a hit now, the lead is up to 339.

    16:14pm Sri Lanka 433-8 (Mathews 156 Eranga 0)

    Mathews has passed his 150 (232 balls) and England think they have Eranga caught behind for 0, they actually do have him out but Billy Bowden says not out. England are paying for their poor reviews earlier but that should really have been given.


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    16:00pm Sri Lanka 426-8 (Mathews 149 Eranga 0)

    That wicket will give England a bit of heart, a run out was the only way they were going to make a break through but they now have Shaminda Eranga to bowl at.

    And here’s a picture of Mathews hitting out against Moeen Ali…

  • TEA

    Herath run out (Root) 48

    Well the afternoon session has come to a close with Sri Lanka ahead by 318 runs but it has been tarnished only a tiny bit by the run out of Herath from the very last ball.

    After dominating the session, and putting on 149 for the eighth wicket partnership, Mathews attempted a quick single to get to his 150 but turned back halfway down to leave Herath stranded.

    That wicket shouldn’t distract from what has been a very poor session from England, who conceded 115 runs in 27 overs there and looked bereft of ideas and confidence. Sri Lanka will definitely be considered favourites from here, but what a knock this is from Mathews.

    At least Aaron Finch has a century for Yorkshire….

    15:00pm Sri Lanka 374-7 (Mathews 122 Herath 26)

    More of the same from Sri Lanka, Herath is still being protected from the strike but he’s batting well. A nice cut for four off Moeen takes him to 26. The runs are coming easily now.

    Prior has dropped one! Herath tries a swipe and under edges it onto the flap of his pad, it’s bizarre but it baloons in the air and Prior can only just about get a hand to it.

    14:35pm Sri Lanka 354-7 (Mathews 109 Herath 19)

    Moeen Ali is finally into the attack, he’s only bowled one over today for some reason and he’s on in place of Plunkett. Jordan continues at the other end however and he’s looking very innocuous, no wickets in the whole game remember.

    The lead is almost at 250 and this will take an excellent chase from the English batsmen. This is not looking good at all for Cook and his men.

  • 100!

    153 balls, 14 × 4, 1 × 6

    What an innings from the Sri Lankan captain. He came to the crease with his side level with England, and they’re now 237 ahead. Big celebrations from him and rightly so, it’s been a brilliant knock so far.

    99 for Mathews…

    13:54pm DROP

    Plunkett drops Mathews! It’s not an easy catch, it was in his follow through as Mathews mistimed a striaght drive. It came off the bat quick quickly and wasn’t easy, but he got both hands to it. Unlucky.


    The players are back out after lunch. Liam Plunkett is to open the bowling as we wait for the Sri Lankan batsmen to stroll to the crease, in their own time…………….and it looks like they will persist with giving Mathews the single. They could do with getting him out too you know.

    LUNCH Sri Lanka 311-7 (Mathews 79 Herath 7)

    England have come back quite well in that second hour. The first was pretty disastrous as Sri Lanka added 65 runs before Jayawardene was out. However Plunkett’s burst of wickets has kept them in the game. Mathews is still there though, and with the lead creeping up to 200 any runs he can get from now on will be a bit of a bonus. The Sri Lankan skipper has batted exceptionally well though and dare I say it, he deserves a hundred….

    12:29pm Sri Lanka 289-7 (Mathews 65 Herath 0)

    Mathews has just come down the wicket to Plunkett, who is bowling fast, and creamed him over midwicket and into the stands for six. What a shot that is. He keeps the strike for the next over too. Could be in for some fun here.

    12:21pm Sri Lanka 278-7 (Mathews 55 Herath 0)

    No hat-trick for Plunkett, who now only needs one wicket for 10 in the game – what an achievement that would be! Mathews was furious with the two shots played just then, and he threw his bat on the ground in disgust. It looks like he’s going to farm the strike now, which tells you something about the pedigree of the remaining batsmen.

    WICKET! Prasad ct Root b Plunkett 0

    Sri Lanka 277-7 – lead of 169

    Prasad gone first ball! He uppercuts another short ball to third man where Joe Root takes a brilliant catch diving forward, and Plunkett is on a hat-trick!

    WICKET! Chandimal ct Ballance b Plunkett 7

    Sri Lanka 277-6 – lead of 169

    Chandimal is gone, he looked uncertain out there and finds Ballance at deep backward square leg on the hook. Poor shot from the wicketkeeper but it’s another big wicket for England, who are into the tail and Plunkett has eight wickets in the game.

  • WICKET! Jayawardene ct Prior b Anderson 79

    Sri Lanka 268-5 – a lead of 160

    A massive breakthrough for England, but it’s more a result of poor batting than good bowling as Jayawardene chases a wide ball and gets an edge behind and is well taken by Matt Prior. Dinesh Chandimal is the new man.

    MATHEWS 50

    81 balls, 6 × 4

    A very good innings from Mathews, who is now averaging over 70 as captain, what Alastair Cook would give for a record like that. England are definitely struggling a bit here, Anderson’s body language is very downcast. There has been a drop I think from Ian Bell at gully, I’m not totally certain that it carried and it would have been a good catch, but i was a chance nonetheless, Jayawardene survives.

    11:44am Sri Lanka 265-4 (Jayawardene 79 Mathews 49)

    This has not been a good start by England. The new ball is here but it has largely been wasted, too short and too wide from England and Sri Lanka will be delighted with how this first 45 minutes or so have gone.

    NEW BALL Sri Lanka 254-4 (Jayawardene 74 Mathews 43)

    Sri Lanka have scored 40 runs from the seven overs so far this morning, Not a very good start from England who need to get a grip on this game soon or it’s going to drift away from them. Mathews looks very dangerous.

    11:12am Sri Lanka 232-4 (Jayawardene 61 Mathews 34)

    England have the field set back and Sri Lanka are up and running, with Mathews flashing one through the covers to the boundary. England should be wary about giving away too many easy singles before the new ball though.

    The pigeon is back on the square, he’s been pecking around for all four days now despite many attempts to scare him away…

    Two overs until the new ball.


    So, Sri Lanka are 214-4, with a lead of 106 and believe that a lead of 225 will be enough to successfully defend. Big morning for England, if they lost this series it would be a bit of a disaster following the winter.


    It’s a very quiet morning here at Headingley, so come on down if you fancy watching a bit of Test cricket. It will be a fascinating days play. The Sri Lankans are doing their fielding drills in front of me as we speak and if they field like that when England come around to batting later, there should be no worries from within the home camp!


    The players are in the nets ahead of a crucial days play. There’s only seven overs until the new ball and that could be crucial for Cook’s men’s hopes of bowling Sri Lanka out fairly cheaply this morning.


    Could this be the day that England win the series against Sri Lanka? The match is evenly poised going into Day Four. With the new ball due in the first hours, Alastair Cook’s men will be looking to polish off Sri Lanka’s middle-order and tail.

    In respect of weather, there will be varying, often large amounts of cloud, but also bright or sunny spells. It will feel pleasantly warm in the light winds. There is a chance of light showers during the afternoon. Maximum temperatures 19c.

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