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Live Blog: England v Sri Lanka (Day 5) June 24 2014

— 24 June 2014

Hello and welcome to Day Five 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, entry today is only £5 adults and juniors (under 16) FREE if accompanied by an adult.


    So so cruel for England and in particular Moeen Ali. Jimmy faces the last over, and he looks at ease doing so until the fourth ball rears up on him and all he can do is spoon it up in the air to leg gully.

    Moeen is left unbeaten on 108 but he doesn’t raise his bat to acknowledge the crowd as he walks off. The cruelest of ends to the game but without doubt, Sri Lanka deserved the win.

    Last over!

    Moeen has seen off the penultimate over to huge cheers from the crowd. Can England pull off the Great Escape?! Pressure is on you Jimmy…

    Two overs to go!

    Jimmy is seeing off the spin with every single man around the bat. It looks like he will have to face the final over too. England clinging on!

    Just four overs to go for England!

    100 FOR MOEEN!

    He’s reached his 100 at last, from 259 balls with 18 boundaries. Still some work to do though! Great knock.

    9 overs to go

    Prasad and Eranga are the two bowlers. Why hasn’t Mathews bowled a bit more considering how he did in the first innings?

    12 overs to go

    Moeen is doing a good job of shielding Anderson from the strike. The sun is out and the tension is growing with every ball.

    15 overs to go

    Moeen moves into the 90s with a big hit over Herath’s head for a one bounce four. Rumours of rain in the air…

    WICKET Broad LBW b Herath 0

    Broad prods forward and is given out. No review and it’s 228-9

    22 overs to go….

    Jayawardene is on at one end which suggests how bad the light is. He’s not a particularly good bowler and a long hop is smashed to the midwicket fence by Moeen who approaches the 90s.

    24 overs left as drinks come on to the pitch


    It’s getting dark here…25 overs to go

    WICKET Jordan LBW b Herath 21

    He batted really well and did a good job for his side but Herath has got Jordan out with the first ball of his new spell. He reviews it but is well out. 212-8

    17:04 50 Partnership

    30 overs left

    These two have reached 50 together from 91 balls, a really good effort. They actually got there virtue of four byes as one really took off from a length and ended up over Chandimal’s head. It moved like a 90mph leg break, unplayable and too good for any batsman out there.

    16:55 England 200-7 (Moeen 71 Jordan 15)

    So there are 32 overs left today, can England do it? The new ball has posed the odd threat but they’re hanging on in there.

    NO BALL!

    Jordan drives loosely and is caugh in the slips but Billy Bowden calls for a check on the no ball…and he’s just over! Jordan survives but that wasn’t a good shot, the new ball is definitely swinging.


    Chris Jordan is the new man at the crease and this might be a slightly alien situation for him. He’s okay though, and together with Moeen has seen England through to 173-7 at the break, with just three overs until that new ball. There’s over 40 overs left in the day so it will take a monumental effort from here.

    WICKET! Prior ct Silva b Prasad 10

    Prasad has 5-for! Prior is out to another short ball as he fends it to short leg. It’s a definite weakness for the keeper.

    There’s a bit of a delay as they check the front foot no ball…and it’s very very close! Prasad is adjudged to have something behind the line, just, but he hides it well because I can’t see for sure that he does but then again I didn’t have my glasses on. 160-7

    50 FOR MOEEN!

    129 balls, 8 × 4

    That’s an excellent half-century for Moeen Ali, his first in Tests. He’s shown real character and application at the crease today but he will know that this is not enough. If he wants to be a real hero, he will have to at least double this score but it’s been a very promising innings from the man with the beard that is feared. There may have been some fears for his place with Ben Stokes taking 7-for yesterday, but this, along with his two second innings wickets, will do him no harm whatsoever.

    13 overs until the new ball by the way. It’s the new ball that caused all the problems throughout the game so it will be a crucial period of play.

    15:02 England 151-6 (Moeen 49 Prior 7)

    Prior has come out in positive fashion, can he replicate his heroics from last year at Auckland? His hundred that day helped England save the game after being four down going into the last day. Very similar situation today. One of these two will need to be England’s hero you’d imagine, who will it be?

  • Billy Bowden was forced to separate the two sets of players earlier as things got a bit heated…

  • WICKET Root ct Thirimanna b Prasad 31

    Just as he had started to look comfortable and the runs were starting to flow, Prasad gets a ball to straighten and a thick outside edge takes the ball to gully where Lahiru Thirimanne finally makes a contribution to the game and his team mates are cock-a-hoop as Root walks back slowly. He hangs his head in disappointment as he’s made to wait as the umpires check on the low ball and he looks like the loneliest man in the world.

    14:15 England 109-5 (Root 18 Moeen 31)

    It’s just getting a little dark again and Sri Lanka aren’t racing through their overs at all, could that come back to haunt them?

    Last nights destroyer Pradeep is back into the attack.

    The pattern that this match has followed is that once two batsmen are in, they have been able to bat for quite a while and put on a good partnership. However when they lose one wicket, several follow. So you feel like these two have to really make this period count and not give anything anyway or that could be curtains for England.

    50 partnership

    Moeen and Root have now put on 50 for the sixth wicket, it’s going well so far and they’re certainly getting to the Sri Lankan fielders who are desperate for a breakthrough. They’ve lost their discipline, particularly the bowlers who have started bowling far too short. Good stuff from England.

    Lots of support for Root on Twitter…

    13:44 England 91-5 (Root 11 Moeen 26)

    Root gets his first runs for 31 balls and then Moeen unfurls a classy cover drive, it races to the boundary from nothing more than a punch.

    Now, at the end of the over Mathews and Root are squaring up to each other. I’ve no idea what’s going on but they’re going at each other hammer and tongs. It’s a bit tasty out there.

    They’re all going at it, except Moeen. They all seem to have something against Root, yes the little blonde one with the angelic face, who wears a few short balls from Shaminda Eranga. Are the Sri Lankans losing their cool?

    13:30 England 83-5 (Root 9 Moeen 22)

    The players are back out and Root plays at misses at the very first ball. A bit of movement for captain Mathews and the Yorkshireman will have to get his head down once again.


    The ground staff are slowly wheeling the main covers off, I don’t think they could look more reluctant if they tried. Some of the Sri Lankans are slowly emerging to do a bit of fielding work as the blotter trundles up and down by the boundary in front of a deserted White Rose Stand. It’s a sea of blue so vivid I almost feel a bit sea sick.

    The four stewards are lined up in a diamond formation to protect the square, come on Roy, even the stewards recognise it’s the best way to set up!

    The tractor is out now! Dragging a big plastic tube across the outfield to get any surface water off. Unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s the very same tube that sliced my hand right open when I was 16 and on work experience here at Headingley.


    The announcement has just been made that play will resume at 13:30 and tea is to be pushed back until 16:00.


    In fact the covers are being removed right now, I’m not sure if we’ll start on time after lunch (at 13:10) but it won’t be long either way.


    Unfortunately for England it looks like the rain has stopped, and it definitely looked a bit brighter behind the Carnegie Pavilion so I don’t think it will be too long before they’re back on.

    Lunch was fantastic though, so that’s a positive for the day. Steak and ale pie with a few potatoes thrown in there. I misjudged the gravy situation though, meaning my food was swimming about a little in there but it was all good nonetheless.


    12:12pm England 83-5 (Root 9 Moeen 22)

    The players are off for rain. It’s been around for a few minutes but it’s just got a bit heavier and the umpires have taken the players off. Good application this morning from the batsmen, but there’s a long way to go if they want to save this Test and the series.

    It’s incredible how last night it looked as though every ball would take a wicket but it’s been rather serene this morning. Demons in the pitch or the mindset of the batsmen?

    12:00pm England 81-5 (Root 9 Moeen 20)

    It’s gone a bit grey at Headingley, rumours that rain be on the way. There are no lights, remember so there could be issues before long.

    There is actually some light rain in the air and it’s getting ever darker, the weather seems to be coming from behind the press box so I’m not quite sure what is on the way but it’s looking fairly gloomy right now.

    11:45am England 78-5 (Root 9 Moeen 17)

    Root looks in determined form this morning and is leaving very well outside his off stump. Murmurs of an England survival are already starting on Twitter…

    11:27am England 75-5 (Root 9 Moeen 15)

    There’s a couple of streaky fours from Moeen, neither went where he was aiming them but are followed up with a beautiful straight drive by the left-hander. He’s a very elegant batsman when he gets going. Sri Lanka don’t look so threatening this morning famous last words.

    11:11am England 59-5 (Root 7 Moeen 1)

    There will be history made one way or another today. I’ve mentioned the Sri Lankan away record, but for any English optimists out there – no team has been five wickets down going into the final day and saved a Test…which doesn’t sound great in all honesty.

    11:05am England 58-5 (Root 7 Moeen 0)

    Moeen has played and missed at a couple already, wafting outside the off stump to Dhammika Prasad but Root gets England off the mark for the morning with a single off a thick outside edge to square leg.


    Fifteen minutes until the start of play here, it will be Joe Root and Moeen Ali who head out to the middle to face the rest of the Rangana Herath over after Liam Plunkett was out last night.

    Remember this will be Sri Lanka’s first ever Test series victory over England in England,,a huge day for Sri Lankan cricket.


    So here it is, the fifth day that not many thought would come. At one point on the third afternoon many of us doubted whether the game would even go into Monday, but here we are on Tuesday morning with England staring an eighth Test without a win for the first time since 1996/97 right in the face.

    It was a dreadful day yesterday, and nothing really went right for the home team but can they salvage some pride here today? We’ve seen in the not too distant past some heroic efforts to save games on the final day but this may be one bridge too far.

    Alastair Cook sought out his friend and former opening partner Andrew Strauss for a chat during practice this morning…