Alexa

Muralitharan triggers English procession to take Sri Lanka closer to win

Muralitharan triggers English procession to take Sri Lanka closer to win

Muttiah Muralitharan triggered an England collapse as the tourists lost three wickets in four balls during Saturday's morning session of the last day of the third and final test, renewing Sri Lanka's victory hopes.
England looked capable of forcing a respectable draw after their dismal start to the test, moving toward lunch with the score on 200-2.
But then Muralitharan interceded, and England ended the session at 202-5 and needing to bat through the rest of the day to prevent Sri Lanka winning the series 2-0.
Alastair Cook led England's short-lived fightback and at lunch he was unbeaten on 96, including 11 boundaries off 280 balls, with Matt Prior yet to score.
The collapse began in England's 65th over when Kevin Pietersen (30) drove casually against Muralitharan and was caught by Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene at short mid-wicket.
Two balls later Paul Collingwood (0) was stumped by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene off Muralitharan.
Next ball, new batsman Ravi Bopara played a shot toward slip and took off for a run but Mahela Jayawardene made a diving stop and fired the ball to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene who took off the bails in a flash. Television umpire Asoka de Silva ruled a diving Bopara was short of his ground, giving him a pair of ducks for the test.
Earlier, overnight batsman Ian Bell (34) was the first victim of the day, as he played Muralitharan on the back foot and was beaten and bowled by a ball that kept low.
Cook added 61 runs for the second wicket with Bell and another 72 with Pietersen.
England still trails Sri Lanka by 216 runs and must rely on its tail batting well or a repeat of Friday's heavy rain if it is to avoid defeat.
A draw will not be enough to rescue the series, with Sri Lanka leading 1-0 going into this final test, having won the opener in Kandy and drawing the second in Colombo.


Updated : 2021-03-02 07:35 GMT+08:00