England trail by 121 runs with 9 first innings wickets in hand.
Whoever kept England’s proper batsmen hidden away for the whole winter is a bastard.
While Graeme Swann was finishing off the Sri Lankan innings and England’s top order was finally standing up to be counted, Sanath Jayasuriya got his first outing in the commentary box. If you weren’t aware, the master blaster has made the completely natural step from pinch-hitting at the top of the order to MP for the Matara District in southern Sri Lanka. Batting certainly was his calling in life, perhaps politics is as well (though one has to question his dedication to the cause when he spent the first part of his political life continuing to play international cricket and is now commentating on it instead). Commentary most certainly is not. There are amoeba on Saturn who could entertain slightly sleepy cricket fans better than him. Even taking into account the fact he probably didn’t – we say probably, we mean definitely; we’re professional and found out on Twitter – give any speeches in English in the build up to his election, how the man got anyone to vote for him is a mystery.
The height of commentary excellence was reached as the game was meandering in the final session and Jayasuriya was united with another heavyweight behind the microphone; Nick Knight. There are many things which could ask of perhaps the most revolutionary left-handed opener of all time (Jayasuriya, not Knight, in case you were confused). One of those things is not a question on how his political career is going. He may as well have asked for the United People’s Freedom Alliance manifesto. And so a worldwide audience of slightly bemused cricket supporters was treated to a discussion about Sri Lankan politics. It almost made us miss Tony Greig and his insightful observations about the state of the Sri Lankan tourist industry, Mahela Jayawardene’s ability to use the DRS and topless England fans in the crowd.
As England’s openers edged towards half centuries and the team closed in on their hundred, someone brought back a pack of milk chocolate hob-nobs from the 51allout kitchen. He then made the mistake of offering them around. So began the most ferocious argument these metaphorical walls have ever seen. First the Jaffa Cake army launched a furious assault, having perhaps misunderstood the meaning of the sentence ‘greatest biscuit of all’, but we can’t blame them too much; West Midlanders have never been the brightest. Then came fleeting skirmishes with a few cavaliers suggesting maverick alternatives like Fig Rolls and Pink Wafers. In the aftermath of final victory for the overwhelmingly superior Chocolate Bourbon’s, those people have been dealt with. Oh, and the England captain hit the little red thing around a bit more than normal.
Bat on, and on, and on. Bat for hours, bat all day. Dig right in, make them pay.
Or collapse in a heap in the first hour and give us something to talk about.