England 486ao & 355/7d (Cook 106, Pietersen 72, Trott 58, Bell 57*, Herath 3-87)
Sri Lanka 479ao & 127/3 (Paranavitana 44, Trott 1-5)
A strangely lethargic final day from England allowed Sri Lanka to seal a comfortable draw in the end.
While Alastair Cook added another ton to his phenomenal run of the last nine months or so and Kevin Pietersen made a welcome half century (it’s too early to call it a complete return to form yet), Ian Bell deserves to be player of the day for yet again playing beautifully in aclassy unbeaten knock of 57. That’s four consecutive scores above 50 for him. Bell seemed to be the only England batsman who looked like he knew what was required of him in terms of quick runs, and he set about it as he only he can, batting classily without ever looking in any trouble.
Matt Prior’s bizarre Mouse Trap attack on the changing room window. Quite why Prior was so angry is unclear. Perhaps he was unhappy about being asked to bat in a style he’s never been comfortable with or perhaps it was the mode of his dismissal, but the broken window added a touch of farce to an otherwise dull day, which was accentuated by the two different explanations offered by the powers that be. That an act of vandalism/unlawful damage to a Listed Building/simple unfortunate accident (delete as appropriate) is moment of the day is evidence of the rather tame finish to the match.
Questions in both camps ahead of the Rose Bowl. Dilshan appears unlikely to play given the hairline fracture he has suffered, and that makes an already short batting line up appear miniscule. England should have Jimmy Anderson fit leaving a dilemma over the bowler most likely to be “rested”. Despite his wickets, Finn is the expected fall guy but questions are continuing to grow over Stuart Broad’s contribution with the ball. His first innings half century has probably saved him this time round, but it is unlikely to be the last we see of Steven Finn this summer.