A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

England vs Sri Lanka, only T20I, The County Ground: Player Reviews

Posted on June 25, 2011 by in T20

England 136/9 (Morgan 47, Pietersen 41, Malinga 2-15)

Sri Lanka 137/1 (M Jayawardene 72*, Sangakkara 43*, Dernbach 1-18)

Kumar Sangakkara helped steer Sri Lanka to a comfortable nine wicket victory


Craig Kieswetter: Made a lot of noises pre-match about how hard he’d worked on his game and that big improvements had been made. Keeping wise, there was evidence of this with much tidier glovework on show than when we last saw him in an England shirt. With the bat, there was no evidence of this. Another frantic slogathon with a limp dismissal spooned to mid-off. Does not look like an international opener and he won’t be given infinite time to prove otherwise.

Michael Lumb: Inexplicably included in front of Ian Bell (who averages almost 47 at a strike rate of 127 in T20Is when opening), he looked every inch like a man who’s spent the last 13 months variously injured and awfully out of form. Way short of the quality required, this was an innings that made Mal Loye look like Geoffrey Boycott. Should not and probably will not play for England again.

Kevin Pietersen: The encouraging signs continue from the Test series as he played a knock full of trademark Pietersen aggression. Out to left-arm spin again, which will only fuel the conspiracy theories further, but the indications are that he’s back. And how we need him.

Eoin Morgan: We’ve voiced our concerns about his suitability for Test cricket previously (interim verdict; we’ll see what he’s made of against India) but there is little doubt of his quality in the shorter forms. Immediately took the attack to the tourists and looked at his unorthodox best. Vital that he continues this form in the upcoming ODI series.

Ravi Bopara: In a terrible run of form for Essex, Bopara was another fortunate to be selected – even if the selectors were curious about the reuniting of Kieswetter and Lumb, surely there was a case for Bell to bat at five. A scratchy 19 off 22 did not help his long-term cause. Bowled two fairly innocuous overs, one economical, one not, but ultimately that’s not, or at least shouldn’t be, why he’s in the team.

Samit Patel: Oh dear. More pre-match bluster shown up to be blatantly false. A truly appalling run-out for 0, symptomatic of a lazy cricketer and club standard left-arm filth. This man should not play for England again. Not good enough, not fit enough and not willing enough. His Mom makes a nice curry apparently, he can feel free to eat as many of them as he wants now.

Luke Wright: The man with no role again failed to show why he is in the team, unused with the ball and scoring a mere 9 off 12 balls. Four years on from his debut and does anyone know his purpose?

Chris Woakes: Unfortunate to have to face Malinga when first coming in – welcome to the world of the big boys, young Christopher. Very expensive with the ball, that pace still looks too gentle and this will have been a chastening experience for him. He’s a good enough character to come back, but will England go back to him during the ODIs – only time will tell.

Stuart Broad: Was handed a thankless task with the bat, coming in right at the death. Captaincy was orthodox at best and his bowling still is short of his top standard. One wonders how much input he had into the bizarre selection; it would not augur well if it turned out to be “plenty”.

Graeme Swann: Didn’t bat and was expensive with the ball. However defending such a small total, after the new ball had been variously sprayed and flayed around, was not ideal for him.

Jade Dernbach: A mixed debut. Bowled too many wides, but was otherwise relatively economical and picked up his first international wicket; ok, Sanath Jayasuriya is more suited to advertising Werther’s Originals these days rather than playing cricket, but it’s one to tell the grandkids (which ironically, Jayasuriya could probably do now).

Sri Lanka:

Mahela Jayawardene: After a struggle in the Test series, this was back to classic Jayawardene – no slogging, just proper cricket shots, played in the most silky way. He can make batting look effortless at times.

Sanath Jayasuriya: In his penultimate international game – plenty has been written on the merits, cricketing and political, of his recall, so we won’t go back there – he played much as he has for the last two or three years. Tidy with the ball and picked up two wickets, including the key dismissal of Pietersen, but wildly out of touch with the bat. Thankfully this sideshow is over in a few days and we can remember him for what he was rather than what he has become.

Kumar Sangakkara: After his efforts at Southampton, everyone’s favourite Sri Lankan played beautifully with his long-term compatriot Jayawardene to seal victory with a typically classy knock. Still looked handy with the gloves despite giving them away in the Test format three years ago.

Angelo Mathews: Didn’t bat, didn’t bowl (presumably because of the injury which ruled him out of the latter stages of the World Cup and the entire Test series) and dropped a dolly of a catch on the boundary. You get away with those when your team wins comfortably.

Thilina Kandamby: Captained fairly well in as much as you can in Twenty20 – though his attack is far superior to that provided to Messrs Dilshan and Sangakkara in the longer form of the game. Didn’t bat and hence had not chance to improve his T20I average of 3.75.

Jeevan Mendis: A Gareth Batty vs Bangladesh 2005 type game, as he didn’t bat, bowl or contribute anything in the field. We’ll just guess that he’s better than Gareth Batty.

Nuwan Kulasekara: The limited overs specialist bowled tightly with the new ball and demonstrated why he will be a key player for Sri Lanka in the ODIs. Doesn’t have any real pace these days, if he ever had any, but he made Lumb in particular look foolish in his brief stay at the crease.

Lasith Malinga: Take a look at the figures: 4-0-15-2. Exceptional stuff and in this form of the game he is close to being the world’s best. It would be wrong to say that the tourists missed him in the Test series – his Test record is very ordinary and worse than ordinary against England – but he’s worth watching.

Thisara Parera: Probably the only Sri Lankan who put up a poor show, as his second over, full of waist high dross was happily clubbed away by Morgan and Pietersen. He wasn’t given the chance to make amends.

Suraj Randiv: Ordinary enough off-spin, but once Pietersen had gone, England struggled to take the attack to him and he emerged with acceptable enough, if wicketless figures.

Suranga Lakmal: Pretty much the same as his Test performances, full of endeavour, chipped in with a couple of wickets, but really he’s just a bit ordinary. Pretty telling of England’s performance that he looked a bit more than ordinary.

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