England v Sri Lanka: second Test, day four – live!

Morning everyone and welcome to something we haven’t had before in this series: a fourth day. And something else we haven’t had: the sight of the Sri Lankan batsmen doing themselves justice, after three innings in which they turned up in disguise as the Sinhalese Sports Club Under-10s. They resume in an hour’s time on 309-5. A proper Test score.

By showing spirit in a lost cause, and skill on a seaming pitch, they have regained their dignity. In terms of runs per wicket, they’ve batted six times as well as they did in their first three attempts. They’ve even outdone England, who have yet to reach 300 in this series with only five wickets down. But they’re still 88 runs behind, and, with a long tail, could well lose by an innings again. That’s why it’s called a Test.

Tim will be here shortly but in the meantime have a read of Mike Selvey’s day four report on a fightback from Sri Lanka.

Against what seemed to be the odds, Sri Lanka have survived to take the second Test into a fourth day. Faced with a massive first-innings deficit of 397, and following-on for the second successive match, they showed a determination that had been far from evident in their three previous innings in this series.

There was an excellent 60, spread over almost four hours, from the compact, busy opener Kaushal Silva (who in the spirit of bald men being called Curly, could be known as Long John), a more robust 80 from the captain, Angelo Mathews, whose brilliant century at Headingley on their last tour was instrumental in his team’s success then, and an unbeaten 54 from Dinesh Chandimal, who reached his half-century with a creamy cover drive in the quarter of an hour England had with the second new ball at the end of the day.

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