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England v Sri Lanka: third Test, day three – live!

“Morning Rob,” says Chris Drew. “It’s Saturday morning, so like Trevor Chaplin in ‘The Beiderbecke Affair’, I’m listening to jazz (some cool Bix) eating my morning croissant and looking forward to everyone waxing lyrical about this new belle-époque in English cricket. Oh, and there’s some rugby at Eden Park!”

Five days is a long time, and not only if you spend them at the feet of The Man being horsewhipped for the minimum wage. Five days is enough time to watch the entire series of the Sopranos and develop a rewarding obsession with Richie Aprile; it’s enough time to listen to around a quarter of The Fall’s output (or, better still, to listen to this masterpiece on loop); and it’s certainly enough time to take 20 wickets and win a Test match.

There is a widespread perception that, after Sri Lanka’s excellent batting performance yesterday, this match is going to be a bore draw. That might be the case, but there are enough precedents – not least the Lord’s Test a year ago – to remind us of the danger of such assumptions. Never assume; if you do, somebody will banterously tell you why you should never assume, and you’ll want to punch them.

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