The first Investec Test at Lord’s between England and Sri Lanka ended in a thrilling draw on the final day this Monday. The match result went till the wire, till the very final ball which was well negotiated by the Sri Lankan no.11 Nuwan Pradeep.
In the penultimate delivery of the match, Nuwan Pradeep was adjudged lbw by the Umpire but the Sri Lankan fast bowler got the decision using the URDS which proved that he had got an inside edge. A little earlier than this, another twist preceded when Rangana Herath walked off on his own after gloving a short ball from Stuart Broad to the keeper. Had Herath held his ground, he would have been given not out as replays revealed that his hand had come off the bat when the ball had hit it!
Well the first Test was played on a flat batting surface at Lord’s. The match was meandering towards a draw until the final day which suddenly saw a spark in the English team. Sri Lanka became nervous and a couple of mistakes here and there gave England an outside chance of winning the Test out of nowhere.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, England recovered from 120 for 4 to end up with a massive total of 575 for 9 declared. Joe Root scored a career best of 200 not out which was his maiden double century in Test Cricket. Joe Root faced 298 balls while hitting 16 fours. Wicket Keeper Matt Prior scored a crucial 86 while Ian Bell produced a fluent knock of 56 under pressure. For Sri Lanka, Nuwan Pradeep took four wickets while another pacer Shaminda Eranga collected three wickets.
Sri Lanka gave a fitting reply to England by scoring an impressive total of 453 while making the hosts’ bowlers toil hard for 138.4 overs. Kumar Sangakkara registered his maiden Test century at Lord’s in his knock of 147 (from 258 balls with 16 fours). Skipper Angelo Mathews scored an important 102 (from 172 balls with 12 fours) to take Sri Lanka to safety. Opener Kaushal Silva had earlier scored a defiant 63 from 160 balls. For England, James Anderson and Chris Jordan took three wickets each.
England with a first innings lead of 122 runs, stuttered in their second innings at 102 for 5. Gary Ballance saved their blushes with a crucial unbeaten maiden Test century. Ballance scored 104* (from 188 balls with 12 fours and a six) to rescue England to 267 for 8 declared. Rangana Herath got the ball turning finally to take four wickets while Shaminda Eranga bagged another three wickets.
The final day saw England declaring at their overnight total to leave Sri Lanka 390 to chase from 90 overs. Kaushal Silva (57) and Kumar Sangakkara (61) defied the English bowling to set the game towards a draw. However, in the final session, England bowlers produced some magic while the Sri Lankan batsmen started to choke. Skipper Angelo Mathews almost saved SL by batting through for 138 minutes. Towards the end, England fell short of a victory by just the one wicket. James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers in the final innings taking four wickets while Stuart Broad got three wickets.
Joe Root was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his double century.