Cricket County Championship

Three Lions roar on as England win series 2-0

England’s cricketers beat Sri Lanka 2-0, to clinch the two match series against Sri Lanka, with six wicket win. Tourists England, showed one change from their first test win as Stuart Broad made way for all-time highest fast bowling wicket-taker James Anderson.

The hosts Sri Lanka, who were well beaten in the first test, fared better with the bat in the first innings this time round. Dinesh Chandimal’s side scored 381 all out, largely helped by 110 by star all-rounder and former captain Angelo Matthews.

Wicket-keeper batsmen Niroshan Dickwella (92) and skipper Chandimal (52) provided support for Matthews as the hosts Sri Lanka for the first time in the series frustrated England’s bowling attack. Spinners Jack leach and Dom Bess were wicketless, and only were able to dismiss Sri Lanka’s batting line-up, largely due to veteran James Anderson’s brilliance (6-40).

In response England, got their reply off to the worst start as England’s openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley again feel cheaply. Just like in the first test, The Three Lions were indebted to their captain supreme Joe Root. The 30-year old Root, who scored a brilliant 228 in the first game, backed this up with another superb knock of 186.

It was only Jos Buttler (55) who was able to offer any kind of support for his captain. Despite this, England were still able to get close to Sri Lanka’s first innings total and ended up being just 37 runs behind Sri Lanka’s total.

Having been in a position of dominance, inexplicably the home side self destructed and in their second innings scored 126 all out. Star bowler Lasith Embuldeniya , who has starred with the ball in this series, ended up top scoring with the bat, the spinner top scored for the Sri Lankan’s with 40.

England were left with a low target to chase of 164 to win the second test and complete a whitewash over their hosts. Just like throughout the series opener Zak Crawley fell cheaply, but just like the first test in the second innings, the tourists England had a wobble.

From the English perspective, thankfully Dom Sibley (56 not out) was able to return to form and Jos Buttler (46 not out) were able to guide the tourists home, winning by six wickets. Tougher challenges await Joe Root’s side, who play India 5th February in Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium.

Sri Lanka vs England; tourists edge out day two

England, thanks to James Anderson’s superb bowling figures of 6-40 helped the tourists keep in touch with their hosts on the second day of the second and final test against Sri Lanka. Anderson, who was rested for the first test win in Galle, rolled backed the years with a superb spell of bowling.

Anderson, the world’s leading wicket taker for seam bowlers made a mockery of his age and became the oldest player (38) to take a five wicket haul in tests. Critics had been circling the ‘Burnley Express’, saying that he wasn’t able to replicate his performances in home tests, away from home.

The Burnley Brian Lara, as he is also affectionately known by, has taken an impressive 49 wickets in just 14 tests away from home. Anderson’s brilliance was needed as spin twins Jack Leach and Dom Bess toiled. To put into context the pair send down 65 overs and conceding 195 runs.

To put that into context, their joint economy (Leach and Bess) was three runs over, which was more than double James Anderson’s (1.38 an over). Mark Wood was able to chip in with three wickets and Sam Curran one wicket as hosts Sri Lanka added another 152 runs to their total, before being dismissed for 381.

After their first innings showing in the first test, where they were shot out for just 135, hosts Sri Lanka will be delighted with their showing here. In reply to that impressive first innings total, England again fell into trouble as out of form pair of Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley both fell cheaply Lasith Embuldeniya.

Just like in the first game, England were indebted to their captain. Root, who scored a first test double century (228), followed that effort up with a counter attacking 67 off just 77 balls. That enterprising knock, helped Jonny Bairstow play a more watchful innings at the other end.

The Yorkshire man, will join his captain on 24 not out. An interesting days play, which leaves the test finely balanced.

Sri Lanka vs England, first test review

England captain Joe Root’s double century in the first innings of the first test, helped The Three Lions on their way to a seven wicket win over hosts Sri Lanka. Tourists England who had skittled the 1996 world champions out for just 135.

In reply to this paltry total, England largely thanks to Root (228) and some good support from Dan Lawrence (73) on debut, were able to pile on the runs (all 421 over them). The hosts, were now well and truly on the back foot.

After a crushing defeat by South Africa, you wouldn’t have blamed Sri Lanka for feeling a sense of ground hog day.

To the Asian side’s credit, they dug in, in the second innings. Angelo Matthews (71), Kusal Perrera (62) and emotional Lahiru Thirimanne century (111) helped the home side make 359 all out second time round.

The second innings was a much better showing by Sri Lanka. Nothing summed out their second innings better than Thirimanne’s second test ton, seven years after his first.

Despite a battling second innings showing, tourists England just needed 74 to win the first test in Galle.

What seemed a very small total, was threatening the to be a challenging one. Sibley, Crawley and Root were all back in the pavilion cheaply.

England’s scorecard read 14-3, which really raised the question of a shock win. Jonny Bairstow (35 not out) and Dan Lawrence (21 not out) saw the tourists home without any further scares.

The second and final test of this series will also be in Galle. England, will go into that test looking to extend their unbeaten nine game run in tests.

Sri Lanka, will go into the final test, no doubt looking to restore pride. The final test starts on 22nd January.

Australia vs India 2nd test; India level series

After the embarrassment of falling to 36 all out in the first test, where they ended up being beaten by eight wickets , India’s cricketers restored pride in the second test with an eight wicket win over their own.

For India, they had to contend with out their talismanic captain Virat Kohli, who was attending the birth of his first child.

Deputising for Kohli, was Ajinkya Rahane. The 32- year old Rahane took to the challenge of captaining his country like a duck to water.

Batting first, Australia could only muster 195 all out. It could have in fact been worse for the hosts if wasn’t for Marnus Labuschagne (48) and Travis Head (38).

In response to that disappointing total, India fresh off that infamous 36 all out, atoned for the 2nd innings failings in the first test by finishing on 326 all out.

Shubman Gill on debut (45), Ravi Jadeja (57), and a quite brilliant innings from stand in captain Rahane (112), put India in the ascendancy.

Having conceded a 131 runs lead in the first innings, hosts Australia having dominated the first test, were up against it in the 2nd.

Unfortunately from the Australian point of view, they crumbled badly in the 2nd innings too by Scoring 200 all out.

Matthew Wade made a start (40) as did Cameron Green (45) , but there wasn’t too much else to shout about as the tourists were left with just 70 needed to win the second test.

Despite a couple of early wickets, India achieved their target with relative ease, duly winning the match by eight wickets.

Pujara To Play For Yorkshire After Khan U-Turn

Indian batsmen Pujara is set to play for Yorkshire on a short term deal after Younus Khan’s u-turn.

Indian batsmen Pujara is set to play for Yorkshire on a short term deal after Younus Khan’s u-turn.

Pujara Set To Play For Yorkshire After Khan U-Turn

Former Derbyshire batsmen and Indian international Cheteshwar Pujara is set to play for Yorkshire after Younus Khan pulled out in the last minute. Pujara who has blossomed in the international arena after Rahul Dravid’s retirement, replaces former Pakistan skipper Khan who has made himself available for his country’s up and coming tour of Bangladesh.

Younus Khan had only agreed the deal to join the county champions last month – but the lure of international cricket proved to much. The Pakistan number three had been on the fringes of his country’s world cup squad, so maybe this decision from the 37 year old is a way of trying to force himself back into contention after all-rounder Harris Sohail seems to have made the number position his own.

As good of a player Younus Khan is – it’s fair to say that the Tykes have a fantastic replacement in Pujara. Indian batsmen Pujara has a very impressive batting average of 57.01- and also has scored 8,724 runs in first class cricket – but the most impressive thing about the 27 year old right handed batsmen is his temperament.

The Indian number 3’s battling qualities and his resilience whilst at the crease will win the hearts of the Headingley faithful no doubt. After all it’s not as if Pujara doesn’t have previous experience in English county cricket , he did have a stint for Derbyshire as well.