Day 38: Sri Lanka 133-4 (Roshen 15, Mathews 46) Both scythes from Sri Lanka have lovely, watchable caps. Ooooh and an absolute stunner of Rashid's last ball, a googly tearing and just leaps over the stump of the leg. Roshen did not see that coming.
37th on: Sri Lanka 130-4 (Roshen 15, Mathews 46) Leach yells "get, get, get," when Roshen sees the ball in his shoe, but also the ground. Foakes does not see it anyway. Then a beautiful cut from square to four. Languid.
Day 36: Sri Lanka 125-4 (Roshen 11, Mathews 45) Roshen and Mathews observe Rashid. It's blending, slider, legbreak, but not over its length and line.
Day 35: Sri Lanka 122-4 (Roshen 10, Mathews 43) Sands again. Linda de Roshen. Feet still, a short arm-walk through the covers by four. So immaculate defense. He is a good-looking beater to watch, all liquid smoothness and wrist.
Day 34: Sri Lanka 118-4 (Roshen 5, Mathews 43) Rashid rips one leg past Mathews, who watches and leaves. It works the next through cover. The Sri Lankan couple beat him by four singles.
33 on: Sri Lanka 114-4 (Roshen 4, Mathews 41) Mathews leaps a full toss for four, flipping through the middle of the wicket. Then he backs off and drives one through the outside. Roshen defeated by the last ball of the end.
Guy Hornsboy tweets on: "Interesting Talksport Talking Over Lunch @tjaldred. Mark Nicholas & Gareth Batty, saying that England's spinners are a bit disoriented after Leach's initial breakthrough, and speaking of "fourth shift syndrome" where they should sweep. Any truth in that?
32 on: Sri Lanka 109-4 (Roshen 4, Mathews 36) Rashid, testing, testing. Mathew pulls out yet another of his class-leading rear-facing units. Roshen pushes the ball into her boots and she jumps dangerously close to the stumps.
Day 31: Sri Lanka 107-4 (Roshen 3, Mathews 35) Leach has Roshen poking and poking. An attempt to scan then a better one that takes him some runs.
Day 30: Sri Lanka 103-4 (Roshen 0, Mathews 35) Rashid has Roshen in all sorts of tangles, England feeling the blood all over again.
Day 29: Sri Lanka 103-4 (Roshen 0, Mathews 35) Root turns immediately to Bleach, and the last ball of the excess leans, turns and rises, and has Bad in all sorts of problems.
28 more: Sri Lanka 103-4 (Roshen 0, Mathews 35) Yes, as Karunaratne swept, Jennings intuitively moved left to the short leg and defended the ball to Foakes who was alert enough to follow the ball in his gloves. Amazing!
POST! Karunaratne c Foakes b Rashid 57
Still not sure what happened there! I think … Karunaratne swept, and it bounced with Jennings, who fooled Foakes who smartly
27 more: Sri Lanka 97-3 (Karunaratne 56, Mathews 30 ) Joe Root makes the first ball after lunch. A beautiful slide from Karunaratne to a single is the shot from the end.
Zaph writes from Oregon:
Not knowing which Sinhalese beaters are left-handed and with three spinners it gets confusing to imagine – which is a spinner leg, spinner or (left-handed version of both) you can tell us before the afternoon session – ta. I'm in Oregon and it's past the opening time … so any help received gratefully.
PS: I'm assuming that Rashid is a leg spinner – I was leg spinner – (Bob Willis invited by us once – lethal in half rhythm), I would come a big leg in a bowl, would be hit by 4, 4, 6 , wicket, wide, 4, wide, 6, wicket and be withdrawn afterwards over … "
Rashid: long legs
Bleach: slow left arm
Moeen: right arm
But before I do, some news for Samanda from useful OBO readers – which you are very handsome.
"I think Samanda's problem may have more to do with the dispute between Sony TV and Tata Sky than BCCI," writes Chris Morris. "I'm happy watching the game in Bangladesh on an Indian satellite feed for Sony ESPN."
Tapan Panya is also watching, in India …. "It's very on Indian TV, look if you want … Depends on the signature."
Ian Ward does not think Sam Curran will fit into this innings and that he sustained him during his six-stroke bounty. You may not be eligible for the next test. Are they going to play Curran as a scout on the next test? Are they going to bring it to order? Or does YJB come in as a batter? What about Broad? Stone? Something to ponder during lunch / breakfast …
26 more: Sri Lanka 93-3 (Karunaratne 54, Mathews 28 ) ΝH an enduring event before Rashid's lunch. Two huge shouts of lbw – the first better, off the stump, spinning back, but not enough; the second was given by referee Ravi, but the decision turned in review, the ball spinning too much. Root places his arm around Rashid and they all look out of the field. A great morning for England, and Jack Leach, but I expect Sri Lanka in the form of Karunaratne and Mathews who put 67 and look ready for a long stay. They go to something delicious in the pavilion, I'm going to have coffee in the kitchen.
The goal of Sri Lanka is 208 fires.
Do not go!
The ball threw and turned too much for Rashid to get Karunaratne.
Day 25: Sri Lanka 90-3 (Karunaratne 53, Mathews 26 ) Root presents himself as the clown of pre-lunch. A bit of genius and grip and a couple of runs from it.
Day 24: Sri Lanka 88-3 (Karunaratne 52, Mathews 23 ) A good start to Rashid, full and quite accurate. But Sri Lanka keeps racing, there is no will to get bogged down before lunch.
And a little shove from Karunaratne, past Fools, brings him his second 50 seconds out – his 19th in the cricket test. And very well played. Calm down in a storm.
Day 23: Sri Lanka 82-3 (Karunaratne 48, Mathews 23 ) Three of Moeen's gone. The scouts of Sri Lanka in no real problem
Amod Paranjape has an answer to Samanda "BCCI and Common Sense are poles apart."
Ten minutes to lunch. And here we have Rashid …
22 more: Sri Lanka 79-3 (Karunaratne 47, Mathews 21 ) Karunaratne and Mathews running the strike well, sweeping and reversing sensibly into the field. Saying a little to Leach and Root. The fifty partnership comes and goes.
Root is having a conversation with Rashid. Is he going to get the ball before lunch?
21 more: Sri Lanka 71-3 (Karunaratne 41, Mathews 19) An ugly, background, reverse sweep of Mathews is by far the worst shot of the over a ball of Moeen that spins more than he expects. That brings you nothing.
Day 20: Sri Lanka 70-3 (Karunaratne 40, Mathews 19)An inner edge to the thin leg, a nurdle, a clip, a drive, and suddenly six came from Leach's gone.
Samanda Black writes from India: "I would love to know why this series is not being televised on the subcontinent?
"It sounds like a great notification contest, but it would be a lot better to watch a good series of tests.
"I'm not supposing you know what goes on in the minds of the fearless BCCI leaders, but I would have thought there would be a little more interest in this than the reruns of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
"There are a lot of Britons, Sinhalese and cricket testers here in India who will attend any cricket – although the game between Pakistan and Australia was too much for my Australian brain to understand. He imploded.
"It's not bloody Zimbabwe U19 vs Ireland U19. They are some English champions for the love of!
I think it's a strange call, stupid and absolutely ridiculous, and would it be nice if someone knew why?
Samanda, I'm afraid I can not help – does anyone know? I suspect that money, rights and power are your enemies.
Day 19: Sri Lanka 64-3 (Karunaratne 38, Mathews 15) Two of them, while Moeen keeps the sticks of Sri Lanka under control, but the pressure is dwindling. You can feel it.
Day 18: Sri Lanka 60-3 (Karunaratne 36, Mathews 13) Four Leach singles ended, as Sri Lanka began to breathe a little more easily. One turns so prodigiously that Mathews cuts again, but ends up reaching the width and the bottom, ending up as an ungainly.
Day 17: Sri Lanka 58-3 (Karunaratne 35, Mathews 12) Moeen squeezes it. Karunaratne attentive – a precise cut brings a couple to him.
Day 16: Sri Lanka 56-3 (Karunaratne 33, Mathews 12) Sri Lanka decides to make the blood flow a little and attack Leach. Three singles and four from Mathews that knock him out midway.
Day 15: Sri Lanka 49-3 (Karunaratne 31, Mathews 7) Karnaratne swings to Moeen and throws him off the hip by four. So ah! One drop! From Ben Stokes! Mathews pushes and the ball goes very strong, very fast, right on the slide and he can not close his paw around the ball.
Day 14: Sri Lanka 43-3 (Karunaratne 26, Mathews 6)
Day 13: Sri Lanka 42-3 (Karunaratne 26, Mathews 5) Moeen was not giving the pressure that Anderson did – three of them.
Just munching YJB again. A boy so prodigiously talented that he probably could also have played rugby internationally, he finds himself a substitute player. Meanwhile, Leach, the spinner of speculation, who had to reshape his action after it was discovered that he was dishonest, is the new hero. Cricket, huh.
Day 12: Sri Lanka 39-3 (Karunaratne 25, Mathews 3) Leach, again, wonderful. Easy and repeatable action, without stress, total confidence. One of the most.
And YJB appears as Anderson's substitute player, presumably out of the fight. How, he might ask, has it come to that?
Paul tweeting from Yorkshire (this is important) also has empathy: "Good Morning. Surely there will be more slots available when we're not out in the field with six players on the front line in XI? YJB seems to be a more reliable choice than Moeen / KJ when it comes to facing Australia next summer, right?
Day 11: Sri Lanka 38-3 (Karunaratne 25, Mathews 2) Moeen on the attack. His last ball spun and grabbed the outer edge of Karunaratne and flew between Fookes and Stokes to reach the limit by four.
And that's drinks.
Day 10: Sri Lanka 30-3 (Karunaratne 16, Mathews 2) Leach varying their length and attacking the stumps, I'll probably be wrong, but these two have an air of impermanence.
Christopher Seymour writes, "Take a look at the OBO title. I know time flies when you're having fun, but it's not the third test, is it?
Oh, you're right. Christopher, thank you. But I do not think I can fix this. Many readers attentive to this early hour, surely you should not be so alert …
Day 9: Sri Lanka 28-3 (Karunaratne 16, Mathews 1) RelentlessAnderson's ccuracy. Stokes comes out of the slide and Mathews nudges the ball with his soft hands directly to where he was, for a moment.
Day 8: Sri Lanka 26-3 (Karunaratne 15, Mathews 0) It is not a handsome dismissal by Mendis, who swept his cushions in line with the preserves. A sensible revision by the root. And the 13th lbw of the match. England well, well, on top.
POST! Mendis lbw Leach 2
Mendis sweeps the wrong ball and Leach has three before the corn flakes. Decision of the referee overturned by the review.
7 more: Sri Lanka 23-2 (Karunaratne 12, Mendis 1) Sri Lanka is nervous, going for some tight races just to keep the levels of excitement for England players. Anderson doing just the job that Root would want from him.
So many dogs watching OBO – who knew? "Morning Tanya," writes Adam Levine. "I'm watching cricket with Snoop Dogg, my Shnoodle who, incidentally, thought the capture of Jennings was the shizznits"
Brian Withington Alone, "Tanya In the interest of full disclosure of pets, our three Labrador Retrievers are currently asleep, but will fidget for breakfast at any time, though possibly not as fast as a Ben Foakes stumping. (and this is really a compliment for some seriously good hands on this man). "
Friday: Sri Lanka 20-2 (Karunaratne 10, Mendis 0) This really was a super catch by Jennings, the more you see, the better it seems. Dhananjaya should have swept him, says Athers, instead he just put it on Jennings' paws. Four byes from above while one of the Leach revolves around the batter, goalie and Stokes.
POST! Dhananjaya de Silva c Jennings b Leach 1
A fabulous footprint on Keaton Jennings' short leg, ripped from the air at the height of the cinnamon with his left hand.
5th place: Sri Lanka 15-1 (Karunaratne 10, Dhananjaya 0) An ode to Anderson, ball after ball in the right place, while Karunaratne waits attentively. A maiden, of course.
Sam Curran is off the field with "discomfort on the right side." Joe Denly, his substitute defender.
And Andrew Sparrow is watching with his pug
"If you want more dogs, I'm watching with Bert (my pug). He thought that was a very clever job for Foakes. "
4th place: Sri Lanka 15-1 (Karunaratne 10, Dhananjaya 0) Leach, fiddle, fiddle with the ball at the top of his run, makes the discovery. He and Foakes, who played together here on the Lions tour a few years ago, matched beautifully.
Meanwhile, Brian Withington is feeling empathy for YJB in Dorridge.
"Greetings from the not so sunny Dorridge. Saving a thought for the YJB, watching the younger Foakes, reinforces his cemented place in the England team. Direct fighting between him and Ben Stokes by the batsman floating batter and slots now?
POST! Kaushal Silva st Foakes b Leach 4
What a beautiful job Foakes! Leach hurls high, Kaushal dances in the field and is totally fooled by five cards.
3rd more: Sri Lanka 12-0 (Karunaratne 10, Kaushal 2) An intelligent damsel of Anderson. He shouts an appeal for the fourth installment, one that comes in and brushes the Karunaratne block before being picked up. Root hums and looks very distressed at the whole thing, but makes the right decision by not reviewing.
2 above: Sri Lanka 12-0 (Karunaratne 10, Kaushal 2) And Root turns to spin right away. Leach has the money, but with a little of that, a little of that, Sri Lanka's four more milk. Sri Lankan school children are singing enthusiastically in the background.
It's the pet corner at OBO this morning. Kim writes from her couch. He (I'm going to hit it this time) is having problems with his dog.
"What kind of confusing world do we live in now? Why would anyone, especially a hitherto seemingly sensible man like John Starbuck, feed a cat on the sly? It's like offering cricket egg sandwiches and Victoria sausage and sponge rolls for breakfast. Oh, wait, that would probably work.
"Anyway, I'm just awake because Dakkers, the dachshund, sat in my head briefly, but now he's not going to stand, so I can not make coffee, and that's probably why I'm grumpy. we must declare, by the way, to make a psychological point.
Oh, a little late, sorry, Kim. Tell Dakkers that was not a bad idea.
1 above: Sri Lanka 8-0 (Karunaratne 8, Kaushal 0) That's the way to do it! Sri Lanka gets 8 discount. Anderson starting to swing early, but Karunaratne dodging a pair of fours down the side of the leg.
In the Sky studio, they think England has enough. Carolos Brathwaite and Mahela Jayawardene do a double high and short act on which Nick Knight has already made two light jokes. Enough with the short jokes Nick!
Meanwhile, Tom White writes from France
"I thought about it as soon as I read his preamble [AH, THANK YOU!]you know it? She's the lead singer of Be Good Tanyas!
I know them! I love a famous Tanya! I've never heard of this before, but I love the song and now I love that version and the tremor in your voice. Well enough, England is on the pitch and Jimmy has the new ball.
80.4 overs: England 346 all out (Anderson 12, Foots 65) Anderson had just tried to sweep Dilruwan and Dickwella appealed to a nonexistent caught back before the Sri Lanka take the new ball. He did the trick immediately and England came out with a lead of 300 – again, with great innings of Foakes and a good Stoicism of Anderson.
POST! Anderson b Dilruwan 12
Dilruwan picks up the new ball midway, skids a little more and Anderson is knocked over
80th place: England 346-9 (Anderson 12, Foots 65) A change of bowling like Pushpakumara leads to cherry. First five deliveries are meticulously played, then Foakes takes England's lead to 300 jumping back carefully and going over the cover. New ball now available. Anderson to face the new is over.
79th place: England 342-9 (Anderson 12, Fools 61) Akila stands firm but Foakes gets her single for the fifth ball at the end with a small wrist move to a mid-wicket shorts. Then Anderson sweeps! He's only dealing with four in one knee this morning.
It's good to know that OBO's loyal reader, John Starbuck, is right. "Good morning Tanya. "
Good morning, John!
"I fed the cat and put the coffee, so I'm well prepared for a good day. What will England score to be competitive? We do not ask what the ideal score is (when I say "we" are me and the cat). "
Famous last words, but I think you have enough …
78th place: England 337-9 (Anderson 8, Foots 60) Some spin off Dilruwan Perera on the other side. Sri Lanka faff on the definition of the field for an age, but so what? Foakes loves his second ball, shimmies and wellies on the fielders for six. England now leads 291.
77 more: England 328-9 (Anderson 8, Foots 51) Five points from Akila Dananjaya are over, but some Sri Lankan comedies on the pitch, misinterpreting Anderson's turn, and England winning four.
In fact, the game is about to start now.. England led by 278.
Hello! Sorry I was not here at the point of four When I poured the rest of the milk into my tea, it coagulated. I'm blaming Brexit. Anyway, the good news is that it's warm and sunny at the Pallekele stadium and the game will start on time.
Good morning from mid-November and welcome to the fourth day of the second test against Sri Lanka, and what cracker should be. Scan was yesterday's verb – getting England most of its races, and Sri Lanka most of its wickets – (seven). Joe Root's broom was particularly vigorous throughout his century – "courageous and brilliant" in the words of Vic Marks. He placed 82 with Ben Foakes, who is still there and reached his fifty with six, just before the sky opened. The advantage of England is 278 – all the races that Foakes and Anderson receive will be received with gratitude in the field of England.
Statistic-stician-stuff (below) suggests that the pitch is likely to turn more today than yesterday – good news for England – although the scouts of Sri Lanka should be more than competent scanners; and who knows what the downpour of yesterday did in the conditions.
If England win today or tomorrow, it will be the first victory in the series in Sri Lanka for 17 years.
An intriguing day ahead.