1st Test: England v Sri Lanka at Lord's, May 11-15, 2006
Sri Lanka 192 & 381/6 (130.0 ov) Stumps
CK Kapugedera 5*
TM Dilshan 39*
"Jayawardene and light delay England
The Bulletin by Andrew McGlashan
Mahela Jayawardene fought tooth and nail before being cruelly dispatched after an outstanding fighting century that kept Sri Lanka's hopes of a draw flickering in the gloom at Lord's. In a thrusting final burst Andrew Flintoff improved England's day by a few notches, keeping them firmly on course despite further missed chances, but Sri Lanka's determination has taken the match into an unexpected final day.
Their cause was helped when bad light lopped 24 overs off the evening and the forecast tomorrow suggests more assistance from the elements can't be ruled out. But for large parts of today it was the Sri Lankans who aided themselves. Jayawardene and Farveez Maharoof negotiated a full morning session and Tillakaratne Dilshan, following a double burst from Sajid Mahmood, ensured the resistance remained.
Jayawardene is enjoying a fine match and his outward emotion on reaching the hundred showed what it meant to him. Four overthrows brought up his century off 191 balls but it didn't matter how he got there as he pumped his fists, signalling to the dressing room, and certainly hadn't given up hope of pulling the match out of the fire.
England were left to rue dropping him on 58 - Andrew Strauss spilling his second regulation chance of the match - and when Flintoff finally struck it wasn't the runs that were of concern, but the time. With the wicket - fortuitous as the ball only touched the jumper - Flintoff exploded into his 'star' celebration, which became such a feature last summer for the first time this season. He clearly sensed the importance of the strike after a tough day.
Sri Lanka's first innings lasted 55.3 overs; Jayawardene and Maharoof batted 40 between them. As the stand developed England were beginning to wonder where a wicket was going to come from despite passing the bat on countless occasions. Maharoof - dropped on 30 when Paul Collingwood missed a chance high to his right at third slip - swung a six into the Grandstand to reach his fifty. However after threading two boundaries through the covers off Mahmood he slapped another attempt to Kevin Pietersen at cover.
The relief on the England faces was palpable but nothing should be taken away from Maharoof who had given ample notice of his batting ability. During the fourth-wicket stand of 113 he'd lost nothing in comparison to his captain and produced some strokes of the highest class against whatever England threw at him.
Samaraweera didn't find life quite as easy and, though he avoided a pair, didn't last long when he flashed at a delivery that bounced from Mahmood. The well-worn phrase of 'one brings two' had come true for England, in the nick of time, and suddenly there was a spring in the step of the bowlers and fielders.
However, Jayawardene remained and his second ton at Lord's, the 14th of his career, arrived with a scurried single to mid-on, which turned into five when the shy missed the stumps. He was confident to take on the short ball and when anything was overpitched latched on. Dilshan formed another useful partnership - in terms of runs and time - of 68, overcoming the nerves of the first innings, and whatever the outcome of the match the Sri Lankans will take a huge amount of confidence to Edgbaston for the second Test.
England's plan had been based around the new ball, due 16 overs into the morning session; it swung and seamed, but the chances came and went. Strauss's miss came off Hoggard, who had repeatedly passed the bat in another metronomic spell, and the frustration was clear.
But the bowling remained menacing throughout the day as Mahmood's impressive debut continued and Liam Plunkett produced his best spell of the match. However, the young pacemen were shown that Test cricket is often a long, hard fight. Both teams will be glancing towards the sky when the final day dawns. "
Well then, a lopsided match could yet be drawn, lion-hearted fightback from the royal blue Sri Lankans, good to see