Swann leads England fightback after collapse

March 27, 2012
by PaddyBriggs

1st Test, Galle
Day 2: Sri Lanka 318 & 84/5 v England 193

On a dramatic second day in Galle, 17 wickets fell as Sri Lanka have put themselves into a good position to beat England, despite a late fightback from Graeme Swann.

After England had wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings this morning, it was expected that the visitors would bat out the day to try and build a much needed first innings lead. However, England were bundled out for just 193 before tea, handing Sri Lanka a lead of 125.

Ian Bell was the only batsman to record a half century, as he made 52 from 87 balls. Yet again England struggled against the turning ball in this part of the world, as left arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed 6/74.

England scored at more than four runs an over, but in an attempt to take the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers, they lost wickets at regular intervals. Things could have been even worse for England, had it not been for a 36 run partnership for the last wicket between James Anderson (23*) and Monty Panesar (13).

With 34 overs left in the day, England knew that they had to make inroads into the Sri Lanka batting line up in order to stand any chance of remaining in the game. Graeme Swann was the man to do this for the tourists, as he claimed 4/28 from 12 overs in an inspired spell of bowling. Sri Lanka finished at stumps on 84-5, with Stuart Broad taking the other wicket.

Sri Lanka now go into day 3 leading England by 209 runs with just 5 second innings wickets in hand. Sri Lanka will still be favourites to go on to win this match as the ball is starting to turn, but England will know that a score of 250 is possible to chase down on a ground where boundaries remain frequent.

The Scoop 27/03/2012


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