England’s first Test with Sri Lanka looks destined for a draw
A draw now seems a banker result in the first Test between England and Sri Lanka after the visitors produced a strong display with the bat in Cardiff, while the hosts are sweating over the fitness of James Anderson.
Led by a fine 112 by Prasanna Jayawardene, Sri Lanka posted 400 in their first innings and with the weather already taking away most of the opening day’s play, it is now hard to see them losing the initial match of the three-Test series.
Another hindrance for England could be the loss of Anderson, who was forced from the field just after tea with a combination of back and side injuries.
If a team is to win the first Test then they will need to take 20 wickets and with doubts over whether Anderson will bowl in the second innings, England may regret their team selection for Cardiff.
Picking just four recognised bowlers meant that Jonathan Trott was forced to hold up an end to allow others to take a rest and Anderson’s injuries may raise questions over whether England were right to leave out Ravi Bopara.
However, before England focus on how they are going to bowl Sri Lanka out again, they must first worry about batting and getting as close to possible to the total already posted.
The dismissal of captain Andrew Strauss in the final over of the second day was not great news as they finished on 47-1.
England’s odds are now 5/1 to win the first Test, while Sri Lanka are the same price to make good use of their solid second day to claim victory.
But with the suggestion that more bad weather could be on the way and the fact that England’s batting line-up should be able to remain at the crease for the whole of day three, the draw at 2/7 looks the obvious best bet to be the match result.
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