Top Spin at the Test: Bell saved by the law after bizarre helmet reprieve
22:13 GMT, 27 March 2012
Ian Bell was granted a bizarre reprieve when he swept off-spinner Suraj Randiv straight at short leg. The ball ricocheted off the fielder’s shins and up on to his helmet, before wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene claimed the rebound. But Law 32.3(e) states that a catch is no longer fair if it has touched a ‘protective helmet’.
Six of the worst
lost six batsmen lbw in a single Test innings for only the fourth time
in their history, and the first since they drew with Pakistan at Karachi
in 1977-78. Back then, Geoffrey Boycott — out here commentating for
BBC radio — and his team couldn’t even blame the decision-review
Swim's a Batty idea
England's players can at least cool down in the Indian Ocean after a hard day’s play.
are no team rules forbidding them from taking a dip, despite
off-spinner Gareth Batty having to be rescued from Galle waters near the
Lighthouse Hotel nine years ago after getting caught in rip-tides.
Strauss’s bad habit
Andrew Strauss keeps getting in — then getting himself out. Since the start of the India series last summer, he has reached double figures in 12 of his 13 Test innings, but only twice made fifties. This was the sixth time in that sequence he has fallen in the twenties or thirties.
Alastair Cook has the opposite problem. After Tuesday’s duck, nine of his last 13 Test innings have resulted in dismissal for 12 or fewer — but among the sequence was his epic 294 against India at Edgbaston, and a fighting 94 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Out early: Cook
Jimmy Anderson's first-innings figures of five for 72 mean he has now claimed a five-for against eight of the nine other Test-playing nations. The exception are Bangladesh — whom Anderson has only played against twice.
South Africa may have fallen four wickets short of beating New Zealand 2-0 in Wellington, but a defeat for England here means they will have to win in Colombo next week to avoid slipping to No 2 in the rankings behind Graeme Smith’s team, who tour England this summer.