The quiet, southern, well-kempt, left-handed Michael Atherton for the 21st Century (actually, maybe he’s not Michael Atherton, thinking about it) brought the merest hint of pride back to shameful, shameful England with what we can’t help but describe as a rearguard hundred.
Alastair’s very much a rearguard hundred kind of a guy. How very English. Hopefully he won’t be called upon to score too many over the next decade or so, although judging from this Test, it’s a good job he’s getting the practice in.
Anyway, well done. Not the very best way to end the cricketing year, but better than last year at least.
Sri Lanka v England, third Test, fifth day at Galle
Sri Lanka 499-8 declared (Mahela Jayawardene 213 not out, Chaminda Vaas 90, Tillekeratne Dilshan 84, Steve Harmison 3-104)
England 81 (Chaminda Vaas 4-28)
England 251-6 (Alastair Cook 118, Muttiah Muralitharan 3-91)