Someone has to carefully document Dom Bess’s absolutely dreadful 5-30 against Sri Lanka and that person has to be us.
The stats people at CricViz do a thing where they estimate how many wickets a bowler could realistically expect to have taken in a given spell based on the deliveries they produced. On this occasion CricViz concluded that Bess’s bowling warranted 0.18 wickets.
Just to reiterate – he took five.
These were the five.
Wicket 1: Kusal Perera, caught Root
Facing Bess’s second ball of the innings, Perera decided it was high time for a reverse sweep.
He fluffed it straight to first slip and then scuttled off, swinging his bat in a temper because he’d played a reverse sweep to a bowler’s second delivery and fluffed it straight to first slip.
Wicket 2: Niroshan Dickwella, caught Sibley
Bess’s second wicket came from a hop so long that it eventually arrived at Dickwella at stomach height.
Unaccustomed to deliveries that slow arriving at that height, Dickwella got under it and plopped it into the hands of backward point.
Bess celebrated by frowning and shaking his head in disgust at having bowled something so dire.
Basically, the sheer existential trauma of having delivered something so filthy entirely negated his joy of having taken a wicket.
Wicket 3: Dasun Shanaka, caught Buttler
Shanaka swept the ball and a leaping, flinching Jonny Bairstow inadvertently backheeled it straight up in the air for Jos Buttler to pouch.
Bess celebrated by laughing in disbelief at his outrageous fortune.
(Special mention for the moment just after Buttler took the catch when everyone was running around in glee and Dom Sibley went haring after Bairstow to try and celebrate with him while Bairstow was busy trying to hobble away so that he could collapse onto his hands and knees in agony.)
Wicket 4: Dilruwan Perera, bowled
Inside-out drive second ball with the score reading 126-7.
Failed to hit ball.
Wicket 5: PWH de Silva, bowled
This one was particularly great. De Silva basically moved out of the path of the ball so that he could play an air reverse sweep.
You see a batsman get himself in this position and it’s already very exciting…
Head right over the ball. Great. Bat… maybe not in quite such a great position…
Aaaaand Sri Lanka are all out…
Michael Vaughan called Sri Lanka’s innings, “the worst possible advertisement for Test cricket” – but let us tell you right now it was no such thing. It was demented and rubbish and hugely entertaining and therefore an excellent advert for Test cricket.
Great work everybody.
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