We’ve been waiting to write that headline since March 31st last year, when we made Graeme Swann one to watch for that season. Graeme let us down then, but since being given a chance in the England side, he’s been encouragingly solid at a time when solidity has been at a premium.
4-34 is a tidy day’s work for an England spinner, even if you are in Sri Lanka. In fact being in Sri Lanka is of arguable benefit. In Sri Lanka, toddlers’ first steps typically involve coming down the pitch to off-breaks. Speaking of walking, it was nice to see Kumar Sangakkara doing so. He’s a different man to the gobby one who Nasser Hussain rapidly came to hate.
To return to Graeme Swann, he also made a nice 25 (the second highest score for England) before permitting Stuart Broad centre stage for his customary low-scoring one-dayer victory batting. Whatever the pitch, England’s batting’s still fragile in one-day cricket. Worryingly so. At least we would worry, if one-day cricket seemed at all relevant at this exact moment.
Sri Lanka v England, third one-day international at Dambulla
Sri Lanka 164 (Tillekeratne Dilshan 70, Graeme Swann 4-34, Ryan Sidebottom 3-19)
England 164 (Farveez Maharoof 3-34)
England won via Duckworth-Lewis calculations