Mahela Jayawardene not mad keen on getting out

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'Declare? No, I'm afraid that won't be happening'Prior to this match there was a bit of discussion as to whether it was best to bat first or second. It tends to be a brave move to insert the opposition upon winning the toss, but The Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Columbo has something of a reputation for flattening out after early life.

Perhaps the best example of this was August 2006. South Africa won the toss and opted to bat. They were bundled out for 169, reduced Sri Lanka to 14-2 and then watched Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara put on the highest first-class partnership of all time, never mind just in Tests. Sangakkara hit a mere 287, Jayawardene a fairly robust 374.

England were lucky enough to get Sangakkara for one yesterday, but Mahela Jayawardene’s still at the crease. This guy doesn’t have the first clue as to how to get out at this ground. It’s totally alien to him. This was his eighth Test hundred here.

We tend to groan when we hear that a team’s decided whether to bat or bowl based on past matches at a ground. It’s usually something like: ‘Historically, 25 runs more are scored batting first,’ or something similarly inconsequential. We always feel like this gets the players in the wrong frame of mind.

If you’re running into bowl, thinking ‘this is a 600 pitch’, you might not be quite so enthusiastic as normal. Similarly, if a pitch has a reputation for being difficult to bat on on the last day, bowlers will be fighting for the ball and giving it their all.

Sometimes you need to make your own history.

Having said that, we’d forgive anyone for feeling a little glum at the prospect of bowling at Mahela Jayawardene on the third day at The Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

Sri Lanka v England, second Test at Columbo – day three
England 351 all out (Michael Vaughan 87, Alastair Cook 81, Matt Prior 79, Muttiah Muralitharan 5-116, Lasith Malinga 3-78)
Sri Lanka 379-4 (Mahela Jayawardene 167 not out, Michael Vandort 138, Ryan Sidebottom 3-72)


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I think you should post the big hundred article in full!

    You can’t post anything that’s bad enough to fear us finding you out.. We already have!

    Yet we still come back for more..
    It’s like a freak show, everyone knows they shouldn’t be looking, yet they can’t help themselves!

  2. You didn’t have many commentators in those days, King Cricket. What on earth were we all doing with our time?

  3. I was thinking that myself Miriam..

    Out of the last few “old” posts, that have been linked, none seem to have any comments,.

    where did it all start going right for King Cricket?

  4. Who knows? Our readership wasn’t that bad back then, we just didn’t get many comments.

    It’s one of those things. People don’t like to comment first, so thanks to those of you who bite the bullet.

    We miss Brian from those comment-light days. Brian liked to tell us off for writing about cricket. He thought we should do more on snooker.

    We don’t think Brian reads any more.

  5. did anyone come to the Guardian OBO coverage a bit late today and think that Lawrence Booth was actually dead? I did.

  6. Doesn’t Mahela look like that bloke on Father Ted who wears the “I Shot JR” t-shirt?