Sim Series, Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, day 2: Stokes dominates as Murali toils

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With the Sri Lanka v England Test series postponed because of Coronavirus, we’re playing out two Test matches between Sri Lanka and England on Cricket Captain 2018’s ‘All-Time Greats’ mode… Welcome to Sim Series.

Day one of the first Sim Series Test between Sri Lanka and England was… well, it was absolute dogshit, wasn’t it?

England resume their innings under clear skies on 179-1.

Morning session

Aware that they have been getting nowhere slowly, England’s batsmen show a little more urgency and Herbert Sutcliffe positively careers to a 130-ball half-century.

Alastair Cook is LBW to Chaminda Vaas for 87, which brings Wally Hammond to the crease. Dizzyingly, Hammond is described as tending towards ‘average aggression’ as a batsman. He duly takes a run off his first ball and then hits a four.

“Strap in, folks,” says Jonathan Agnew on commentary, deciding for some reason to talk like Mark Nicholas.

Shortly after this, Hammond is bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan for 10. Oh no, Murali is up and running.

Kevin Pietersen hits his first ball for four.

Murali bowls Sutcliffe for 68.

At lunch England are 267-4. This could go either way really.

Afternoon session

When Pietersen is LBW to Murali for 46, England are looking decidedly wobbly. Ian Botham arrives at the crease and resolves to sort things out.

After five balls – all delivered by Muralitharan – Beefy is on 15. At the other end Vaas bowls Ben Stokes off a no-ball.

Blessed with a reprieve and inspired by Sir Beef, Stokes engages the long handle.

Botham is stumped off Murali.

Stokes retracts the long handle. Nevertheless, he reaches 50 off 67 balls.

At tea England are 392-6, which is much less shit than everyone expected.

“That’s much less shit than I expected,” remarks Agnew.

Murali has really got through some overs.

Evening session

Sri Lanka take the second new ball with England 410-6.

Stokes is slightly becalmed, but reaches his hundred off 175 balls. He raises his bat and waves it around and all that stuff.

Knott reaches 50 too, but barely acknowledges it. He is out in the final over of the day for a somewhat unexpected 70.


England are 486-7 and no-one knows why Jayawardene keeps bringing himself on for the odd over.

Join us tomorrow for day three when England will no doubt have a bit of a thrash before it’s their turn to bowl.


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  1. Gripping contest. I expect the final day to be rained out with SL following on and England needing two wickets for victory.

    As the kids say, you heard it here first. (Well, you actually read it here first, but that doesn’t have the same punch. Not sure why the ear beats the eye.)

  2. Great stuff. As I recall from ICC ‘99, you could manually control the aggression of the batsmen. Are you doing the same? Or are Cook, Stokes and Beef just naturally reverting to type?

    1. In 2019, if you put a very aggressive batsman on one bar of aggression, they are basically unbeatable.

      Also, it just occurred to me that the game I’m going to pay for again in two months is exactly the same as the game you had 20 years ago

      1. It occurs to us that the ‘bar’ should be the unit of measurement when reporting on actual, real world cricket.

        Remember that time against South Africa when Flintoff batted at six bars for his entire innings? Good times.

  3. Murali is sure to wreak havoc once the pitch ages. I still feel that the all-rounders will need to contribute for the tourists to make an early breakthrough when their time comes to bowl – leaving Anderson out could attract criticism if the home batsmen’s skill at playing spin allows them back into the game.

    Impressive economy from Malinga.

  4. Noticed something from the scorecard. The over-rate is far higher than what you would usually expect. 188 overs in two days?!

  5. Reporting on imaginary cricket is inexplicably not on the Government’s key worker list. As such I have increased my Patron contribution until such time as the world returns to normal or I get made redundant. Now that ‘working from home’ has become working from home, society needs this pointless shit more than ever.

    1. King Cricket: Merrily providing Pointless Shit since January 2016 2006.

      Cheers for the increased Patreonage. Appreciated.

  6. England firmly in command. Day three so often the deciding day and I expect that will be the case in this match… unless day three is inconclusive and day four turns out to be the pivotal day.

    Nuggety innings by Alan Knott there. He was nuggety in his hayday and it seems he still is nuggety.

    Why do you only claim to have been delivering pointless shit since January 2016, KC? Haven’t you been delivering stuff of this kind a lot longer than that?

    1. Ah, yes. We’ve been at this a decade longer than we’re apparently willing to accept.

    2. I assumed it was deliberate, a sort of acknowledgement that the website has never really been the same since David Bowie died.

      To be fair, it was always going to be downhill after The Great Jaffa Cake Exposé…

    1. We were going to watch The Big Lebowski on Netflix on our birthday last year because while we have it on DVD, we no longer have a DVD player – but then it was removed that week. So we bought a digital copy. But it didn’t work.

      We haven’t seen it since. Does this mean we didn’t have a birthday and haven’t aged?

  7. I always knew I liked sport, but with everything else having stopped I now realise I have a problem. I’m reviewing the scorecards from 1870s WG Grace first class matches. I’m genuinely looking forward to day three of England Sri Lanka. Obviously I need professional help, but in the meantime, thank you.

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