Sim Series, Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, day 3: Laker tears Sri Lanka a new one with Jayawardene offering lone resistance

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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.

After a snooze-inducingly slow start on day one, England had built a decent total by the end of day two.

They are 486-7. Brace yourselves for some declaration-or-bust batting.

Morning session

After four quick fours, Stokes goes for 148.

Hell of a knock. You could argue that the top order provided him with a good platform, but then you could also argue that they left him needing to considerably up the run-rate. As Beefy’s innings yesterday showed, that was easier said than done.

A few tail-end shenanigans and England are all out for 541. Muttiah Muralitharan had to bowl 67 overs for his inevitable five-for.

What does Jayasuriya have to do to get a bowl? Pretty light workload for Mathews too. Not sure what the story is there. Let’s say he tweaked a hammy but is fine to bat.

Change of innings

It’s not entirely clear when Syd Barnes will be effective, so you can expect him to get a short spell with the new ball before handing over to Stokes.

Beefy’ll be on at the other end, obviously. Wonder if he’ll have brown armpit stains? That was a thing in the Eighties – particularly for Botham. You don’t really see brown armpits any more. Was it the dark malty beers or something?


Barnes goes for 22 in a three-over spell.

“Great hairy ballbags, that wasn’t much good,” says Jonathan Agnew on commentary.

Underlining Barnes’ incompetence, Stokes comes on and gets Dilshan for 26 and Jayasuriya for 34.

Stokes is clearly going to try and do everything himself. As usual.

Afternoon session

People asked Jim Laker to stop bowling, but Jim Laker refused.

Jim Laker took three wickets.

Syd Barnes has not yet been called back into the attack.

Evening session

Mahela Jayawardene resists, but Sri Lanka’s other batsmen fold like crisp, bleached, germ-free bed linen.

Laker picks up a five-for while King of Cricket Captain 2018 All-Time Greats Mode, Wilfred Rhodes chips in with three.

Syd Barnes got absolutely carted.

Still 315 ahead, England do the unthinkable and enforce the follow-on. Wally Hammond’s captain and he hasn’t heard that no-one does that any more.

Sri Lanka close on 22-1.


England are in charge. This seemed unlikely before the series began, what with Sri Lanka having home advantage. But then England do have an extra century of Test cricket under their belt, which does rather deepen their talent pool. Maybe this is something we should address before the second Test.

Join us tomorrow for day four.


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  1. This is bloody, perversely riveting. The thing is that I’ve just been laid off from all my classroom based training work for the next 12 weeks, rather understandably of course, and some of the people I work for are working on developing webinars as an alternative. Long term, could this see a fundamental change to how I work in the future? If so, what does the joy of following this beautiful insanity you’re producing mean for the future of cricket?

    1. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s this: anything that happens on King Cricket is guaranteed not to be the future of anything.

      1. I don’t see why not. Esports seems to be growing in football and car racing. Why not ICC?
        The way most of us that work follow cricket is via scorecards and match report anyway. What’s the difference? (Ignoring the blatantly obvious difference that I can’t book a day off in the school holidays to go watch it with my boys. Unless … have you thought about live streaming on YouTube?)

  2. I have just shown this thread to Daisy.

    I had to explain what this sort of simulation game is. I then had to explain that KC is weaving an entertaining match report style story around the simulation. I then had to explain that this does seem to be going down well with plenty of KCs readers, including me.

    I shall quote Daisy’s response verbatim: “You have all gone completely mad”.

    I suggest you all take that as a compliment. I most certainly have.

    1. It’s all heading that way, Ged. A few more weeks of self-isolation and the entire world will have gone mad. We’re just getting a head start. Come May, when everybody’s out of loo paper and buying up tin foil as a replacement, we’ll have cornered the market and will be charging a grand per hat.

    2. I’m already looking forward to the KC Sim Ashes.
      (You might want to trademark that, KC.)

  3. This is great.
    Hopefully when this series is over you can play some kind of first class domestic stuff? How about the MCC v Champions match?

    As it’s legends mode or whatever it’s called can we get a bit of colour from my dear old thing Bloers?

  4. Considering playing an entire county championship season using the ‘Howzat’ dice game.

    1. I actually did play the entire 1975 world cup using Howzat dice and teams from the newspaper clippings.

      Even in my Howzat world back then, Sri Lanka seemed to be a surprisingly good side with one or two giant-killer wins, whereas East Africa performed according to real world form. Why I remember that micro-factoid I have no idea.

    1. County Cricket 1989 is surprisingly similar to classic editions of Cricket Captain, just not as graphical! You can still have the joy of sticking your batsmen on maximum aggression and watch them get out needlessly; wasting unnecessary bowling coaching on your star batsman; picking random players from your youth team and sticking them in instead of your more famous names.

      Playing as Essex 1989, I could select Mark Waugh, Derek Pringle, Goochie, John Stephenson (seems like he only just stopped playing!), Nasser Hussain … only complaint is the latter is listed as a medium-pacer bowler!

      I think you have to play ball-by-ball so an entire country season (even though it’s only 40-60 over matches) would take aaaaaages… mind you, perhaps that’s how long we’ll all be in for!

  5. Any protests? Knott, Underwood Gleneagles agreement and all? Presumably if the lineup can span a century, so can the politics. What to make of KP for that matter… WTF does Rhodes make of KP?

    1. Would be good to simulate the dressing room, but we suppose that’s what the comments are for.

      1. I’m sorry, but if there isn’t a dressing room bust up Soo it’s going to seem a bit unrealistic.

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