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.
Having only made 226 in reply to England’s 541 all out, Sri Lanka are still 294 runs behind with nine second innings wickets in hand.
The pitch is already turning quite a bit. Sri Lanka have a job on their hands.
Ian Botham takes a wicket with the first ball of the day. He continues to create chances, but pretty soon it’s time for the spinners.
On 32, Kumar Sangakkara positively larrups Derek Underwood for six. It’s an amazing shot. He basically backs away and cuts a ball on middle stump over extra cover.
Clearly he’s confident – but maybe a bit too confident because three balls later he’s caught behind.
Underwood is looking dangerous and, as a side note, we are delighted to see that this simulated version of him is quite correctly ‘slapping back‘.
Jim Laker clean bowls Mahela Jayawardene in the very next over and Sri Lanka are basically shafted.
On commentary, Jonathan Agnew says, “Sri Lanka are basically shafted.”
Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe we imagined that.
20 minutes later, Underwood bookends an over with the wickets of Aravinda de Silva and Angelo Mathews.
“Yes, completely and utterly, irretrievably shafted,” says Agnew.
Underwood has 3-9 in five overs.
Laker bowls Chaminda Vaas and at lunch Sri Lanka are 97-7,
“Completely and utterly bollocksed,” concludes Agnew.
Underwood gets Dinesh Chandimal. Botham gets Murali.
Underwood then has about 46 appeals against Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath – seriously, about every other ball – before snaring the latter LBW.
It’s all over. England win by an innings and 192 runs. Ben Stokes is man of the match.
England lead the series 1-0
After a crushingly tedious start, England somehow won with a day and a half to spare. Stokes was a deserved man of the match, and the 172-run partnership between him and Alan Knott was, with hindsight, key. However, the England spinners all did a job, while Sri Lanka’s batsmen need to take a long hard look at themselves ahead of the second Test.
How important was the toss? And how important was it that England have hundreds of brilliant cricketers to choose from while Sri Lanka have such a short Test history that they somehow ended up with Dinesh Chandimal in an All-Time Greats side?
The second Test starts on Friday, which honestly feels like quite a quick turnaround even when all you have to do is play a computer game and take some screengrabs.
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