Angelo Mathews is one of the finest cricketers in the world, never mind Sri Lanka, but his dismissal will remain one of the low-lights of a tour which has been brutally disappointing and unforgiving for the home side.
Joe Root set a field which was a caricature of the ‘leg trap’. In the olds days a captain might send square leg to the boundary if he wished to test a batsman’s mettle against the short ball. Occasionally a deep mid wicket, too. Together with the long leg, three men would form the most obvious of traps.
Root set SIX men in position. He had a fine third man for the uppercut, a three quarter mid-wicket and even long-on for the straighter hook/pull. There were two gullies And no slips.
The message was clear and Ben Stokes duly delivered. And Mathews was unable to contain his ego. The challenge was made and he could not resist. The miscued hook shot came almost immediately and the former captain trudged from the field in abject humiliation. At least, that’s how he should have felt.
With England set for a four day victory there will be just one more opportunity to farewell this remarkable city with its extraordinary buildings and development projects including the 100 acre land reclamation, new harbor being built by the Chinese.
Just one more day of staring at a concrete pillar for producer Sal Ahmed!
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