England v Sri Lanka, second Test, day two as it happened

Sam Robson hits 127 before a Sri Lanka fightback limits England to 320-6 - a lead of 63 - on day two of the second Test.

21 June 2014 Last updated at 10:31

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As it happened

  1. 18:54: 

    And on that note, we're going to leave you for the evening, after a day of 284 runs, six wickets and some compelling cricket.

    You can hear the Aggers and Boycott review of the day, the Lord Hattersley "View from the Boundary" and the teatime chat with Dickie Bird on the TMS podcast page.

    We'll all be back tomorrow morning (TMS on air from 10:25 BST) - make sure you join us then. Enjoy the rest of the longest day of the year.

  2.  
    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Tim in Heathrow: What the...? I'm on board a flight that was due to depart for New York at 5pm. We sat out on the tarmac for ages then had to return to the gate - and in that spell, England went from 277-2 to 319-6. Wish I had left my phone in flight mode!

  3.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's very difficult for Alastair Cook and it's obvious it is a similar ball across off stump that keeps getting him out. I don't think playing one-day cricket in poor form is the recipe I would want. I would want to play first-class cricket and play in the 'V'. If Essex were playing a few four-day matches before the next Test he would be better off in that, but they don't these days."

  4. 18:48: 

    And how will Sam Robson celebrate his maiden Test century?

    "Probably one beer, then a big filthy burger or something."

  5.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I thought Moeen Ali's dismissal was poor, that was sloppy, naive, chasing. You've seen the ball move and you have got to work a bit. That sort of thing negates when he made that 48 at Lord's. That's what selectors look for. Especially when his bowling isn't special, he has got to work harder at his batting.

    "But it has left the game nicely poised. In some ways the Sri Lankans will go off happy, they know England have to bat last, but also England will say we have our best batsmen to come, Jordan, Broad and Plunkett can bat, they are not going to hang around. They might get a 100 lead, they might get 150. I still fancy England but you never know, our batting has a lot to do yet."

  6.  

    More from England opener Sam Robson: "Once you get in it's a good wicket, but the second new ball was tricky. I don't smash sixes left right and centre, but I try to be positive and if it's in my area I try to put it away. It took me a while to get used to Herath's changes of pace, but I wanted to use my feet to him. My debut at Lord's was unbelievable, a bit overwhelming in some respects, so I was looking forward to coming up here and focusing on the cricket rather than the party, as it were."

  7.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If the bowlers do not persist in bowling that disciplined line in the corridor they get scored off and England were marching away, until Sri Lanka took the new ball and the bowlers got their reward."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  8.  

    England opener Sam Robson: "A special day, I got a bit of a start last night but I just wanted to fight hard this morning and get us into a decent position. [On the hundred] I knew the bloke at deep point was quite square so when I saw it was in front of square I knew it was on. Belly just told me to take my time, enjoy it and soak it up."

  9.  
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    Chris Tubby: People are rubbishing Bell again saying he doesn't get runs when needed. Please watch the SA tour 2010 and Ashes 2013. Peasants.

    Rasanga: Two dropped catches. This is just shocking from Sri Lanka.

  10.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I like the way Robson batted, I saw improvement, he was compact, tighter, got right behind it, a very solid good performance. I wouldn't say there was too many spectacular shots but it doesn't matter. At Headingley usually bowlers have a bit of a chance and you have to nullify that. Robson and Ballance set the stage perfectly."

  11. 18:40: 
    Stop the pigeon!

    It's been a busy old day for that Headingley pigeon, which now has its own Twitter account - anyone else remember that duck which refused to leave the outfield during the Wellington Test last year?

    Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne attempts to catch a pigeon
  12.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "A very enjoyable day's Test cricket. Fair reward for the spectators at Headingley. There is always something in the pitch it looks dry, there is still a lovely bounce but every now and then a bit there for the bowlers, but it has to be full. If you bowl the ball off line it sits up nicely and it's lovely to drive."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  13.  
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    Robert Fanner: Phew! England still ahead but the nerves crept in a bit there. Prior'll be the key man tomorrow, hope he makes up for the drop

  14. 18:36: 

    It's podcast o'clock - Geoff Boycott has been in feisty form on TMS today, so listen out for his review of the day with Aggers which is coming up now.

  15. 18:35: 

    So, that last hour turned it into an interesting day of Test cricket - with England leading by 63, they'll think some tail-wagging tomorrow morning will set them up well to get stuck into Sri Lanka again. However, the tourists have a spring in their step after all those late wickets, and will fancy their chances if they can take the remaining wickets cheaply.

  16.  
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    Michael Ly: Again no killer instinct with this England team, it's like they want to win but not too handsomely.

  17.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England dominated the first five hours, put a lot of runs on the board, then all of a sudden Sri Lanka fought back with the new ball. It seemed Ian Bell was destined to score a hundred but him being strangled down the leg side started the rot."

  18. 18:33: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 320-6 (lead by 63)

    Nuwan Pradeep replaces fellow seamer Eranga for the final over of the day, there's nearly a strangle down the leg side but Prior didn't make contact. He shovels a single into the leg side to bring Jordan on strike for the last two deliveries of the day. He forces the last ball for a single into the covers, so he'll be facing the first ball tomorrow morning.

  19.  
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    Ben Thapa: Sri Lanka will be thinking: bowl England out then match their score with their 2nd innings. If they set Eng 250 to win, game on?

  20. 18:28: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 318-6 (Prior 2, Jordan 1)

    We have theoretically three overs of the 90 still to be bowled, but Sri Lanka may have to hurry here to get two in - indeed, Prasad (recalled in place of Mathews) is hurrying back to his mark between deliveries, Big appeal for lbw from the slips against Prior, a belated appeal from the bowler but they decide against a review as it was sliding down the leg side. Jordan smacks the ball to extra cover but is dropped by Karunaratne. But there will be time for one more.

  21.  
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    Beth Jakubowksi: I was only on the phone for 20 minutes! What the hell happened?

  22. 18:24: 
    Eng 315-6 (lead by 58)

    Eranga has three slips and a gully for Jordan, who pokes one to gully where an over-excited fielder throws at the stumps, no-one is backing up and Jordan is off the mark with an overthrow. Prior hustles through for a single after dabbing the ball to point.

    In fact, he's off the mark with his 18th ball - which equals his record in Tests.

  23. 18:20: 
    Eng 313-6 (Prior 0, Jordan 0)

    Five overs left. It's as though we're watching a different game than we ere an hour ago, Graeme Swann on TMS thinks Sri Lanka may be kicking themselves as they waited a couple of overs before taking the second new ball. Prior does well to keep Mathews at bay, he's yet to score. Maiden over, four to come (or 11 minutes).

  24.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England cannot lose any more wickets they need to see it through until the end of play otherwise Sri Lanka have wrestled the initiative back. I'd given up the ghost for them an hour ago."

  25.  
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    Jon Evans: I'd rather a player consistently hitting 50s and getting out than one hitting 20 majority of the time and getting the odd 100.

  26. 18:16: 
    Eng 313-6 (Eranga 26-10-61-2)

    Chris Jordan walks out, I can't believe that half-an-hour ago, he'd have even expected to get changed today, let alone have to bat...

  27.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Very, very good bowling, even though it has been outside off stump it has been coming in to Ali. In enticed the drive and all of a sudden Sri Lanka have hauled themselves back in this game."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  28. 18:14: 
    WICKET- Moeen c Chandimal b Eranga 2 (Eng 313-6)

    Having left his first six deliveries last over, Moeen leaves the first ball of Eranga's new over before the Worcestershire man opens his account with a firm off drive for two. But when Eranga switches to bowling over the wicket, he tempts Moeen with one outside off stump which he edges behind.

    Three wickets have fallen for two runs in 24 balls, and Sri Lanka are very much back in the running.

  29.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Prior doesn't move his feet very much; he sort of check-drove it. It would have been an incredible catch."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  30. 18:10: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 311-5 (6 overs left today)

    Prior is digging in here against Mathews, channelling his inner Jonathan Trott as he scratches his crease between deliveries. But he's nearly out without scoring as he drives one straight back towards the bowler, Mathews dives to his right and gets a hand to it but can't hold on.

    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews drops a catch off his own bowling
  31.  
    Text 81111

    Spinks in London: Ian (1747) is clearly a glass is half empty kind of a guy. The English sports fan needs to enjoy any moment they can.

  32. 18:06: 
    Eng 311-5 (Moeen 0, Prior 0)

    So, two new batsmen in, and Eranga has a reinforced cordon of slips waiting behind the left-handed Moeen, who patiently shoulders arms to each ball of a maiden over.

  33.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Moeen Ali seems very comfortable watching the ball go through to the keeper. He is also very easy on the eye. And what a beard!"

  34.  
    Scorecard update

    England 311-5 (97 overs) - lead by 54 runs

    Batsmen: Moeen 0*, Prior 0*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17), 191-2 (Ballance 74), 278-3 (Robson 127), 311-4 (Bell 64), 311-5 (Root 13)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 21-3-88-1, Eranga 24-9-59-1, Herath 25-3-61-0, Prasad 19-3-72-1, Mathews 8-1-29-2

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  35. 18:03: 
    Eng 311-5 (lead by 54)

    Matt Prior joins Moeen at the crease, with neither of them having faced a ball. The England wicketkeeper sees off a wicket maiden from captain and reluctant bowler Mathews, who might arguably have bowled more than eight of the first 97 overs.

  36.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's movement out there and half a bat from Joe Root. You could see he wasn't happy with that stroke. This is such a crucial last half an hour. If they can one or two more tonight, Sri Lanka are right back in this Test match."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  37. 18:01: 
    WICKET- Root c Chandimal b Mathews 13 (Eng 311-5)

    Moeen Ali walks to the middle with just over half-an-hour left of day two (a theoretical nine overs). And one wicket brings two - a hesitant edge behind ends Root's participation in this innings.

    Thinking ahead to tomorrow's attendance, I can almost hear Yorkshire's accountant cursing from here...

    Scorecard

    Sri Lanka captain removes Joe Root
  38.  
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    Iain Warburton: What a poor dismissal. A good player, Ian Bell, beautiful on the eye when in full flow but nothing more than that.

  39.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Eranga has bowled well. He has bowled some really good deliveries that have had no reward and then probably his worst delivery gets a wicket. Ian Bell didn't have to break sweat to make 64, it was so easy for him. When he is playing he just makes batting look so simple. He has got it all. This will be a real test for Moeen Ali."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  40. 17:56: 
    WICKET- Bell c Chandimal b Eranga 64 (Eng 311-4)

    Bell inside-edges Eranga for four, then he's beaten all ends up by another unplayable delivery from the luckless seamer, who's bowled well today without reward. But after surviving that, Bell's out tamely to a ropey delivery down the leg side as he feathers an edge to the keeper.

    Scorecard

    Sri Lanka's Shaminda Eranga removes Ian Bell
  41.  
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    Will Harrison: Remember when people were unsure with Cook bowling first?

  42. 17:51: 
    Eng 305-3 (lead by 47)

    Easy pickings for Bell, late-dabbing a wide delivery from Mathews for four, while a single takes him to 58 from 84 balls.

  43.  
    Text 81111

    Ian: Lovely to see everyone happy watching the master Ian Bell on a flat track against an average attack scoring runs, it's like the winter never happened.

  44. 17:47: 
    Eng 300-3 (Bell 53, Root 13)

    We've got 12 overs remaining tonight - I thought at one point today we'd be finished before 18:30 BST for a change, but it's looking less likely. Root negotiates an uneventful maiden over from Eranga.

    If you missed them earlier, you can listen to the "View from the Boundary" interview with Lord Hattersley, and the teatime chat with Dickie Bird, on the TMS podcast page.

  45.  
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    Louis McMahon: Bell's brother Keith has just scored a ton in the Birmingham Premier League for Kenilworth Wardens. No pressure, Ian...

  46. 17:42: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 300-3

    Bell is hit on the waistline by medium-pacer Mathews, there's a big appeal for lbw from the Sri Lanka skipper but it was a little high. A two through the covers takes England to 300 - by a distance, the last 100 runs have been the quickest of England's three centuries, as it were. The lead is 43.

  47.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I saw enough in Robson today that, when he gets more confidence, there are enough shots in the locker and he can go up through the gears quicker."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  48. 17:38: 
    Eng 298-3 (13 overs left today)

    Bell knocks Eranga for a single to deep square leg, while Root moves into double figures by punching a four through the covers which has Michael Vaughan purring on TMS. A two off his legs stretches England's lead to 41.

    England batsman Joe Root
  49.  
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    Taylor: Now that Bell has his 50, he's going to throw away his wicket, isn't he?

    Has this tweet fallen through the space-time continuum from about 2008?

  50.   
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialJoin the debate at #bbccricket

    "Previous to this Test, Ian Bell had scored 105 runs in his 10 innings at 11.66 at Headingley."

    England batsman Ian Bell
  51. 17:33: 
    Eng 291-3 (Bell 50, Root 7)

    It took Mathews until the 66th over with the old ball to bowl himself, he's now bowling the ninth with the new ball. The Sri Lanka skipper has 1-22 from five overs.

  52. 17:31: 
    BELL FIFTY- Eng 291-3

    Mathews into the attack, Bell clips a single to fine leg to bring up his 41st Test fifty in his 100th game, having taken only 71 balls to do so.

    England batsman Ian Bell
  53. 17:30: 
    Scorecard update

    England 289-3 (90 overs) - lead by 32 runs

    Batsmen: Bell 49*, Root 6*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17), 191-2 (Ballance 74), 278-3 (Robson 127)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 21-3-88-0, Eranga 21-8-46-0, Herath 25-3-61-0, Prasad 19-3-72-1, Mathews 4-0-20-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

    Fans at Headingley
  54. 17:29: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 289-3 (lead by 32)

    Root is hit on the pad, the slips appeal but the bowler, Eranga, doesn't - Sri Lanka still have two reviews remaining, having had them "topped up" to two at 80 overs under the rather controversial recent change to the ICC playing conditions. Replays suggest it hit the bat before the pad... then there's a brief delay involving a sliding window next to the sightscreen at the new pavilion end. Surely they plan these things out when grounds are redeveloped, so that they don't hold up play? Root nicks the strike with a single.

  55. 17:24: 
    Eng 288-3 (Bell 49, Root 5)

    Root is off the mark fluently as he glances Pradeep down the leg side for four. A single brings Bell on strike, on 45, and again there's a bit of movement off the pitch for the tall seamer as Bell plays and misses. A no-ball stretches England's lead to 27, while a gorgeous square-driven four brings a warm round of applause, taking Bell to within one run of his fifty.

    Sri Lanka seamer Nuwan Pradeep
  56.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is probably the best time to be batting. So whenever England declare or get bowled out tomorrow they will know the new ball is going to do plenty."

  57.  
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    Nick: Yorkshire's accountant desperately hoping that Root is undefeated at the close.

  58. 17:19: 
    Eng 278-3 (lead by 21)

    Eranga to Bell, he swishes and misses with an attempted late cut. The man playing his 100th Test plays out a maiden over.

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    George Cheshire: What a beautiful innings from Robson!

    Richard Pasco: All the moaners complaining about Robson's scoring rate should send in their Test average and strike rate before commenting.

  60. 17:14: 
    Eng 278-3 (Bell 45, Root 0)

    As Michael Vaughan returns to the TMS summariser's chair, his protege Joe Root walks to the middle, to the delight of his adoring Yorkshire public. He survives the rest of a hostile over from Pradeep, who has a spring in his step after that wicket.

  61.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Superb innings from Robson - he played beautifully. For Sri Lanka to get back into it they have to get three or four wickets quickly. They have got the best chance with the new ball - it has been flying everywhere."

  62.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Well played Sam Robson - a maiden Test century. Not much of a smile on his face - I don't think he's a natural smiler - but a very well made hundred. It nipped back with the new ball."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England batsman Sam Robson departs for 127
  63. 17:11: 
    WICKET- Robson b Pradeep 127 (Eng 278-3)

    All over for Robson - he aims a slightly loose drive at Pradeep and is bowled, third ball after the drinks break. The perfect delivery - hit the top of off stump. There's even a complete waste of time as Robson is made to wait while they check for a no-ball - it wasn't even close.

    Robson lasted 373 minutes and faced 253 balls, with 15 fours and a six.

    Scorecard

  64.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm very surprised Angelo Mathews has only bowled four overs. He's a fine bowler and took the wicket of Ballance."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  65.  
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    Hayden Beresford: England need to kick it up a gear or three and bat Sri Lanka out of the game, will do England's batsmen's confidence wonders.

  66.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "As a fielding side who have been bowled out for a low score, and the opposition have gone past it, you think the world is against you. Sri Lanka haven't bowled badly but England have played well."

  67. 17:05: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 277-2 (Robson 127, Bell 44)

    Sri Lanka continue to rotate their three front-line seamers as Prasad gives way to Shaminda Eranga, who's been their most economical bowler. Robson works a single, Bell swats a wide delivery past gully for four and suddenly he's within a couple of shots of his half century. A single to the same region takes him to 44, then Robson gets an edge... and it's safely between second slip and gully/fourth slip for four. Gully/fourth slip moves to third slip, it's not easy as a fielding captain in these circumstances, there's a danger of just following the ball. The lead is 20, and the players have earned a drink. 19 overs to come tonight.

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    Temporal Mental: With three maiden centurions in the last five Tests, you'd almost think the future was bright for England.

  69. 17:00: 
    OUCH!- Eng 267-2 (lead by 10)

    Robson cuts Pradeep for a single, then the lively seamer beats Bell's outside edge a couple of times, as though the man playing his 100th Test has momentarily lost his usual fluency at the crease. He's then hobbling around after being struck on the thigh by one which nips back and gets an inside edge into his, erm, upper inner thigh.

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    Terry Mahoney: Strong batting performance up to now by the top of the order, er... this is England, right?

  71. 16:55: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 266-2 (Robson 121, Bell 39)

    Bell is moving up through the gears, pushing Prasad for a quick two through the covers and pulling a bouncer for four down to fine leg. Then suddenly Prasad produces a brute of a delivery from nowhere, it flies past Bell's gloves and keeper Chandimal takes it leaping through the air, Sri Lanka briefly appeal for a catch behind but opt not to review it. A two takes him to 39.

    Scorecard

    Sri Lanka bowler Dhammika Prasad
  72.  
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    Brian Coyle: Well done young Robson, but undoubtedly the star of the show is the white pigeon at silly point.

  73.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "Our friend from yesterday, the white pigeon, is once again making his presence felt. Fielding at short leg when the bowling is from the Football Stand End, the bird I'll name McGrath (look up the Aussie fast bowler of the same name, kids), inches ever closer to Ian Bell when we switch ends. The distracted Bell engages in a slow-motion chase, beating his pad with his bat, moving the bird away. Though he's been moved, McGrath is not ready to depart completely. Now he's saving the single, rather than catching."

    England batsman Ian Bell
  74. 16:51: 
    Scorecard update

    England 258-2 (83 overs) - lead by 1 run

    Batsmen: Robson 121*, Bell 31*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17), 191-2 (Ballance 74)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 18-3-76-0, Eranga 18-7-35-0, Herath 25-3-61-0, Prasad 18-3-64-1, Mathews 4-0-20-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  75. 16:50: 
    SECOND NEW BALL TAKEN- Eng 258-2

    After a curious couple of overs, the second new ball is taken for the start of the 83rd over, with Pradeep charging in from the Football Stand End. Robson guides a single to deep square leg, some hard running brings Bell three through square leg, and Pradeep errs with this final delivery, wild and woolly down the leg side and Robson helps it away for four. England are ahead!

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    Michael Watts: Any chance that posted comments on Robson's nationality be limited to those who understand nationality legislation?

  77. 16:45: 
    Eng 250-2 (Robson 116, Bell 28)

    Like a middle-of-the-road classic music station, we continue with the old rock. It's still Prasad bowling to Bell, who has to shoo away a pigeon which has advanced to the silly point position. As if to make a point, he forces a two just past the errant bird to take England to 250. They trail by seven.

  78.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jayawardene has just walked forward from slip and I am sure he was asking Mathews why he was not taking the new ball. Mathews shook his head about something."

  79. 16:39: 
    SECOND NEW BALL AVAILABLE- Eng 248-2

    The new ball is brought onto the field and pocketed by umpire Billy Bowden, but for now it's Nuwan Pradeep coming back on with the old ball. You think he might give it a delivery or two before turning to the new cherry... but instead Robson plays out an over with the old one.

  80.  
    Text 81111

    Paul in Accrington: If you're good enough, you're English enough!

  81.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "A very strange slip cordon this, a one-and-a-half slip, a two-and-a-half slip and a three-and-a-half slip."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  82. 16:35: 
    FIFTY STAND- Eng 248-2 (80 overs)

    Prasad to bowl what will likely be the last over with the old ball. With a slip and a gully in, Bell bisects them with an edge for four, straight through where a third or fourth slip would have been. That's the fifty stand. Next ball, Bell tries to force the ball to leg but it's four more through that yawning slip/gully chasm. The cordon is reinforced as the over finishes with three men spread fairly evenly between slip and gully. And the second new ball is now available - there are 25 overs left tonight.

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    Charles Isere: OK, so Robson was born in Australia, & even played for them as a youngster. But his Mum's from Nottinghamshire, so his choice.

    England batsman Sam Robson
  84. 16:30: 
    Eng 240-2 (Robson 116, Bell 18)

    Still left-arm spin from Herath, and here's a collector's item from Sam Robson as he launches a big six over long-on - only his sixth six in first-class cricket, in his 73rd game. It's also a good way to pass 5,000 first-class runs for the Middlesex right-hander.

    Scorecard

  85.  
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    Chris: We poach so much overseas talent for the England team. Great to see another import making his mark for his adopted nation.

  86. 16:26: 
    Eng 234-2 (trail by 23)

    Prasad to send down the 78th over, Bell moves to 18 with a single before Robson nervelessly cracks a couple of fours through the covers before knocking a single to deep point - making hay before the new ball, possibly.

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    Tom Brookes: Young Robson has chosen well by placing his allegiance with England rather than "the dark side". Great promise.

    Ni Jerk: This is it, Sam Robson can be as good as Cook.

  88. 16:21: 
    Eng 224-2 (Robson 101, Bell 17)

    Bell guides Herath for a single, then nearly collides with Herath at the non-striker's end as the spinner tries to field a straight drive. The second new ball will be available in three overs' time, and England trail by 33.

  89.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "Sam Robson's batting may not be the easiest on the eye, but he has a method of scoring runs. As for his celebration, I'm not sure I've ever seen a more low-key reaction from a maiden Test centurion. Looking for the third run, stop, wait, slowly remove the helmet then acknowledge all corners of the ground. No fist pumps, no leaps, no histrionics. It's almost almost as if he expected to score one Test ton and anticipates many more. It's worth noting that, for a man so seemingly set up to play to leg, 66 of his runs have come on the off side."

    England's Sam Robson celebrates his century with Ian Bell
  90. 16:19: 
    Eng 223-2 (Prasad 15-3-44-1)

    A single from Robson takes the score to 222-2 - a score surely the late David Shepherd (or Richie Benaud) would appreciate. But it's only on the scoreboard briefly as Bell rotates the strike with a leg bye. But it's a decent over from Prasad, not giving anything away.

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    Craig Moore: Obdurate is how I'd describe Sam Robson so far. Not the finished article but maiden hundred sets him on his way. Well played.

  92.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "We're not clones there is room for individuality. Bradman picked the bat up facing towards gully, he did alright. It's where the bat comes down that counts. And footwork is the important thing, you can't play without good footwork."

  93. 16:15: 
    Eng 221-2 (trail by 36)

    Bell sees off a rapid maiden over from Herath, who has 0-54 from 23 overs.

  94.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Iain Warburton: Well batted Sam Robson. Just a shame he's an Aussie really.

  95.  
    Did you know?

    Australia-born Sam Robson played nine one-day internationals for Australia Under-19s before deciding to move to England. He made his Middlesex debut in 2008 and chose to play for England last year. The 24-year-old also struck two centuries for England Lions against Sri Lanka A on tour last winter.

  96. 16:12: 
    Eng 221-2 (Robson 100, Bell 16)

    After the applause dies away, Robson ducks the last ball of the over.

  97.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "He's played very nicely. He was under pressure after Lord's; his technique was suspect. We were waiting to see if there was an improvement here and there has been."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  98. 16:11: 
    ROBSON 100- Eng 221-2

    It's like there are two different games going on. Dhammika Prasad replaces captain Mathews in the attack - and while Robson dawdles in the nervous nineties, Bell, who's only just come in, is scoring freely, guiding a four through third man. A well-timed two through the covers and a single take him to 16 from 17 balls. Robson to face... and he squeezes a two through the covers before the achievement dawns on him and he raises his bat and helmet aloft. The century came from 220 balls, with 11 fours.

    England batsman Sam Robson
  99.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ian Bell is in his pomp, his best years. He is gifted with such supreme talent. He has really got to make these count and help win Test matches for England. This is how he will be defined."

  100.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Timothy Revell: A bit of me thinks that additional 5 min delay was planned. You don't go for tea with a man on 98 and not discuss field placements.

  101. 16:06: 
    Eng 212-2 (Robson 98, Bell 9)

    Rangana Herath skips in for his 22nd over, Ian Bell immediately takes a single to bring Sam Robson on strike on 98... and he plays out the rest of the over. Not a man to he hurried into anything.

    Scorecard

  102. 16:05: 

    Slight delay as short-leg fielder Kaushal Silva had forgotten to bring his helmet onto the field. Tick, tock, goes the clock, and all the years they fly...

  103.  
    Text 81111

    Dan Letchworth: (Re: over-rates) The slow bowling team should be penalised by adding the innings run rate times the number of unbowled overs to the batting team's score, too heavy maybe but will get the game going.

  104. 16:01: 

    Umpires walking back out - Billy Bowden and Steve Davis, that is. The dozen or so fans dressed as umpires are thankfully remaining in their seats.

    And it looks as though Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is still chomping on a piece of cake or something similar as the fielders walk out, followed by England's batsmen Sam Robson and Ian Bell.

  105.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Adam Gale: Great to see the young lads playing well. Robson looks determined to bat a long time, like Cook and Trott in their pomp.

  106.  

    Former Test umpire Dickie Bird on TMS: "The Twenty20 has done a lot for the game. It's not for the purist, but at least it's put bums on seats, the youngsters like it and we'll have a full house against Lancashire."

  107.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Mendel: Sri Lanka's attack feels toothless bar Pradeep. They should have gone with Kulasekara, who actually offers something different.

  108.  

    Former Test umpire Dickie Bird on TMS: "My white caps were made by a firm in Luton, they used to provide me with a box of them every year. When the West Indies supporters used to run on the field, they used to steal my white caps. I was in London once, my car was off the road so I caught a bus to Lord's. This big West Indian bus conductor came round, he had a white cap on, I asked him where he got it from and he told me 'I was so proud as I pinched it from Mr Dickie Bird at the 1975 World Cup final'. I never said a word to him."

    Jonathan Agnew and Dickie Bird
  109.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Robin Lapper: Re: being boring. I'd prefer two in batsmen than two out swashbucklers. Top order needs stability at mo.

    James 'Pidge' Clewer: Forget the rate, three and a bit days left, bat to 600 and bat once. Do people forget this is how we won the 2010-11 Ashes?

  110.  

    Former Test umpire Dickie Bird on TMS: "I was here yesterday with Michael Parkinson and Geoffrey Boycott, we shared some great memories, but all Geoffrey talked about was Brian Clough."

  111. 15:45: 

    It's a Yorkshire-fest at the interval on TMS - Aggers has been allowed into the president's box to speak to current club president Dickie Bird, the former Test umpire.

  112.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Scott: Can't imagine Robson's tea going down easy. 98* on your second Test for England. Gruelling 20-minute wait now for him!

    England batsman Sam Robson
  113. 15:44: 
    Scorecard update

    England 211-2 (72 overs) - trail by 46 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 98*, Bell 8*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17), 191-2 (Ballance 74)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 16-2-68-0, Eranga 18-7-35-0, Herath 21-2-53-0, Prasad 13-3-34-1, Mathews 4-0-20-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  114.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think you can say that was England's session. A disappointing nick off for Gary Ballance, who batted very well for 74, but an excellent partnership with Sam Robson."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England batsmen Sam Robson and Gary Ballance
  115. 15:43: 

    A serene calmness about Sam Robson as he saw off that last over - not taking any risks.

  116.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Diet Dad: Ever increasing run rate, newbie on brink of a ton, over three days to go. Relax folks, this isn't Twenty20, this is how to win.

  117. 15:41: 
    TEA INTERVAL- Eng 211-2 (Robson 98, Bell 8)

    Mathews to bowl the last over of the session, there will be 33 left to bowl after tea, which is a slight improvement on day one. Bell manages a single off the second ball of the over - Robson has four balls to get his ton before tea. He defends the first, and dabs the second into the covers to move to 98 but loses the strike. Bell hooks the fifth ball for a single to deep square leg, so Robson will face the last ball before tea... which he plays straight to mid-off.

  118.   
    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "I think Robson is unlikely to do it with a six, he has only hit five in his entire first-class career."

  119. 15:38: 
    Eng 208-2 (trail by 49)

    Five minutes to tea, Robson on 97, Herath brought back into the attack but it's Bell on strike. He gets a single off the third ball, will Robson take the little slow left-armer on? Not at first - he plays defensively, before knocking the ball straight to cover, and gets through the over without adding to his score. We'll have time for one more before the break.

  120.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Glorious drive from Robson. Very checked, almost robotic, but when he hits it nicely it is gorgeous."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  121. 15:35: 
    Eng 207-2 (Robson 97, Bell 5)

    Robson and Bell exchange singles against Mathews, then a well-struck cover-driven four takes Robson to 97. Mathews' next ball is a wide, while the crowd must be a little restless as a Mexican wave breaks out.

    England batsman Sam Robson
  122.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "The view from the back of the Western Terrace, possibly the most raucous stand at a Test ground in England. Note the Smurfs in the foreground. I'm also surrounded by Santas, St Georges, butchers and, surprisingly, some people in normal clothes."

    Headingley
  123. 15:30: 
    Eng 200-2 (trail by 57)

    Pradeep to continue. Bell dabs one into the massive gap by the square leg umpire and comes back for two, before another single takes him to four. There's still just one man saving one on the leg side for a man who's just come in... Robson adds a single to earn a ripple of applause as that's 200 up for the hosts.

  124.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Blackburn: Ineffectual shot from Ballance. Little drop in focus perhaps. Shame, but now starts a hopefully special knock for centurion Bell.

  125. 15:26: 
    Eng 196-2 (Robson 91, Bell 1)

    Enter Ian Bell, playing his 100th Test - and one of six men to play 100 Tests and 100 ODIs for England. With only one man saving one on the leg side, he's off the mark with an easy single. Meanwhile, Robson moves into the 90s with a careful four through third man.

    The others in the 100-100 club are Alec Stewart, Ian Botham, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, and the ones Graeme Swann couldn't guess until Simon Mann gave him a clue... Graham Gooch and David Gower.

  126.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "Comic reaction to the Ballance wicket coming from behind me. 'At last,' says a young voice. 'Are you glad?' asks the dad. 'Yes.' Poor Gary Ballance."

  127.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "A very innocuous looking ball from Mathew. You would think a man on 70-odd wouldn't nick it but Ballance has played down the corridor and got a little nick. He'll be kicking himself."

  128. 15:21: 
    WICKET- Ballance c Chandimal b Mathews 74 (Eng 191-2)

    Mathews makes the breakthrough - a hesitant prod from Ballance produces the edge which is snaffled by keeper Dinesh Chandimal.

    Scorecard

    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews removes England's Gary Ballance
  129. 15:20: 
    Eng 190-1 (Robson 86, Ballance 74)

    Mathews rotates his bowlers as Pradeep replaces Herath. Robson moves to 85 with a single, Ballance clips one off his legs and is quickly through for another, while a single to fine leg means Middlesex's Robson is now 14 shy of a maiden Test ton.

  130.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ste H: England won Tests with Strauss, Cook & Trott batting like this. For fans of a team that's not won in seven Tests, some are fussy!

  131.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it was Andrew Strauss who used to say this was the one ground where he never felt in. He always felt there was a ball with his name on it."

  132. 15:15: 
    Eng 187-1 (trail by 70)

    Somewhat belatedly, Angelo Mathews introduces his own right-arm medium pace into the attack for the first time, with 15 overs until the second new ball becomes available. I thought he under-bowled himself at Lord's, in fact. Ballance keeps plugging away with a single, Robson turns a two to leg and drills a single to deep cover, and there's a hint of movement still as the last ball of the over sails past Ballance's forward prod.

  133.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ryan Williams: Second century for Ballance would be very impressive.

  134.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ballance likes the sweep because he makes sure he gets his pad outside off stump and he knows he can't be out lbw or bowled because it will hit the pad."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  135. 15:12: 
    Scorecard update

    England 183-1 (65 overs) - trail by 74 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 81*, Ballance 72*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 14-2-61-0, Eranga 18-7-35-0, Herath 20-2-52-0, Prasad 13-3-34-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

    England fans at Headingley
  136. 15:11: 
    Eng 183-1

    After 10 overs without a boundary, Ballance takes on Herath with a firm sweep shot, it's in the air but safely away for four. The singles flow a bit quicker - eight runs off the over. Better from England.

  137.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Padfield: This is dull. Time to up the rate fellas!

  138. 15:08: 
    Eng 175-1 (Prasad 13-3-34-1)

    Local hero Ballance guides a single through the covers, Robson sways away from a bouncer from Prasad but helps himself to a single to deep square leg. Prasad's bowled pretty well today, without much assistance.

  139.  
    Text 81111

    Pete Robertson: Re: Sonney (15:00) Because he's not the England captain. I'm sure there are plenty of Sri Lankans complaining back home.

  140. 15:04: 
    Eng 173-1 (Robson 78, Ballance 65)

    Ballance guides Herath for a single through mid-wicket and Robson does well to hustle back for a second. A single takes the left-hander to 65.

    Meanwhile, there's a possible Freudian slip from Geoffrey on TMS when he describes fellow Barnsleyite Dickie Bird as "the best umpire I ever played against".

  141.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "There are plenty of examples of sports stadiums that are next to each other, but few compare with the situation here at Headingley. The rugby ground used by both of Leeds' league and union sides backs on to the cricket ground, with some spectators milling around in the empty stands. The rugby pitch was also once used as the players' car park."

    Headingley rugby ground
  142. 15:00: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 170-1

    More steady accumulation from the second-wicket pair against Prasad, though at this rate, Ballance may be in danger of catching Robson's score by tea, as he pauses between deliveries to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Just two singles from the over. There's an appeal against Robson, did it hit pad or bat first? It's not out, though the ball-tracker suggests if it was pad first, he would have been given out on review.

  143.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's very difficult to bowl with one seamer in international cricket. Spinners don't win matches here, so we have a dearth of spinners, Sri Lanka have a dearth of quality seamers because the pitches there are conducive to batting and spin."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  144.  
    Text 81111

    Sonney in Southampton: Why is nobody criticising Angelo Mathews for his defensive fields? If this was Cook, Warne and co. would be ripping him apart by now.

  145. 14:56: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 168-1 (Herath 18-2-41-0)

    Ballance whips Herath for a single to deep square leg where Kumar Sangakkara, now freed of his wicketkeeping responsibilities in long-form cricket, is patrolling. Robson rotates the strike, then Ballance gives a sharp chance to short leg when he tries to force the ball through the covers and it flies off an edge to Kaushal Silva at bat-pad, he gets his hands to it but it doesn't stick.

  146.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "You have to work a bit in the first session, bowlers are fresh and you have to set the platform. But then the afternoon and evening session I always thought was mine, you only get out if you do something daft or the ball hits a brick."

  147. 14:53: 
    Eng 166-1 (trail by 91)

    Geoff Boycott, having come in off the long run on his TMS summariser stint before lunch, is clearly in feisty mood on his home turf. Thankfully for the over-rate, Pradeep is replaced by Dhammika Prasad at the Kirkstall Lane End. Robson and Ballance chip away with a couple of singles, while Ballance sways away from a bouncer before playing a bizarre tennis-style shot at another, lifting the bat up and smashing it wide of mid-on for a single.

    England batsman Gary Ballacne
  148.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alex: This batting is precisely what we need. We haven't been able to "dig in" of late. These two showing how it's done.

  149.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "In these conditions, the Sri Lankan attack is like a decent county attack. I'm amazed that Angelo Mathews hasn't had a little bowl himself, though I think it may be a little too late with this ball."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews
  150. 14:48: 
    Eng 162-1 (Robson 74, Ballance 58)

    Thanks, Jamie (although I think your hour of text commentary may leave you liable to an over-rate fine). Drinks break concluded, Herath spins down a maiden over to Robson, in contrast to Pradeep's no-ball-filled marathon overs. Marathons, but without the ball finding the edge of the bat, no snickers.

  151.   
    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "It's six years since we last saw a 10-ball over in a Test match - it was Shaun Tait for Australia against India at Perth in 2008."

  152. 14:46: 
    Scorecard update

    England 161-1 (58 overs) - trail by 96 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 73*, Ballance 58*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 14-2-61-0, Eranga 18-7-35-0, Herath 16-2-38-0, Prasad 10-3-26-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  153. 14:44: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 161-1

    Pradeep, mullet swaying in the breeze like a young Mick Jagger, is getting the 'bird' from the crowd. The Harold Bird perhaps. Returning to the subject of over rates, that is only the 43rd of the day. Just the one no-ball is this over, though. A nice clip off the pads from Robson brings him three and he is 27 away from the nervous nineties. Back to Mr Mitchener to describe the next passage of play.

  154.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matt Tasker: Robson and Ballance don't realise the slower they score the more the Western Terrace drink... The bar may run dry at this rate.

  155.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "It's warming up on the Western Terrace. One man is applauded for drinking out of his shoe, another for doing the same from a briefcase. An elderly gent in umpire fancy dress is serenaded by a chorus of 'Dickie Bird', while two young ladies in Bavarian dress are cheered each time they go to the bar."

  156. 14:37: 
    Eng 154-1 (Robson 70, Ballance 55)

    I don't normally go into raptures over a forward defensive stroke but the there is something impressively emphatic about Robson's 'thou shallt not pass' defensive. Just a single to Ballance from Herath's over.

  157.   
    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "It's the first time England have had a century partnership for either of the first two wickets since the New Zealand Test here last year."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England batsman Sam Robson
  158. 14:34: 
    Eng 154 (Pradeep 0-54 from 13)

    The hundred partnership arrives from 228 balls. Very solid stuff from these two. The longest day is also shared with National Giraffe Day, TMS informs us. There was a glorious sunset in the north of England last night, with vivid magenta strains evident beyond 22:30 BST. These two will enjoy a refreshing drink or two tonight I would think but I am not sure what the policy is these days. Four no-balls in this over as Pradeep struggles from round the wicket. It is not me being slow, I assure you.

  159.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Bhavin Manish Shah: Great 50 by Gary. He has great Ballance at the crease.

    Jack Blackburn: Is an exciting future for England on display in the middle right now? We can but hope in these fallow days for English sport.

  160. 14:28: 
    Eng 148-1 (Robson 70, Ballance 53)

    Robson gaining in confidence now, skipping down the wicket to Herath and a beautiful checked straight drive over the bowler's head for four. Not just a blocker, this has evolved into a very impressive innings. OK, the bowling is not the most fearful, but the runs still have to be made.

  161.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Gary Ballance is just a run-scorer, at whatever level he's played at. He has a method to score runs in any situation, he just knows his game. It's perfect batting conditions, and with that hundred at Lord's behind him, he might move up through the gears now."

  162. 14:25: 
    BALLANCE 50- Eng 144-1 (Robson 66, Ballance 53)

    Two doves in place at short-leg as Pradeep replaces Eranga at the Kirkstall Lane End but either they are not sledgers or it is not affecting the batsmen. Ballance is not the most stylish of players but he thumps one through the covers for two and when another is wide as well as short he cuts impressively to the boundary. Pradeep nudging 88mph but the old radar not quite right yet. Another boundary for Ballance, who collects 50 from 116 balls to add to his century at Lord's and a nice ovation from his home crowd.

    England batsmen Gary Ballance and Eoin Morgan
  163.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Allum: Robson virtually intent on blocking Herath. Why not charge him and whack him over the top? Would move the field back... how much longer do these two need before they dare to try and attack?

    HighLordAdmiral: Is Robson 'doing a Geoffrey'?

  164. 14:19: 
    Eng 132-1 (Robson 66, Ballance 43)

    Herath's revs are decreasing, the old fingers must be getting a bit tired. Only 1,800 now. Will try to find out how they measure it one day. Robson works a short one nicely through mid-wicket for two and he is 34 away from a maiden Test century.

  165.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "There are almost two games going on when Rangana Herath is bowling. Ballance, who has found the leg-side boundary, has gaps in which to work the ball. Robson, though, is being totally squeezed, three catchers and all other fielders saving one. Sri Lanka are inviting Robson to play a big shot. Will he accept?"

  166. 14:16: 
    Eng 130-1 (Robson 64, Ballance 43)

    Sunshine across the famous old Headingley ground now. Eranga's fifth over after lunch and he is only around 80mph now, indeed the final ball is 79mph. The tactic of bowling wide of off stump is not working so far. These two have 'the patience of Job' as Michael Holding would say, but he would say it in that delightful Jamaican accent.

  167. 14:12: 
    Eng 128-1 (Robson 63, Ballance 42)

    Robson likes the cut shot, that looks like a strong area for him, and he picks up two when Herath drops short. He has a good high front arm when he pushes forward too, almost like a throwback to the classical techniques of yesteryear.

  168.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Robson's making me nervous. When he was staying in his crease, he looked solid as a rock. Now he's using his feet to go down the pitch, he isn't."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  169. 14:09: 
    Eng 124-1 (Robson 61, Ballance 42)

    Ballance guides one from Eranga perfectly safely wide of the slips to the third man boundary, the first four for 10 overs, and picks up two more with a controlled push through the covers. Partnership up to 77 now.

    England batsman Gary Ballance
  170.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "You'd call Herath a canny operator. He doesn't put many revolutions on the ball and hasn't got too many variations, so he looks innocuous, but he bowled a great slider to Sam Robson last over. Even when I batted against him, I thought I could hit every ball for four or six. But he shouldn't be troubling too many people on this pitch - not many spinners, bar Shane Warne, should on a day two Headingley pitch."

  171. 14:04: 
    Eng 117-1 (Robson 60, Ballance 35)

    The host broadcasters have a new toy, measuring the number of revolutions on a ball. How it works I do not know but it's akin to a car presumably. But in a car you wouldn't want to be at the top of the 'revometer' like an excitable teenager or the elderly chap who lives next to me. It goes up to 3,000 and Herath is not quite up to 2,000 in case you're wondering. Just the two singles in that over.

  172.   
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "For the most part, Robson has been very watchful, just waiting until he can put away the bad ball. Herath is a very tidy bowler."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  173. 14:01: 
    Eng 115-1 (Robson 59, Ballance 34, Eranga 0-24 from 16)

    Robson would certainly have enjoyed his lunch a lot more this time but how much would he have had with the prospect a century ahead of him? The run rate is less than two and a half per over which I suspect might not be to the approval of the Western Terrace, particularly as the ales increase, but these two are laying the foundations. Impressive economy from Eranga, his seventh maiden, although not many deliveries are threatening the timbers. The policy is to tempt outside the off stump, it seems.

  174.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rachel T: I have this sad image of Ballance and Robson giving Cook a few tips over lunchtime sarnies.

  175. 13:57: 
    Eng 115-1 (trail by 142)

    Ooh steady the buffs, Keenos. They do play outside the capital as well, you know. It's me that will get the angry responses. Two slips in place for Herath to Robson now. Or is it a gully? They are so close to the bat it is difficult to tell. The arm ball from Herath is left by Robson and is millimetres away from the off stick. Not a great way to go but he will say his judgement was perfect. His forward defensive stroke looks formidable, like a castle door. And that is not an attempt to jinx the poor lad.

  176.  
    Text 81111

    Keenos: Play starts at 11 in England due to the underground. Means that supporters can get off peak ticket prices.

  177. 13:54: 
    Eng 112-1 (Robson 57, Ballance 33)

    Eranga continues, probing away outside off stump in the low 80s in terms of mph. Two slips and a gully and a lone dove pecking away at a recently seeded strip at short mid-wicket. There were some hefty looking dark clouds looming up over the stands before lunch but sunshine now. Steady accumulation from these two. Sir Geoffrey would approve.

  178.  
    Scorecard update

    England 111-1 (46 overs) - trail by 145 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 57*, Ballance 33*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 11-2-37-0, Eranga 15-6-22-0, Herath 10-2-24-0, Prasad 10-3-26-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  179. 13:49: 
    Eng 109-1

    There is more turn for Herath into the left-hander and another ball strikes him on the pad. There is no appeal this time and replays suggest it would have been umpire's call for height.

  180.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "He's a long way down the wicket and the little bit of turn there was has taken the ball past leg stump. Ballance is over the moon."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  181. 13:47: 
    NOT OUT

    To the surprise of all concerned, it is shown to be missing comfortably, spinning wide of leg stump. The vagaries of technology eh? Ballance continues on 31.

  182. 13:46: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW

    Ballance is given lbw to Herath but after a quick conference they ask for a review.

    Sri Lanka bowler Rangana Herath
  183. 13:44: 
    Eng 107-1 (trail by 150)

    Thought we might have seen some druids in the Western Terrace to commemorate the solstice but it's the usual suspects - a cluster of umpires, cartoon characters and the like. There are some cyclists in Tour de France-style yellow jerseys and I saw a very good Bobby Charlton comb-over wig in an England 1966 replica shirt. Eranga continues from the Kirkstall Lane End, with two slips and a gully in place and Ballance cuts a short ball for a single to the man positioned on the boundary.

    Scorecard

  184.  
    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Ian Young: Why is everyone getting on Cook's back? Everyone goes through a streak of poor form. He is human like everyone else. Does everyone forget the runs he has scored for England previously? He has got England out of sticky holes before and it's his team mates turn to get him through this lean streak and he will be back with daddy hundreds in no time. Lay off the Chef!

  185. 13:39: 

    Thanks Mitch, sterling industry as ever. So England 151 adrift with nine wickets intact. Let's see how these two newcomers can fare this afternoon. There has been much talk about 'making hay' but I always associate that with autumn and today of course is the longest day, the summer solstice.

    I do love a harvest, the old combines buzzing about with the headlamps on as the nights draw in, but I always think there is a depressing end of summer feel about it. Spring is always my favourite season, the blooms, the Masters at Augusta, Bognor Regis Town gunning for promotion and the advent of the cricket season. But I digress - here come the players.

  186. 13:38: 

    As the "View from the Boundary" with Lord Hattersley draws to a close, the players are ready to resume after lunch and the umpires are walking out - so I hand you to Jamie Lillywhite for the next hour or so.

  187.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Hannah Dixie: When did England last have a century opening partnership?

  188.  
    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Vince in Manchester: Re. Alec (13:14), It's not nonsense that the burden of captaincy is strangling Cook's ability to score runs. Yes, he scored centuries in his first five matches as England captain but the effect is over time and cumulative. Read any autobiography of previous England captains and they talk about their energy reserves being slowly depleted bit-by-bit akin to Chinese water torture. It's over-simplistic to look at his scores during the honeymoon period.

  189.  

    Lord Hattersley on TMS: "I loved Spitting Image. I was the eponymous hero - I was the only one who spat. If I'd been Kenneth Baker, as a slug, I wouldn't have liked it as much."

  190.  
    Text 81111

    Ross Bentley: I have a £1,000 bet with my friend Shed Richards that Cook will average at over 50 at his retirement. He says he won't. I have started some meaningful financial planning in order to cope with such a loss. Come on Cook, buck your ideas up, I don't want to have to commit to a loan.

  191.  
    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Andrew in Shropshire: A bit of a left-field idea, but couldn't Cook go down the order, at least for a while? Then they could either bring in Hales, or promote someone up the order. Bell has said he doesn't mind where he bats, and already opens in ODIs.

    So you want Hales in the Test side - when he hasn't even been sure of his place in the Notts County Championship side in the last couple of years? Keep your views coming in on The Cook Debate!

  192.  

    Lord Hattersley on TMS: "I used to go for cricket coaching at the Sheffield United cricket club at Bramall Lane. But it's only in the last 10 years, listening to you on the radio, I realise how little I used to understand about the game. I was always told to get my foot to the pitch of the ball since I was 15, and then 35 years later I was told not to get my foot in the way!"

    Lord Hattersley on TMS
  193.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tom O'Toole: James Franklin is another to have a Test century and a hat-trick to his name.

    Ben Brodie: If Broad's hat-trick had been split over two separate Tests, does it still count as a hat-trick?

    In short... no. It can be split over both innings of a two-innings match (which allowed Merv Hughes, I believe, to once take a hat-trick across three separate overs), but not two matches.

  194.   
    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "I've had a look at when hat-tricks have been taken across two overs, with a wicket in between. When Ryan Sidebottom took his hat-trick against New Zealand in Hamilton, Monty Panesar took a wicket in the over in between."

  195.  
    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Alec in Kettering: All this nonsense that it is the burden of captaincy that is strangling Cook's ability to score runs; didn't he score centuries in his first five matches as England captain?!

    You're correct - a century in both Tests in Bangladesh in 2010, then in his first three Tests in India in 2012.

  196.  

    Lord Hattersley on TMS: "In 1948, I was in bed with pneumonia, listening to Test match commentary. I remember John Arlott describing Australian wicketkeeper Don Tallon as 'prehensile', pointing out that 'talons are always prehensile'. I banged on the floor, my mother thought I was dying, but I wanted a dictionary to look up 'prehensile'."

  197. 13:14: 
    How's stat?

    Some statistics on England's recent opening batsmen:

    Michael Carberry scored 281 runs in his last 10 Test innings (including one fifty).

    Before him, Nick Compton scored 305 runs in his last 10 Test innings (including two centuries).

    Alastair Cook has scored 227 runs in his last 10 Test innings (with two fifties).

  198.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "A rather sedate morning - just the 70 runs scored at 2.50 an over. Sri Lanka have bowled well, their pace trio sticking to a good length and finding a hint of swing. Robson and Ballance, though, only five Tests between them, have absorbed the pressure and accumulated in efficient, rather than spectacular, fashion to strengthen England's position. As for Alastair Cook, what more can be said? He'll be watching his team-mates score runs and wishing it was him. Until the big score comes, he will continue to feel the pressure."

    England batsmen Sam Robson and Gary Ballance
  199.  

    Lord Hattersley on TMS: "I get called a professional Yorkshireman, but in Michael Parkinson's autobiography he claims I'm a bogus Yorkshireman from Derbyshire. If ever there was a libel... I was born in Sheffield. The broken arm is from forgetting that I'm 80 and falling over walking the dog."

  200. 13:06: 

    There's a distinct Sheffield Wednesday feel about the TMS box as Michael Vaughan greets today's "View from the Boundary" guest, Lord (Roy) Hattersley, who recently broke his arm but has turned up nevertheless.

    Jonathan Agnew and Lord Hattersley
  201.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm delighted for Sam Robson. You always look to see if players have made changes and he has got his foot much closer to the pitch of the ball. The morning session is where you set the foundation and in the afternoon three figures is around the corner if you do the basics well."

    England batsman Sam Robson
  202.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alexander Hayton: Captaincy made Strauss a better batsman, but seems to have done nothing but heap pressure on Cook. He looks out of his depth.

  203.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "If this pair had pushed it along England could have lost three or four wickets and let Sri Lanka back in the game, so I think they have played it perfectly. It has been a real grind in a way but perfect for the England cause."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  204. 13:02: 
    Lunch scorecard

    England 106-1 (43 overs) - trail by 151 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 55*, Ballance 30*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 11-2-37-0, Eranga 13-6-20-0, Herath 9-2-22-0, Prasad 10-3-26-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  205. 13:00: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 106-1

    Herath to send down the last over of the session, Ballance helps himself to a single off the first ball, and Herath is quickly through the over as Robson plays defensively and strides off for lunch. 70 runs in 28 overs for the session, for the loss of Captain Cook.

    England batsman Gary Ballance
  206.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Prasad is doing a good job, just unsettling the English pair and giving his team something a bit outside the box."

  207.  
    Text 81111

    Sy in Kent: Never mind the slow over rate. What about the slow run rate. I take it England are planning to only bat once.

  208. 12:58: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 105-1

    Prasad thumps Ballance on the pad, it was a full delivery but umpire Steve Davis shakes his head. Sri Lanka think about a review but decide against it... rightly so as there was an inside edge onto his pad. A single takes the left-hander to 29. Prasad gives Robson a Paddington Bear-style "hard stare" at the end of the over. Time for one more.

  209.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Nick Graffham: I just don't understand it. Captaincy and batting never seemed to affect Ponting or Smith.

  210. 12:54: 
    Eng 104-1 (41 overs)

    Herath tosses himself a catch or two, Robson has to jam his bat down on a couple of looping deliveries, while he tries to flick one which pitches outside leg stump - Michael Vaughan on TMS thinks he might have done better to sweep it. Maiden over.

  211.  
    Text 81111

    Joe in Oxford: Call me a revolutionist but why not start at 10am? And if it keeps bright, go past 6.30pm? People want results. I love Test cricket but I can see with the frequent breaks, the stuffiness of the regulations and the endless DRS arguments why people are being turned off the longer form. Evolve or die.

  212. 12:51: 
    Eng 104-1 (Robson 55, Ballance 28)

    Robson guides Prasad for a two through mid-wicket, a single off his legs takes him to 55. Time for three more overs before lunch?

  213.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Andrew Platt: The opener's responsibility is to see off the new ball and build a solid platform - Cook is simply not doing that.

    World In Motion: People would be lot more patient with Cook if he hadn't been so public with his role in sackings.

  214. 12:47: 
    Eng 101-1 (Herath 7-1-21-0)

    Herath is going to have a little twirl at the other end, with lunch just over 15 minutes away. The diminutive left-arm spinner operates over the wicket to the left-handed Ballance, who comes down the track and blasts a four through long-on which pushes England into three figures. It's also the fifty stand.

  215.  
    Text 81111

    Michael in Plymouth: Cook: 8,000+ runs average 46 with 25 hundreds - form temporary, class permanent. No player in world cricket under 30 with a better record.

  216. 12:43: 
    Eng 97-1 (Robson 52, Ballance 24)

    The ball is changed before the last delivery of the over, which Robson defends up on his tiptoes.

  217.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Albo: When will we ever learn, make your best batsman captain and he stops getting runs, happens time and time again.

    Josh Dunn: He can't stand the heat! Get Cook out of the kitchen!

  218.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's clear over the last year or so Alastair Cook has been targeted with this delivery full of length just outside off stump. He does worry about the right foot getting too far over because of lbws but then edges come into play. And it has been good execution and planning from the bowling attacks. Then you add in the effects of the captaincy on Cook."

  219. 12:42: 
    BALL CHANGE- Eng 97-1

    Prasad, from the Kirkstall Lane End, is pulled by Ballance who takes a single to the mid-wicket sweeper but then crazily sets off for a second and has to dive back into his crease at the bowler's end. Umpire Davis has a look at the ball, and consults with his colleague Billy Bowden, it looks like they're going to change it.

  220.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "You feel now that Sam Robson is set, Ballance is set, he has done the work as well. Robson has played nicely, with awesome determination. His mindset has been strong after Lord's, that left foot has got closer to the ball which is so important as an opener."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  221.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark Welburn: How is Broad a natural leader? He's the most selfish player in the team especially when it comes to DRS.

  222. 12:37: 
    ROBSON 50- Eng 96-1

    Robson, on 48, to face Pradeep, there's a heart-in-mouth moment for the Middlesex youngster when he plays and misses, but a flashing four between the slips and gully brings his maiden Test fifty from 102 balls. Well done, him.

    England's Sam Robson and Gary Ballance
  223.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The first England dressing room I went into had Alec Stewart, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, some big characters, but they were all great, apart from Nasser - he was the scariest man I ever met in my life. I had to field as 12th man and when we were passing the ball back to the bowler, my throw to him was about six inches wide of him. He screamed at me, 'Throw the ball properly, you idiot'."

  224. 12:33: 
    Scorecard update

    England 92-1 (36 overs) - trail by 165 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 48*, Ballance 23*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 10-2-33-0, Eranga 13-6-20-0, Herath 6-1-17-0, Prasad 7-3-21-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  225. 12:33: 
    Eng 92-1 (Prasad 7-3-21-1)

    Herath is taken off after a brief spell, and Dhammika Prasad returns to bowl a tight maiden over to Ballance.

  226.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Just looking at Sam Robson's hands on the bat, they are very far apart. He holds it like a pick axe. Everyone is different, though. Sachin Tendulkar holds it right down the bottom of the handle, one of the greatest players ever."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  227.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Richard Knew: Robson & Ballance at the crease, could be an exciting new cop series coming to BBC1.

  228. 12:28: 
    Eng 92-1 (Robson 48, Ballance 23)

    There's a group of fans in England football shirts of varying vintages, but most are sporting mullets even wilder than Nuwan Pradeep, who begins a new over. Ballance tries to glance one off his legs and they scamper a leg bye, before Robson breaks the shackles with a square-driven four. An even better shot, a beautiful cover-driven four, takes him to within two runs of a maiden Test fifty. Play it again, Sam.

    England batsman Gary Ballance
  229.  
    Text 81111

    Graham in Hampshire: For slow over rates. Either allow batting side to nominate bowler to be removed from the attack for rest of innings. Or if, say, three overs lost in a session then batting side cannot be out for three overs except run-out etc. Don't think there would be an issue then.

  230. 12:25: 
    Eng 83-1 (Herath 6-1-17-0)

    Ballance adds a two and a single to his score from a rapid Herath over. And I'm sure I just saw someone in the crowd on TV, dressed as Geoffrey Boycott...

  231.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Pete Hotchkiss: I'm paying £90+ a seat, so expect to see at least 15 overs per hour. Players fail to deliver hit them in the pocket not the scorebook.

    Alex Campbell: Play should not stop at 6.30pm sharp with the sun out and overs still to bowl as at Lord's. Fine the players but get 90 bowled.

  232. 12:22: 
    Eng 80-1 (33 overs)

    Robson, somewhat becalmed, plays out a maiden over from Pradeep. He's scored nine runs in the last hour, and if all he's going to do is occupy the crease without scoring much, might he risk getting dropped like Michael Carberry was?

    Scorecard

    England batsman Sam Robson
  233.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Fraser Conway: Is it bad that the most out of form player in the team is the captain? I think there needs to be a change to be honest.

    Tattz: I wouldn't drop Cook but we all know he's the wrong option as captain. Broad a natural leader. ECB stuck in no man's land now.

  234. 12:18: 
    Eng 80-1 (Robson 40, Ballance 20)

    Ballance fluently sweeps Herath for four, and slowly but surely he'll be catching Robson up before long.

  235.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think one of the greatest things DRS has done is show how often the ball is hitting the stumps, and the umpiring has improved."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  236.  
    Text 81111

    Steven: All this talk of no captain in the ranks... who set the 'funky fields' that worked the other day... give it to Jimmy!

    Matthew in Bournemouth: Carberry 2nd top run scorer in the Ashes, criticised for only making starts, and dropped. At least he made starts where others made nothing. Cook's barely making starts and he's still in team. Poor selection.

  237. 12:15: 
    Eng 76-1 (Pradeep 8-1-25-0)

    Pradeep to continue, hair bouncing as he runs in. Ballance leaves a couple outside off stump, waiting for a looser delivery which he carves over point for four, before nicking the strike with a single.

  238.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Hatton: Listening to TMS, my daughter's just asked, "Who is that mean man on the radio?" Turns out she meant Geoffrey Boycott.

  239.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Herath looks innocuous and he is when you are facing him too but what he does do is bowl every ball that hits the stumps. You think you can score easy runs."

    TMS statistician Andrew Samson adds: "Herath has the highest percentage of lbws for any bowler with over 200 Test wickets, just ahead of GP Swann."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  240. 12:11: 
    Eng 71-1 (Robson 40, Ballance 11)

    I'll tell you one thing I miss after last year's back-to-back Ashes - it's Aussie TMS commentator Jim Maxwell's enthusiastic announcement of the Shipping Forecast. Thankfully, those on the high seas are returned to TMS before left-arm spinner Rangana Herath comes on for his first bowl of the day. Ballance adds a single, Robson gets an edge to third man as he tries to force the ball to leg, and they run a rapid two.

  241.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Everyone says 'let's get through the overs' but there's not a huge deal made of it. But as a spinner it used to grind my gears if I was bowling overs just to get the over-rate up."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  242.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Andy Pycroft, the match referee, came to see us and I asked him if the ICC was really determined to do something about slow over rates. He said, 'yes and there will be penalty runs applied'. But is five runs, or whatever they will use, enough?"

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  243.  
    Drinks break - scorecard update

    England 68-1 (29 overs) - trail by 189 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 38*, Ballance 10*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 7-1-20-0, Eranga 13-6-20-0, Herath 3-1-7-0, Prasad 6-2-21-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  244. 12:04: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 68-1

    Ballance is beaten by one that keeps low from Pradeep and only narrowly misses the stumps. But the left-hander adds a single, and Robson, who I don't think had scored a run for a while, breaks the deadlock with a two through extra cover. Time for the first drinks break of the day.

    And some breaking drink-related news - TMS's lunchtime guest Roy Hattersley, now a peer of the realm, has had his wine confiscated by the Headingley stewards. Lord's remains the only international ground where you can take a *reasonable* amount of alcohol in with you.

  245.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    John Nakamaru-Pinder: With only 585 runs in 23 innings at an average of 25.4 it's time for a new opener, captain or no captain. Cooky not pulling his weight.

    Olivia Faye: Cook has been through periods of bad form before. Get off his back you critical English public. He will come good again.

  246. 11:59: 
    Eng 65-1 (Robson 36, Ballance 9)

    With a drinks break on the horizon - the Shipping Forecast can't be far away - Eranga continues, Ballance whips a single off his pads to deep square leg, and Robson patiently sees off the over, which includes a no-ball.

  247.  
    Text 81111

    Henry: Is it just me that thinks 17 is a really unlucky number for Cook? I wonder if it's his most common score that he gets dismissed on.

    Jon: Does anyone seriously think there is a better candidate as England captain? Who? Leave Cook alone.

    It seems that "The Cook Debate" is the new Bell Debate...

  248.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "There's a wonderful story behind the bouncy mullet of Nuwan Pradeep. Until 2007, he had never played with a hard cricket ball. It was then, aged 20, he won a soft-ball pace contest and was fast-tracked to the Sri Lanka academy. A natural, elasticated athlete built to bowl, batting comes rather less naturally. After being embarrassed by falling on his stumps at Lord's, a day later he was his country's last hope of survival. For five balls - including an upheld review - he made his stand. If Sri Lanka get something out of this series, he will have played a huge part."

    Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep
  249. 11:54: 
    Eng 63-1 (Pradeep 6-1-17-0)

    Sri Lanka make their first bowling change of the day - the wild-haired seamer Nuwan Pradeep is back into the attack at the Football Stand End. Ballance ends the sequence of dot balls with a single, Robson looks intent on being there until lunch at least.

  250.   
    BBC Radio Test Match Special
    Graeme Swann and Jonathan Agnew

    BBC TMS: A first @bbctms cake for @swannyg66 - and it's a cracker. Is it too early for cake??

  251.   
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Our colleague Kevin Howells, who watches a lot of county cricket, told me that Ballance gets Yorkshire out of a lot of difficult situations."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  252. 11:49: 
    Eng 62-1 (26 overs)

    The game has gone to sleep briefly - Robson can't penetrate the ring of off-side fielders and that's another maiden.

    It's good to see the Headingley stands a lot fuller than yesterday - I cling to the hope that some of them are there to watch some entertaining cricket, rather than just to construct beer snakes and be seen on TV in amusing fancy dress.

  253.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't know what they are telling Cook. He is a nice lad, quite smart, been playing a long time. He knows what goes on at this level, he should be able to fix it, but it's been going on a long time now."

  254. 11:45: 
    Eng 62-1 (Robson 36, Ballance 7)

    No bowling changes yet from Sri Lanka as Prasad, their only wicket-taker so far, continues, and he's not giving out any freebies here as Ballance plays out another maiden over.

    Scorecard

  255.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James Gray: Pressure on Cook increases again. He is undroppable though - no captain in ranks, + he IS the new England.

    Peter Crompton: Cook inspiring his troops with bat again...

  256.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I foresaw it with Cook. He played a couple of shots where the face was open and soon enough it went to gully. He is not playing enough shots to mid-on. I am not anti-him - I want him to do well - but people are not going to bowl at his legs where he is good. They are bowling full and wide across him and he is playing with an open face and very limited footwork. His feet are only going a few inches out of the crease. If you only put your feet a few inches you are miles away from the pitch of the ball."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  257. 11:40: 
    Eng 62-1 (Eranga 11-5-18-0)

    Eranga still has three slips in for Ballance, while Geoff Boycott on TMS is in the middle of a lengthy dissection of Alastair Cook's form, career, and just about everything else. Just a single from the over.

  258.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a hundred day. First hour don't do anything daft, pick up a single here and there. After that, lovely, a hundred day. You'll get runs if you stay in."

  259.  
    Text 81111

    Pete Robertson: Cook should take a break from cricket for a while. This is obviously a problem in his head and he isn't going to fix it on the pitch. Just take some time, clear his head then come back and start anew.

    England captain Alastair Cook
  260. 11:36: 
    Eng 61-1 (Robson 36, Ballance 6)

    Ballance pushes Prasad for a single, and two more are picked up as England's second-wicket pair begin to find their feet.

  261.  
    Text 81111

    Dave: Caption competition (see 10:51): I told you if we buried Warne standing up it would only be a small hole.

  262.   
  263. 11:32: 
    Scorecard update

    England 58-1 (22 overs) - trail by 199 runs

    Batsmen: Robson 35*, Ballance 4*

    Fall of wickets: 49-1 (Cook 17)

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 5-1-16-0, Eranga 10-5-17-0, Herath 3-1-7-0, Prasad 4-1-18-1

    Sri Lanka 257 all out

    Scorecard

  264. 11:31: 
    Eng 58-1

    Robson is on the defensive against Eranga, practising his defensive shots several times between overs. A no-ball advances the score, before Robson makes sure England avoid the follow-on by drilling a four between the bowler and mid-off - signalled by a dozen or more fans dressed as umpires in the crowd. They'll have to recruit some more followers, though, to challenge the yearly sight at the New Year's Test in Sydney of an entire section of the SCG crowd dressed as Richie Benaud. Marvellous.

  265.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stoney: Change the captain. Somebody, anybody just so long as it's not Cook. It's ruined his batting and he's not very good at it anyway.

  266.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The greatest feeling in any game of two-innings cricket is your first run because you can't get a pair then!"

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  267. 11:27: 
    Eng 53-1 (21 overs)

    Ballance is off the mark as Prasad bangs in one short and wide, and the left-hander chops it for four to bring England past 50. The boundary is enthusiastically signalled by a couple of people dressed as Sybil Fawlty, holding up a "Fawlty Towers" sign while their neighbour brandishes a moose's head, as featured in "The Germans" episode of that classic sitcom. Fair enough - just don't mention the Waugh twins... Ballance gets an edge as he tries to withdraw the bat, but the ball reaches second slip on the bounce.

  268.   
    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport at Headingley

    "What have we learned since last night? Sri Lanka cricketers like a certain Portuguese-style chicken restaurant. Spotted having dinner were Dinesh Chandimal and Nuwan Pradeep. No hassle in there for the international sportsmen, with me asking the waitress if anyone knew who they were. 'I'm no good on football,' was the reply."

  269. 11:22: 
    Eng 49-1 (Robson 31, Ballance 0)

    Sri Lanka still have to cope with a left-hand/right-hand partnership here as Eranga begins a new over to the right-handed Robson. Although Graeme Swann on TMS is urging them to bring in a third slip, Robson survives a maiden.

  270.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rich Francis: Ouch. If we didn't know class was permanent Cook would have been long gone.

  271.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "There is something just not clicking for Alastair Cook, whether it is his feet or just his confidence. I feel for him; I really thought this was his day."

  272. 11:19: 
    Eng 49-1 (Prasad 3-1-14-1)

    Yorkshire's Gary Ballance is out at number three for England, getting a warm round of applause from the Headingley crowd - given that he hails from that well-known part of Yorkshire... Zimbabwe. A third slip is brought in for the left-hander, who plays out a wicket maiden.

    And another Yorkshireman will be Aggers' guest on "A View from the Boundary" at lunchtime today - Roy Hattersley (now Lord Hattersley), who was deputy leader of the Labour Party for the best part of a decade.

  273.   
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialJoin the debate at #bbccricket

    "Since his century against New Zealand at Headingley last summer Alastair Cook has scored 585 runs in 23 innings at an average of 25.4."

  274.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was an absolute carbon copy of the dismissal that wasn't last night. Cook was just feeling for it, he didn't really need to play at it. Cook's day has been completely ruined. He is going to have to sit down in the sheds and watch, hopefully, his team-mates score the runs."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England captain Alastair Cook
  275. 11:14: 
    WICKET- Cook c Sangakkara b Prasad 17 (Eng 49-1)

    It's deja vu - Cook edges Prasad to Kumar Sangakkara at first slip, just as he did last night, but this time there's no dispute about the catch.

    Scorecard

    Sri Lanka's Dhammika Prasad celebrates the wicket of England captain Alastair Cook
  276.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Great start for Robson - streaky edge for four but then that opening batter's shot where they flick it away for four. It used to hit me in the few inches of flesh not protected by padding."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  277. 11:12: 
    Eng 49-0 (Cook 17, Robson 31)

    Captain Cook sets sail for the day by flicking Eranga for three off his legs.

  278.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dane Wilkins: Platform set for Cook to score a century in response to criticism of his form and captaincy. Go Cookie, come on.

  279. 11:08: 
    Eng 46-0 (Prasad 2-0-14-0)

    Dhammika Prasad, who bowled only one over last night, has switched to the Football Stand End - he bangs one in short and wide, which gets even wider, but Robson cuts it for four. Had he left it, it would surely have been called as a wide, even in five-day cricket. Then there's a comedy moment as Robson guides the ball towards short leg and two burly characters - fielder Rangana Herath and umpire Steve Davis - momentarily collide as Herath chases the ball. As they run two, Herath and Davis - both jovial folk - share a hug as they walk back to their positions. An eventful over ends as Robson helps a loose ball off his legs for four.

  280.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Marc Tamlyn: One other player to Broad I can find with both a Test hat-trick and century to his name - Harbajhan Singh. Warne close with 99!

    I can add the name of Wasim Akram - surely the only man with a Test hat-trick (two in fact) and a Test double century!

  281. 11:03: 
    Eng 36-0 (Cook 14, Robson 21)

    Shaminda Eranga, who took the new ball yesterday evening, will kick off proceedings for Sri Lanka. He's one of their trio of right-arm seamers, and starts off with two slips and a gully. There's a bit of swing early on, and Cook is content to play out a maiden over.

  282.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ryan Williams: A good innings from Cook and a thumping win will be the confidence boost the captain needs before the Indians arrive.

  283. 10:59: 

    It's the longest day of the year - let's see if England can bat through it.

  284.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a big day for these two, Robson has never got beyond 20 but played in a very composed manner last night. Cook with a great opportunity, it's almost - if you're a pessimistic type of Englishman, which I'm not usually - too good to be true. It's all perfectly set up but you cant take that 450 that everyone wants for granted. Basically the top order have to block and they have a powerful order to follow."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England captain Alastair Cook
  285. 10:58: 

    And here are the batsmen - Alastair Cook striding purposefully to the middle so purposefully in fact that when he reaches the edge of the square, he has to wait for his partner Sam Robson who is lagging behind somewhat. A portent of things to come?

  286.   
    Roshan Abeysinghe, BBC Test Match Special

    "Sri Lanka need to keep England to around 300 if they can; they need to have a manageable first-innings deficit. This is the crucial Test match which will determine a short series."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  287. 10:57: 

    Appropriately, as "Jerusalem" belts out over the public address, there are some fans dressed as knights, who could be just back from the Crusades, taking their seats. Here come the Sri Lanka fielders.

  288.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ralph Brooker: It would be intolerably rude of Sri Lanka not to serve up lots of half-volleys just outside Bell's off stump.

  289.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That draw at Lord's could have been a real morale-booster for Sri Lanka, but they've got a lot of work to do here."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  290.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    I Dykes: Would love a century for Cook today. Needs to score runs to keep his place, whatever he may think.

  291.   
    Roshan Abeysinghe, BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a lot of disappointment in the Sri Lanka team, but they understand they're not out of the game, you can't go out with a negative mindset and there should be some assistance for the seam bowlers. It's good to win one-day trophies, but they want to win Test matches and be the number one Test side, and to do that they need to win Test matches away from home."

  292. 10:51:  
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialCaption competition
    Geoffrey Boycott and England captain Alastair Cook

    Here's some fun, courtesy of the @bbctms Twitter feed:

    What could former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott be saying to England captain Alastair Cook?

  293.  
    Text 81111

    Tim Bernstein: Has anyone else taken a Test hat-trick and scored a Test hundred?

    Do you mean in the same match? It would have to be a rare feat. I can tell you that even in first-class cricket, only one man has taken four in four balls and scored a century in the same game, and I was there - Hampshire's Kevan James against India in 1996.

  294.   
    Graeme Swann, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Bowling spin is like playing the piano, you get a lot better when you've been doing it for about 10 years."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  295. 10:47: 
    Agnew's verdict, and Ask the Umpire
    John Holder

    Plenty to read and listen to on the BBC Sport website as ever - Jonathan Agnew's column analyses day one, while you can find Aggers and Geoffrey Boycott's end-of-day review on the TMS podcast page.

    That's also where you can listen again to yesterday's "Ask the Umpire" feature with ex-Test umpire John Holder, where you can find out what happens if a ball strikes an errant duck which stops it reaching the boundary, amongst other things...

  296.  
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Douglas Law: England did the hard work yesterday, now they've just got to follow up with some solid batting - another double hundred for Root?

    Scott: Looking like bowling first was a great decision from Cook. Plenty runs to be had for the batsmen today. A Bell 100 I think.

  297.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Plunkett is in the team to be the enforcer. It was hard to do that at Lord's because it was so slow but here there is that extra bit of pace. He got it on target, saw the stumps splattered and that was just pace, which is why he got picked."

  298. 10:44: 
    Scorecard

    This was the overnight score:

    England 36-0 (15 overs)

    Batsmen: Cook 14*, Robson 21*

    Bowling figures: Pradeep 5-1-16-0, Eranga 6-3-9-0, Herath 3-1-7-0, Prasad 1-0-4-0

    Sri Lanka 257 all out (Sangakkara 79, Plunkett 5-64)

    Scorecard

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Live Scores - England v Sri Lanka

 

  • Sri Lanka beat England by 100 runs
  • England: 365 & 249 (116.5 overs)
  • Sri Lanka: 257 & 457 (132.5 overs)
  • Venue: Leeds

England 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Robson c M Jayawardene b Prasad 24
Cook b Prasad 16
Ballance lbw b Prasad 0
Bell b Prasad 8
Root c Thirimanne b Pradeep 31
Plunkett c Pradeep b Herath 0
Moeen not out 108
Prior c K Silva b Prasad 10
Jordan lbw b Herath 21
Broad lbw b Herath 0
Anderson c Herath b Eranga 0
Extras 9nb 4w 11b 7lb 31
Total all out 249

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