Trott hits double century for England

Despite the rain delay Jonathan Trott's strong batting display gives England an outside chance of victory over Sri Lanka

     Trott contributed to a strong England innings that means a draw is the most likely result in the first Test [GETTY]

    Jonathan Trott recorded one of the innings of his career to help give England a slim chance of victory in their first Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

    Trott's second Test double hundred drove England to a total of 491 for five at the end of the fourth day in Cardiff. 

    After rain had delayed the start of play by 210 minutes, England built themselves a 91 run lead with Ian Bell on 98 not out. Going into the final day a draw looks imminent with Sri Lanka yet to take to the stumps for the second time.

    Eight hours, not out

    Alastair Cook was dismissed for 133 early in the day's play and Bell then shared a stand of 160 with his Warwickshire colleague Trott.

    Trott, 125 not out overnight, laboured for much of the day in an innings lasting 513 minutes. His Test career average swelled to 66.77 and only Don Bradman (99.94) has a better average among players who have featured in as many matches as Trott's 19.

    Sri Lanka's initial success was that of prolific opener Cook. He added just four runs to his overnight score when he was undone following a rare loose stroke that ended a stand of 251 with Trott.

    Cook, after compiling his fifth century in eight Tests, tried to square drive a short Farveez Maharoof ball over gully off the back foot but managed only a faint edge to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. He had faced 274 balls and struck 10 fours.

    Pietersen, in his first Test innings since surgery on a double hernia, was dismissed lbw for three by Sri Lanka's
    Rangana Herath.

    The ball kept low and skidded wickedly on to his pad and then bat. Umpire Billy Doctrove rejected the appeal but Sri Lanka were successful with the review.

    Pietersen was stationary for about 15 seconds before leaving the field, clearly disappointed not to be given the benefit of any doubt.

    Record innings

    Trott raised his 150 and the 50 partnership with Bell by on-driving Herath for his 13th boundary. It was the fourth time he had gone past 150 in a Test career that is not yet two years old.

    Bell was aggressive from the outset, charging down the pitch and striking Herath over his head for a six. It was England's first boundary of the day and came from the 84th delivery.

    The best, or at least most elegant, shot of the day was by Trott, a straight drive off Suranga Lakmal for four that registered the 100 partnership with Bell.

    The stroke also gave Trott the record highest Test score by an England batsman against Sri Lanka, surpassing Graham Gooch's 174 in 1991.

    Bell, dropped on 19 by Kumar Sangakkara at gully off Maharoof, sustained his positive intent and reverse swept two boundaries in successive overs off Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan to go to 84.

    Bell's innings apart, the day lacked entertainment but one of several comical dives in the field by Sri Lankan fielders brought much derision from the crowd. Even Trott smiled when Maharoof slid to cut off a drive on the cover boundary only to stop short of the ball, which trickled over the rope a metre away from him.

    Trott's patient vigil was ended when he missed a straight ball from Dilshan five overs from the close. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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