Crashing Down

Touring Sri Lanka is tough, and England have been holding themselves together - often by the skin of their teeth - since Kandy. Today, though, it all came crashing down and there appears little hope of salvage over the next two days unless there's a hell of a lot of rain.

The England bowling attack, apart from Harmison, has looked insipid, although Hoggard is probably short of maximum fitness and Sidebottom has continually been let down by fielders in general, and Prior in particular. The batsmen can make fifties but can't go on to big hundreds in the way that is second nature to Jayawardene and Sangakkara. The fielding is shoddy; all the side's best specialist close fielders - Trescothick, Strauss, Flintoff - have gone from the team and we're left with the ageing (and never reliable) Vaughan, the coltish and mystifyingly poor Cook, and, of course, Prior.

When this game is wrapped up it's back home for Christmas and then off to New Zealand, by which time a few more players might find themselves out of the team.

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