Matches Unseen, Ratings 16th January
|2nd Test||Pakistan||v||Sri Lanka|
|Expected Margin||Pakistan by 102 runs|
|Actual Margin||Sri Lanka by 9 wickets|
A test I saw almost nothing of, but will offer brief comments on the scorecard. Having battled their way to a draw in the first test Sri Lanka dominated the second from the first day when the took 9/108 after lunch, before responding with 388 on the back a series of partnerships build around JK Silva (95) and Jayawardene (129). Although Misbah, Younis and the tail offered resistance, the Sri Lankan bowlers worked Pakisan out for 359 and chased down the runs on with time to spare. The win ensures at leas a drawn series, and pushes them back over 1000 in the ratings, having dropped below it before the first test. It's a purely symbolic milestone, but it has of late marked the difference between weak and competitive sides, and the performance of some of the younger players indicates that Sri Lanka may be able to maintain the latter for at least a while longer.
|Only Women's Test||Australia||v||England|
|Actual Margin||England by 61 runs|
As per last year, there are no rankings for the women's tests as they play so few of them. It is an absence of longer cricket that told throughout an enthralling match, that was far closer than the margin might indicate. The undoubted star was Ellyse Perry, taking 3/41 and 5/38 and top-scoring in both Australia's innings with 71 and 31. Yet Australia lost, in large part because their top-order was unable or unwilling to leave balls that ought to be left, succumbing to edges, and leaving too much for the lower order to do. England, likewise had their issues, and the bowling from both sides exploited the bounce and weakness for loose shots, with Cross in particular impressing. Gunn's ability to halt the scoring, and her 44 in the second innings where she put on a decisive 88 run partnership with Edwards, tilted the game back to England when Australia seemed to be gaining control.
The downside of the format is that the test being worth so many points, it is nearly impossible for Australia to regain the Ashes, as they need to win five of the six ODI/T20 matches. A test to end the tour would have all but guaranteed that both sides could win the series; and allowed any momentum from the limited overs matches to carry into what ought to have been the show-piece. Nevertheless, those who did catch this match will remember it.
|Rankings at 16th January 2014|
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
18th January, 2014 08:02:17