Sunday, 5 June 2011

England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Lord's: Day 2

We always tend to forget how evenly matched teams are in International cricket. Maybe it's just the same human tendency that forces us to extrapolate things like short term economic trends into the distant future or maybe it's just Sky and the others looking for things to say. But one way or another, Sri Lanka were written off; Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene (some of the best batsmen in Test cricket) were going to fall at some point, and England's 486 was going to be looked back upon as the first step in another impressive Test match victory.

It may still be that way, but England did get a rude awakening as Dilshan rattled on to 127 not out. Oh yes, now we remember- they can bat too! Now we're expecting them to rattle onto 500 or so. But let's not try to predict the future; our model may not be perfectly accurate (we don't expect it to be!) but it does help us get a rough idea of ranges of potential outcomes and in doing so deters us from trying to construct a narrative in advance (ahem, Vaughan, Hussain et al.). It's great once in a while when you get it right, but generally a waste of time (unless we're talking about Australia in the early 2000s).

So here's a summary of how much the players have done so far for their teams' chances of winning the Test:

Eng win
SL win
Tremlett -4.7% -1.7% 6.5%
Morgan 8.3% -9.9% 1.5%
Strauss -6.2% 8.5% -2.3%
Finn -2.4% 4.0% -1.6%
Trott -7.1% 9.2% -2.2%
Cook 10.2% -11.7% 1.5%
Bell 1.4% -1.2% -0.2%
Pietersen -9.9% 10.7% -0.7%
Broad -6.6% 1.1% 5.5%
Prior 16.8% -20.2% 3.5%
Swann -15.7% 9.9% 5.7%

SL win
Eng win
Maharoof -13.4% 10.2% 3.2%
Weleg'ara 3.2% 0.0% -3.2%
Dilshan 12.2% -23.4% 11.1%
Sang'ara 1.6% -3.5% 1.9%
Parav'ana 0.6% -5.2% 4.6%
Herath -9.3% 7.3% 2.1%
Fernando -6.1% 6.1% 0.0%
Lakmal 4.3% -1.1% -3.2%
P.Jay'dene 1.6% -1.5% -0.1%

Dilshan's superb effort has so far taken almost a quarter of a win away from England. Moreover, it has caused us to forget completely Matt Prior's excellent 126 off 131 balls (worth 16.8% of an England win) which had put England in a commanding position early on day 2.

Let's have a look at the Test so far, in graphical format:

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