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England denied by last man Pradeep

By Matt Somerford

England fell just one wicket short of victory following a dramatic finale to the first Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

Sri Lanka's last man Nuwan Pradeep saw off the final five balls from Stuart Broad in gloomy conditions to deny England a famous victory.

England thought they had won the game with the penultimate delivery, only for Pradeep to correctly review after umpire Paul Reiffel adjudged him lbw.

The replays showed he had inside-edged onto his front pad to cut short England's celebrations.

There was yet more drama to come as Broad, who removed Rangana Herath from the first ball of the final over, then found Pradeep's edge from the final delivery, but it fell agonisingly short of Chris Jordan in the slip cordon.

Stuart Broad cannot contain his disappointment after Nuwan Pradeep edged the last ball of the Test just short of Chris Jordan at slip

Alastair Cook's overnight declaration had set the tourists a record Lord's fourth-innings chase of 390 and for the most part it appeared a tame draw was in prospect.

Led by first-innings centurion Kumar Sangakkara's 61, Sri Lanka lost just two wickets before a match-changing three-wicket burst from James Anderson either side of tea.

Anderson, who claimed 4-25, prised out Sri Lanka's big two of Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara to open up the game.

Jayawardene edged behind to Matt Prior before Sangakkara chopped on moments after the tea break.

That was the first of six wickets in the evening session as England swept towards victory with the aid of reverse-swing.

James Anderson celebrates making Lahiru Thirimanne the third of his three wickets either side of tea that gave England a chance of victory

Skipper Angelo Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene - batting with a broken finger that will force him home after this Test - thwarted England for 20 overs and it appeared England's last hope remained with the second new ball.

Jordan, though, trapped Prasanna lbw an over before the new ball was due and then when it was taken England appeared to be making a decisive move.

Anderson most tellingly had Mathews, who faced 90 balls for his 18, caught by Cook at slip with three overs to go to expose the tail to a nerve-jangling end.

The drama was heightened further at the start of Broad's final over as Herath incorrectly walked when he gloved a short ball down the legside to Prior.

Replays showed his hand was off the bat, and therefore he was not out, but he took the decision to go anyway and leave last-man Pradeep - who was out hit wicket in the first innings after falling onto his stumps - with five balls to survive.

He did so, in the most dramatic of circumstance, following his correct review to leave the series level heading into the second and final Test at Headingley later this week.

Match Scorecard Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Post-Match Reaction

Joe Root won the man-of-the-match award following his maiden Test double-century in the first innings, which helped England control the match for the majority before the breathtaking end. He said: "It was exciting, wasn’t it? Twelve months ago we were told we were playing dour cricket. I don’t think anyone could say that now.

"It’s really exciting, the way we’ve tackled the start of the summer, and hopefully that can continue.”

England skipper Alastair Cook paid credit to his bowlers after they came so close on an unresponsive Lord's wicket, saying: "I can’t praise the lads enough today. That was a flat wicket, for the majority it didn’t do anything so we had to try to wait for that ball to reverse-swing.

“Eventually it got dry enough that it did and Jimmy’s fantastic at bowling with that reverse-swinging ball. We gave ourselves a chance going into that last hour and the lads laid everything on the line. To come up just short is incredibly frustrating but at tea we probably didn’t think we’d get there.”

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews admitted Rangana Herath did not know the laws after he walked when he was not out in the final over, telling Sky Sports 2: "I’m sure he wasn’t aware of the rules! It happens and that’s also a lesson learned for all of us.”

Evening Session

Highlights from a thrilling final session at Lord's where Sri Lanka clung on for a draw

6.44pm - THE MATCH IS DRAWN! SL 201/9; Pradeep 0, Eranga 0 - It's a draw. What a draw. Pradeep edges the final ball, but it bounces short of Jordan in the slips. What a game!

6.43pm - REVIEW! - Reiffel gives Nuwan Pradeep out lbw. England are celebrating. They think it's all over. It's not. Pradeep reviews and he hit it.

6.38pm - WICKET! Herath c Prior b Broad 1; SL 201/9 - Sensational. Herath walks when he wasn't out. He gloves Broad's first ball down the leg side, but his hand was off the bat.

6.36pm - Anderson can't find a way past Eranga. The crowd are disappointed before providing hearty applause for the Lancastrian. It was his burst around tea that allowed England to get this close. Broad is back for the last over...

6.32pm - Plunkett finishes the over with a bouncer high over Rangana Herath's head. Perhaps, England feel like they can get Shaminda Eranga at the other end. Anderson to start his last over.

6.26pm - WICKET! Mathews c Cook b Anderson 18; SL 201/8 - That's the big wicket. The Sri Lanka skipper is gone edging a ball just back of a length to Cook at first slip. Only the tail stands in England's way.

Three overs remain and Plunkett has the ball.

6.22pm - Broad cannot find a wicket in that over and Mathews gets himself on strike for the start of Anderson's next set of six.

6.17pm - Anderson beats Mathews' bat with nearly every ball in that over. We are down to five overs left.

6.09pm - WICKET! Kulasekara lbw Broad 1; SL 199/7 - Broad traps Kulasekara plumb in front. Paul Reiffel's finger goes straight up and the batsman doesn't even consider the review. Tense.

6.04pm - Anderson replaces Jordan after Broad bowls a maiden. He is bowling to five slips, a short-leg and a leg-gully.

Kulasekara knows nothing about an inswinger. He reacts far too late. Somehow, though, the ball misses off stump. Seven overs to go.

5.59pm - Jordan bowls a maiden, but there is no breakthrough. Nuwan Kulasekara sees him off. 

5.56pm - Two balls into the over and the new ball is taken.

5.54pm - England are not taking the new ball yet! Jordan is going to keep going with the old ball, which has been reversing. Ten overs to go.

5.46pm - REVIEW & WICKET! - P Jayawardene lbw Jordan 8; SL 194/6 - Jordan strikes with what is likely to be his last ball of the match. Jayawardene gets caught on the crease and the ball thuds into his front pad. Billy Bowden turns down the appeals, but when England review there is no doubt. Plumb.

5.38pm - Prasanna is drawn into a shot and somehow he fends the ball just over Sam Robson at short-leg and away from that packed leg-side field. Three overs to go before the new ball and Joe Root is having a go.

5.34pm - Plunkett is still banging away at that short length. The Sri Lanka batsmen are largely uninterested in anything going around their ears - especially with so many fielders on the leg side - and are leaving the ball to fly through to Matt Prior and get closer to a draw.

5.25pm - We are going to take drinks as we head into the final hour with 15 overs left. Jordan operated with four men fairly close in on the leg side in that over. The Sussex man fired the ball in at the stumps, but the slow pace of the pitch meant Mathews was fairly untroubled.

5.11pm - Prasanna inside-edges Liam Plunkett and the ball flies just wide of the leg stump. Plunkett has his head in his hands. The ball didn't bounce too far short of Ian Bell at leg-slip too. There are 18 overs left.

4.59pm - Prasanna is trying to dig in and just defend with that broken finger. It has almost been an hour now since England got their last wicket. A couple more before the new ball would put England in a good place.

4.50pm - Anderson's last spell, which spanned the tea break, read 7-4-3-3. Perhaps match turning.

4.42pm - Three consecutive maidens for Anderson. How long can he keep this going? It is inspired stuff at the moment.

Cook may opt to rest his front-line bowlers soon with 14 overs to go until the second new ball is due. He'll want Anderson and Broad recharged for that assault.

4.39pm - Moeen has just gone off the field with England fielding coach Chris Taylor replacing him. Taylor's ducked off down to fine-leg.

4.34pm - Anderson and Stuart Broad are going hard at the Sri Lankans who are in survival mode. They would have hardly expected to be in this position when they finished their tea 30 minutes ago. 

4.24pm - REVIEW! - Prasanna Jayawardene survives by the skin of his teeth. Anderson is on fire. Umpire Billy Bowden turns down an lbw appeal and when England review Hawkeye suggests the ball was going to hit the outside of leg stump - so 'Umpire's Call' saves the wicketkeeper. There's plenty of reverse-swing now.

4.12pm - WICKET! Thirimanne c Jordan b Anderson 2; SL 170/5 - Anderson grabs a second and England have a sniff now. Lahiru Thirimanne nicks off to Chris Jordan who holds a comfortable catch at second slip.

4.07pm - WICKET! Sangakkara b Anderson 61; SL 169/4 - Anderson comes around the wicket and Sangakkara chops on. There is life in this yet. It was all a bit light-hearted in the previous two overs after tea, but now things get serious again.

4.06pm - Have we just had a first glimpse of Moeen Ali's doosra? If so, it wasn't a great first outing as he bowls a full-toss at chest height. Sangakkara doesn't know what to do with it - he could have got unlucky and picked out a fielder there.

4.04pm - Alastair Cook has opted for an unlikely field after tea. There's a close-in ring of fielders on the off-side around Kumar Sangakkara. It works in that James Anderson bowls a maiden and the point fielder made a couple of stops. 

Afternoon Session

England claimed two wickets during the afternoon session but a draw looks the likely result

3.41pm - TEA! SL 164/3 - Sangakkara 59, Thirimanne 0 - England's hopes of pushing for victory are growing slim due to Sangakkara. The veteran left-hander bats through a session in which England managed to prise out two wickets. There are 34 overs to be bowled in the final session of the match, during which time England will need to take seven wickets.

3.39pm - Moeen Ali is handed the ball. Sangakkara greets him by punching a back-foot stroke through midwicket for his first boundary in 102 balls.

3.35pm - WICKET! Jayawardene c Prior b Anderson 18; SL 159/3 - Anderson breaks up Sri Lanka's big two. Jayawardene presses forward in defence thinking the ball would move down the slope, but it continues straight on and catches the edge. There are 36 overs left in the match.

3.25pm - The short approach to Jayawardene is just starting to wear thin as he guides Plunkett away for a pair of boundaries.

2.57pm - FIFTY! Sangakkara (137b 3x4 0x6) - Sangakkara turns Jordan away to deep square-leg for a couple to reach the 46th Test fifty of his career. He is a master batsman and is guiding his team towards safety following his first-innings hundred.

2.51pm - Plunkett is attacking Jayawardene with some short stuff. England are mixing it up to try and grab a breakthrough. Getting past these two could open things up.

The crowd are starting to get behind Plunkett too and the over ends with Jayawardene turning off his hip and short of Bell at leg-slip.

2.40pm - Sangakkara pushes Plunkett for two through cover. That's his first runs for 31 balls.

2.37pm - England have a bit of hope now as Jordan is getting the ball to move late. Mahela Jayawardene's first scoring shot is a leg-glance for four, although it split Prior and Ian Bell at leg-slip.

2.30pm - REVIEW & WICKET! Silva c Prior b Jordan 57; SL 123/2 - Silva gloves a Jordan short ball down the leg side and Matt Prior makes the ground well to take the catch. Umpire Billy Bowden turns down the England appeals so they send it upstairs where the replay shows clearly that Silva did get a glove on the ball. That reverse-swing is becoming slightly more evident too.

2.26pm - Jordan bowls another maiden. He beats Sangakkara's edge from the final delivery with the ball tailing slightly away.

2.22pm - We can rule out at least one result out for certain. Sri Lanka won't win. That was always unlikely at the start of play, but with four of the past six overs being maidens they are certainly not looking to accelerate after that solid first session.

2.14pm - FIFTY! Silva (93b 6x4 0x6) - Silva gets his second half-century of the match by pushing Chris Jordan wide of point for a single. A gutsy innings from the little opener after he was peppered by short bowling from Liam Plunkett this morning.

2.13pm - Broad has bowled three successive maidens. There is the merest hint of reverse-swing at the moment. The ball tailed in slightly to Silva in that previous over. 

Alastair Cook throws the ball to Joe Root too...and it's another maiden.

2.02pm - No joy so far after lunch. Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva have been able to get back into the groove without any fuss at all. There's not much life in the wicket.

1.50pm - Kumar Sangakkara eases Moeen Ali away to move Sri Lanka to 100. Stuart Broad's first over after the break is then a tad wayward and Sangakkara clips away a couple of twos.  

Morning Session

England declared overnight and set Sri Lanka 390 to win but could only claim one wicket before lunch

1.03pm - LUNCH! SL 99/1; Silva 44, Sangakkara 34 - England's bowlers probed away and got that early wicket through Broad, but since then Silva and Sangakkara have stood firm. England have 61 overs left to take the nine wickets they need.

12.58pm - Sangakkara gets a thick edge playing forward to Moeen. The fall falls just short of Bell at gully to draw 'oohs' and 'arghs' from the England fielders.

12.52pm - Now even Moeen is finding extra bounce to Silva. He keeps the ball down and to safety as Sri Lanka's batsmen look to get through to lunch.

12.42pm - You have to feel for Silva a little bit. He is getting peppered by Plunkett at the moment. It is venomous fast bowling and entertaining stuff to watch. So far, the Sri Lankan opener has stood up to it - albeit by taking a couple of hefty blows. How long can he keep his calm though?

12.31pm - Silva has been pinned flush on the helmet by a Plunkett bouncer. The ball cannoned back through mid-off such was the impact. The ball didn't get up as much as the little opener might of expected as Plunkett has decided to target him with the short ball from around the wicket. 

12.26pm - Sangakkara effortlessly plays Plunkett away for three to bring up the 50-run stand with Silva from 70 balls.

12.19pm - A double change. Liam Plunkett replaces Anderson at the Pavilion End after his opening spell of 8-3-21-0. Moeen Ali has also taken over from Jordan to inject spin into the day for the first time.

12.14pm - Jordan finds Sangakkara's inside edge as he attempts a horizontal stroke, but the ball flies harmlessly for four. Jordan has been expensive thus far, conceding 22 runs in his three overs.

12.09pm - Anderson bowling around the wicket to Sangakkara and he beats the bat again with the second ball after the drinks break. So close.

12.02pm - Sri Lanka go past 50 as Silva finds the boundary from successive Jordan deliveries - with a cover-drive and a pull shot - and it is time for a drink.

11.52am - Chris Jordan is swung into the attack from the Nursery End. He's bowled from the other end for the majority of the match, but will now be looking to bring the ball back in to Sangakkara down the slope and attack the stumps. That is the end Shaminda Eranga slid a couple through Robson and Ian Bell yesterday. First ball is short and wide though and punched away for three.

11.39am - Anderson beats the bat of Kumar Sangakkara in defence. The left-hander glances the final ball to the fine-leg rope. It probably goes without saying, but his wicket is crucial and getting him early is probably England's best chance. This is a key period.

11.29am - WICKET! Karunaratne c Robson b Broad 16; SL 25/1 - There's the first wicket of the day. Karunaratne gets slightly tucked up by a back-of-length Broad delivery and he inside-edges onto his thigh before the ball pops up for Sam Robson at short-leg.

11.19am - At the end of the fifth over Anderson finds Karunaratne's edge, but the opener angles his bat down and the ball falls safely short of the slips. Sri Lanka are 17 for none.

11.08am - The lights are on and there is plenty of cloud cover so it is not unexpected that both Anderson and Stuart Broad are finding early swing. With so many runs to play with, Alastair Cook is employing an attacking field - three slips and a gully. That costs a boundary at the end of Broad's first over as Kaushal Silva drives through the vacant cover region.

11.03am - A typically probing first over from James Anderson with the new ball. Dimuth Karunaratne got a thick edge to the second ball, but it flew high between the slips and gully for four.

Pre-Play News

10.55am - Gary Ballance said last night that the wicket was still good to bat on and that he felt like he could play his shots on it as he stepped up the gears to reach his century in the final over before stumps.

Grabbing early wickets will likely be important for England while they will have an eye on that Sri Lanka tail, which looks long. In the first innings none of their bottom five reached double figures.

10.50am - It is worth remembering that large chases are possible here at Lord's - most significantly Middlesex's successful pursuit of 472 against Yorkshire in the LV= County Championship earlier this season. They did that three down too!

10.45am - England have set Sri Lanka a victory target of 390 in 90 overs. England need 10 wickets to go 1-0 up in the series while the Sri Lankans would have to score at 4.33 runs an over all day. That would appear an unlikely prospect - although not a ridiculous one on this wicket - so the tourists may prefer to sit in for a draw. 

10.40am - Confirmation has come through that England have declared.

10.30am - No official word as yet on whether skipper Alastair Cook has declared overnight. What I can tell you, though, is that England have been out going through fielding drills since 10.15am while the Sri Lankans have been batting in the nets on the Nursery Ground.

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