Prior amazed by England resilience
Matt Prior revealed the England team "keeps surprising itself" by coming back from difficult situations.
Prior this morning completed a remarkable recovery from 22 for three as his fifth Test century took the hosts to 486 all out shortly before lunch on day two of the second npower Test at Lord’s.
Sri Lanka fought back afterwards as captain Tillakaratne Dilshan’s unbeaten 127 carried the tourists to 231 for one at stumps.
Dilshan put on 207 with opening partner Tharanga Paravitana – the highest opening stand in a Test between the sides.
On England’s batting fightback, Prior said: “This team keeps surprising itself, keeps pulling things out when it’s looking ominous. To get that score when we were 20-odd for three was a fantastic effort.”
Prior shared England’s third hundred partnership of the innings, in quick time with Stuart Broad, as he raced from 73 overnight to 126.
“The plan is always to take a moment to get yourself in but that didn’t really happen. I went from first gear to sixth,” he added. “We walked off after our first innings very pleased with the score.
“Tillakaratne Dilshan came out and played a great innings, showed great intent on what was a pretty docile wicket in the end.”
Given Sri Lanka’s riposte after lunch, Prior is keen England right those wrongs tomorrow.
“We’re an honest enough team to know we didn’t bowl and field as good as we can do or as well as we have done,” he said.
“It’s a session and a half of Test cricket - things don’t always go perfectly, things don’t always go to plan.
“The thing I know about this team and the character around the team is that we’ll come back tomorrow harder.”
Whether England will have to face Dilshan tomorrow remains to be seen.
He was struck on the right thumb by a Chris Tremlett delivery shortly after tea, although he continued batting.
Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof confirmed Dilshan had gone for a scan immediately after play.
“He’s alright but for a precautionary measure he’s gone for x-rays so let’s see tomorrow morning,” he said.
With or without Dilshan, Maharoof knows Sri Lanka must go on to win here and square the series with a game to go.
“We’re in a strong position at the moment but there’s still a long way to go,” he added. “(There are) three more days and we have to make sure we capitalise on this situation.”