Cricket: Sri Lanka hold out for dramatic draw with England

LONDON, June 16, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka tail-ender Nuwan Pradeep survived the final five balls of the match as the tourists clung on for a thrilling draw with England in the first Test at Lord’s on Monday. Cook, predictably, declared on England’s overnight 267 for eight after left-hander Gary Ballance had reached his maiden Test hundred in the final over of Sunday’s play.

Zimbabwe-born Ballance, 24, remained on 104 not out, having helped England recover from the struggling position of 121 for six in only his second Test and in the key position of number three.

Cook’s declaration left Sri Lanka needing to break the Lord’s record for a winning fourth-innings total in a Test of 344 for one, requiring 342, set by the West Indies against England in 1984, for victory.

It was a target that Sri Lanka never looked like approaching in Monday’s final 90 overs and England were left to wonder whether Cook should have declared late on Sunday, rather than on Monday.

England might also have been pondering their contribution to a slow over-rate by both teams at Lord’s which saw 17 overs unbowled in the match. England, in their first Test since their 5-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia and with a new-look te