LONDON, June 2, 2011 (AFP) – Stuart Law faces the sternest challenge of his brief stint as Sri Lanka interim coach as he tries to get the side back on track following their stunning first Test collapse.
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The series opener seemed destined for a draw when rain washed out the final morning of in Cardiff on Monday.
Yet there was plenty of time for England, with Ashes star James Anderson off the field due to a side injury, to dismiss Sri Lanka for 82 inside 25 overs to complete an innings and 14-run win that left the hosts 1-0 up in this three-match series.
What made a bad collapse all the worse for Sri Lanka is that the strength of their side is a top-order featuring Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera.
Law doesn’t have much time to effect a turnaround in the team’s fortunes, with the second Test at Lord’s starting here on Friday.
But the former Australia batsman hopes playing at ‘the home of cricket’ will lift his side as it has many a touring team down the years.
Law, previously assistant to compatriot Trevor Bayliss, who ended his stint as Sri Lanka coach to take charge of Australian state side Victoria, made no attempt to disguise his hurt at the tourists’