England Captain becomes the youngest player to reach 10,000 runs as Sri Lanka crumble again
In a world of fast food, Alistair Cook is a leisurely Sunday Lunch, in a media beset by instant tweets and texts the England Captain is 500 page novel. Whilst the Essex batsmen is the youngest player to reach 10,000 runs, he isn't the quickest. The studious flick of his legs for 4 to reach this milestone was typical of this gentle, yet determined man. Amidst the hurly burly of modern cricket, Cook is a throwback to an almost forgotten time of steady accumulation, concentration and discipline.
Cook wasn't the only one to shine in chilly Durham. Nor was he the only England player to reach a milestone. Anderson took the man of the match award with 9 wickets over the two innings, the 8th of which was his 450th Test wicket. He is now 6th in the all time Test wicket stakes and whilst Murali, Warne and maybe Kumble are beyond him, Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath are 68 and 112 ahead respectively. If Anderson stays fit, he could become the World's most successful fast bowler in 3-4 years time.
England's other notable success was Moeen Ali's unbeaten 155 in the first innings which took the game away from Sri Lanka. Ali has been short of runs in recent Tests, with his batting that of a number 8 he has become, even though his pedigree his much better than that. Perhaps his elevation to 7 in Stokes' absence helped. What is certainly in need of assistance is his spin bowling, 1 for 136 off 28 overs, does not bode well for England's upcoming tour to India.
As for Sri Lanka, they improved in this game, but still lost by 9 wickets. Whilst the setting of Lords may inspire a better performance from some, movement outside off stump has been the main downfall for the tourists batsmen this summer and the Lords slope isn't going to make life any easier for them.