Sri Lanka v England: Jonathan Agnew column

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent in Colombo
Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann has really turned this Test match England's way.

Before his two late wickets, England had looked flat. I don't say that in a negative way, because everyone is exhausted after four days in this heat.

Swann had got frustrated too. He was not in the best of moods - he is the team's frontline spinner and he knows the pressure is on for wickets - but he managed to get the new ball to spin and bounce and he is now one victim away from another five-wicket haul.

That will do his confidence the world of good.

Obviously, the game is not over yet but I do fancy England to go on and win it.

They still need to dismiss three very good batsmen - Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene - so that new ball will be vital in the morning.

I just hope Andrew Strauss gives it to Swann and James Anderson. I was astonished he gave it to Tim Bresnan and Samit Patel after tea on the fourth day, because it allowed Jayawardene and Samaraweera to play themselves in.

Jayawardene is playing brilliantly, once again. Being captain, he doesn't need any extra motivation to deny England levelling the series and he showed real determination to score his 50 in 150 balls.

I do feel sorry for Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose dismissal was upheld by the review system despite 10 minutes of replays failing to prove he had edged the ball.

I don't think he edged it, and neither does anybody I have spoken to during the day. I cannot see how we can give a man out when we have no evidence.

We are in such a quandary with the review system. There is no piece of technology good enough to show if the ball has definitely taken the edge and that means it is flawed.

I do feel for the umpires, however, because I think Asad Rauf and Bruce Oxenford have had excellent games in difficult circumstances with the heat and the turning pitch.

We are all set for a good final day of the series, and England need to make sure they knock off their target and put memories of their collapse in Abu Dhabi to the back of their minds.

They need to play positively and they cannot make the same mistake they did against Pakistan, when they were too tentative in pursuit of 145 and were bowled out for 72.

Listen to analysis of the day's play on the TMS podcast.