England drew with Sri Lanka
The first Test match was drawn because Andrew Flintoff gambled that he could bowl out Sri Lanka's No 11 with one ball - and lost. England had just taken the ninth wicket and, with the score on 526, the lead was 167 with a minimum of 31 overs left in the match.
The light had been marginal for 20 minutes but, if Muttiah Muralitharan was out early, England would not have accepted any offer as long as they could win the match. Instead of bowling full and straight, though, Flintoff bounced his former Lancashire colleague and paid the penalty.
'Fred' had just seen the umpires confer and asked them what the position was. Told that it was marginal, he could have brought on someone with lesser pace, but went for it himself. Off they went and the break took six precious overs out of the match.
When play was resumed, the victory chances were all but gone, only for Paul Collingwood to drop his second catch of the match, which was the seventh in Sri Lanka's mammoth innings.
Chaminda Vaas drove a wide one from Sajid Mah-mood high to Collingwood at point but, despite getting two hands to it, down it went.
The equation then would have seen England need 169 off 24 overs to win - highly improbable but still worth a dart with Kevin Pietersen and Flintoff in the side.
The bull point for the tour-ists was that had England batted a second time, they could have bowled who they liked for as long as they liked with ten men on the boundary.
In the end, the day was reduced by 29 overs but nothing can detract from Sri Lanka's rearguard action. Their 537 for nine was easily their record second-innings score and was underpinned by several heroes, not least Vaas. The left-hander is normally a free-scoring player as he showed with his 31 off 36 balls in the first innings.
Yesterday, he came in 20 minutes before lunch and started a vigil which was to last for four-and-a-quarter hours, with his tenth Test fifty coming off 187 balls but still including seven fours, to pinpoint the number of balls he blocked. He was helped by Nuwan Kulasekera, who hit a brave 64 before he was bounced out by Matthew Hoggard.
Their partnership of 105 occupied 46 overs and was a record for Sri Lanka. In came Murali, followed quickly by the failed Flintoff one-ball gamble. It ended a tough day and match for the acting captain and more experienced leaders would have wilted under the growing pressure.
It wasn't that he lost the plot, but missed a few tricks. It suggested that the strain of having to think for both ends, while he was bowling 50 overs in an innings for the first time, was a bit much for someone who had never bowled more than 40 overs in one innings at this level.
He did not dissuade his bowlers, including himself, from a great deal of short stuff, but hardly ever posted a bat-pad man for the rib-cage deflection.
Such a placement is not only there for the catch but to be in the batsman's eyeline to inhibit him playing forward to the swinging ball.
Flintoff also failed to remember that third man and fine leg should be finer for the tail because their edges usually come off a thin edge; that cost at least 20 runs.
As on Sunday, he was reluctant to use spin and this tactic was reversed when he left the field for a few minutes and vice-captain Andrew Strauss immediately brought on Monty Panesar. It paid no dividends but it must have been worth a punt, with England becoming increasingly desperate for a wicket.
At the start of play, delayed by 20 minutes because of drizzle, Tillekeratne Dilshan and Chamara Kapugedera set out on the long road to a draw.
The easiest chance dropped by England was the fourth of the innings by, of all people, Flintoff who promptly repaid the debt by bouncing out Kapugedera to make the score 405 for seven, a lead of only 46 and what was to be a further 59 overs of play.
Vaas and Kulasekera dug in for nearly three hours, helped enormously by a sitter in the gully dropped by Alastair Cook. Kulasekera was 14, the score 449, but England did not have any success for another 77 priceless runs garnered from 37 overs.
Sri Lanka's draw owed everything to ten dropped catches and 50 overs lost during the last two days, but they were owed something from three poor decisions concerning Marcus Trescothick, Pietersen (given in when they were out) and Mahela Jayawardene (given out when in).
They will take more out of the epic last two days than England, whose entire XI have been withdrawn from cricket with their counties before the second Test, which starts at Edgbaston in nine days' time.