England insist it is “case closed” on Matt Prior and the mysterious broken window in the Lord’s pavilion.
Captain Andrew Strauss last night found himself answering many more questions about his wicketkeeper’s accidental role in the smashing of a window than the whys and wherefores of England’s drawn second npower Test against Sri Lanka.
Prior apologised to a female spectator, who suffered a minor cut to her ankle after shattered glass fell to the seating area below England’s dressing room. The incident came about after Prior was run out as England chased quick runs to set up a declaration on the final afternoon.
Initial explanations suggested a pair of gloves thrown by Prior, understandably aggravated at his misfortune, had somehow ricocheted off a kit-bag and knocked a bat forcefully enough into the window to break it.
A subsequent version of events reported that he simply placed his bat in a corner, only for another one to bounce up and crack the window.
Strauss said: “It was a genuine accident. I was out on the balcony, but a lot of the guys in there saw it, and he wasn’t meaning to throw anything at the window.
“So from our point of view, the case is closed.”
Prior’s spot of bother overshadowed much of what went on in the middle, where Alastair Cook (106) hit yet another hundred - his sixth in 12 Test innings - and Kevin Pietersen (72) returned to form.
But England were still unable to declare until mid-afternoon, on 335 for seven - despite Ian Bell’s unbeaten 57 from only 43 balls - and did not have enough time to bowl out Sri Lanka on a placid pitch.