Sri Lanka secure consolation win over England
Sri Lanka have beaten England by 23 runs to salvage a measure of pride in the NatWest triangular series. Chasing 230 to win at Old Trafford, England fell short when their last man, Darren Gough, was run out in the 48th over. On a slow wicket, the Sri Lankan spinners did well to defend what had initially appeared a moderate total, reached with the help of an excellent innings of 70 from the recalled Kumar Sangakkara, who deservedly won the Man-of-the-Match award.
England began the chase well, with Marcus Trescothick making 27 off 23 balls with a characteristic mixture of full-blooded strokes. He was bowled playing across the line at Zoysa, but England's 50 came up off 52 balls, and Hussain then raised the tempo by hitting Wickramasinghe for four and six in his first (and only) over. Sri Lanka made their second breakthrough when Zoysa, having switched to the Stretford End, bowled Knight as he played around a straight ball.
The hundred came up with England still well up with the required rate, but the introduction of Chandana proved costly for Vaughan, who chipped his second ball straight back at him to be caught and bowled. Stewart was missed before he had scored by Sangakkara off Arnold, whom he then smote through extra cover. Hussain was run out, beaten by Atapattu's throw to Sangakkara as the batsmen went for a quick single after Stewart had pushed Chandana into the covers.
England suffered a further reversal when Stewart was out for just seven, chipping Samaraweera to Chandana at mid-wicket to leave England in some disarray at 118 for five. After Irani and Flintoff had played cautiously, to add 17, Jayasuriya made another important breakthrough, bowling Flintoff off stump. Irani, after hitting Jayasuriya through mid-wicket for England's first boundary for 18 overs, was caught there next ball by Zoysa as he attempted to repeat the shot. By now the required rate was above six an over.
Joined by Snape at 160 for seven, Collingwood relieved some of England's tension with a swept boundary off Jayasuriya. But Collingwood's dismissal, run out by Jayawardene at the bowler's and as he slipped while attempting a single, made Sri Lanka firm favourites. Although Snape batted sensibly, he ran out of partners in the 48th over as first Tudor perished, caught by Atapattu sweeping at Jayasuriya, and then Gough was run out attempting a quick single to third man. Sri Lanka may not have won the war, but it was still a victory for them to savour.
Sri Lanka won the toss this morning and made three team changes - Sangakkara, Silva and Zoysa coming in for Kaluwitharana, Gunawardene and Buddika. For England Snape replaced Ashley Giles, while James Kirtley's injury meant a first one-day international cap for Alex Tudor. He began with a maiden, while in contrast Darren Gough's second over included three wides and five leg byes.
Jeremy Lloyds umpired the first four overs in the absence of David Orchard, who arrived late having been under the misapprehension that it was a day-night match. After a glaring misfield by Irani at mid-off that allowed Atapattu three runs, the 50 came up off 62 balls in the 11th over. Flintoff had Jayasuriya missed at second slip, a difficult, low chance to Trescothick's left, but after taking four over mid-off, the Sri Lankan captain's luck ran out as he shaped to play Tudor to leg, checked his shot and was caught by Hussain at cover.
Sangakkara got under way with four through extra cover. Next ball he called Atapattu for a sharp single from a push to mid-wicket, where Collingwood swooped and broke the stumps with a direct hit, leaving Atapattu well short of his ground. Sangakkara was fortunate when an edge off Irani narrowly eluded the gloves of Stewart, and at the halfway stage Sri Lanka were 114 for two, with Sangakkara and Jayawardene both going well.
Snape was forced to leave the field briefly for treatment after he injured a finger on his bowling hand, attempting to catch a fierce return drive from Sangakkara. Jayawardene, always a key wicket, was cruising at 42 when he was run out attempting a second run by a fine throw from Alex Tudor at long leg. Stewart was able to collect and throw the ball on to the stumps with the batsman just inches short of his ground.
Wickets then fell at a clatter. Arnold perished hitting a much tamer return catch to Snape, and Sangakkara was a little unlucky to be given out lbw to a ball from Vaughan that pitched just outside his leg stump. However there was no doubt about Vaughan's next three wickets. Silva was caught sweeping by Collingwood backward of square; Samaraweera was stumped off a leg-side wide by Stewart, and Vaas lasted just two balls before he was bowled around his legs.
Vaughan had taken four wickets for seven runs in 15 balls, and would have had five if Trescothick, at long on, had been able to hold on to a lusty blow from Chandana, which slipped through his fingers before carrying across the rope. Zoysa was caught at long off driving at Gough, and when Chandana swung Flintoff into the safe hands of Giles at mid-wicket in the 50th over, the Sri Lanka innings was over with two balls to spare. As it turned out it was their first winning total of the series.