England v Sri Lanka, Twenty20, Bristol June 25, 2011

Jayawardene crushes lacklustre England


Sri Lanka 137 for 1 (Jayawardene 72*, Sangakkara 43*) beat England 136 for 9 (Morgan 47, Pietersen 41) by nine wickets

Mahela Jayawardene put his struggles in the Test series firmly behind him with a fluent and dominant 72 from 57 balls, as Stuart Broad's maiden outing as England Twenty20 captain ended in a thumping nine-wicket defeat at Bristol. On a stodgy wicket which rewarded only the purest of strokeplayers, Jayawardene was joined in a 97-run stand for the second wicket by Kumar Sangakkara, who made 43, and together they trumped the 83 in 8.5 overs with which Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen had briefly raised English hopes of a competitive total.

In a clash between the current holders of the World Twenty20 and the hosts of the next edition in 2012, the gulf in expertise seemed as yawning as had been the case in the last limited-overs meeting between these teams, the World Cup quarter-final in Colombo back in March. With the honourable exception of England's third-wicket pair, who batted supremely but fell in quick succession, England were feckless with the bat and jittery with the ball. Sri Lanka, by contrast, simply did what they had to do, and wrapped up the contest with 16 balls to spare.

The tone of England's performance was set in the opening exchanges. Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb hadn't batted together since the final of the World Twenty20 in Barbados 13 months ago, but whereas their belligerent strokeplay had served a purpose on the flat decks of the Caribbean, here it translated as rank slogging, and never looked like paying off. Lumb top-edged a hoick to depart for 2 from six balls, Kieswetter slapped a drive to mid-off for a seven-ball 4. At 12 for 2 after 16 deliveries, the momentum had been squandered there and then.

The contrast when Sri Lanka batted could not have been starker. Admittedly Jayawardene was given a kick-start by the glut of nerves on display, as Broad stepped back from the new-ball honours to leave the stage to two players making their first home appearances, Chris Woakes and Jade Dernbach. However, Jayawardene had rushed along to 27 from 15 balls before the veteran Sanath Jayasuriya had faced his second delivery.

A contentious selection at the age of 41, Jayasuriya eventually drove loosely to cover to give Dernbach his maiden international wicket, but Woakes oozed nerves as he leaked 23 runs in two overs, and 31 in three all told. The shot of the innings, and one that summed up the match perfectly, was an effortless drive over long-on by Jayawardene off Woakes that just kept on rising all the way over the rope. Panache, not power, was the order of the day.

Who knows what Ian Bell made of it all. England's most free-flowing batsman in the Test series was surprisingly overlooked for this contest, and his non-selection looked even more of an oversight after England had racked up six single-figure scores out of nine dismissals. Pietersen and Morgan, who had produced elegant half-centuries in the third Test at the Rose Bowl, managed to translate their fluent form with the utmost ease. Given half a chance, Bell would surely have done likewise.

KP and Morgan managed seven fours and five sixes between them, but none was more impressive than Pietersen's first - a premeditated clip through midwicket off a regulation off-stump delivery. It was the stamp of class that has been missing from his game in recent months, and one over later, Morgan showed the sloggers how to hit the ball out of the ground, when he launched into a length delivery from Suranga Lakmal, and lifted it with the straightest of bats, back over the bowler's head.

Had either player built towards a century, it could have been a completely different scenario. Instead they both fell in the space of eight deliveries, whereupon the recalled Samit Patel produced probably the most crass moment of the match. All the jibes about his failed bleep tests suddenly seemed utterly justified as he dawdled out of his crease after cutting a ball straight to point, and was barely in the frame as the shy came in to whip off his bails.

Ravi Bopara chipped and chivvied for 22 deliveries without ever looking entirely at ease or in form, and when he was bowled to give Jayasuriya his second wicket, the remainder of the innings was as soggy as the English summer. Luke Wright flapped and fell for 9 from 12 balls; Woakes top-edged a Lasith Malinga slower ball to mid-on, while Broad's maiden innings as captain ended with a run-out for 0. England managed one boundary in the last eight overs, and no runs off the bat in Malinga's last six balls. They were lapses that no side can afford against a one-day outfit of Sri Lanka's quality.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tharindu on June 27, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    @Balumekka - Exactly mate ! What's wrong with these Indians ?... If other countries did n't play Cricket, against whom Indians will play really ? Only they suppose to play good brand of Cricket ? Are the others not supposed to fight with them ??? ...On the other hand we must expect this kind of attitude from those people, because we all know that what will they do to their loving players if they had to lose a major tournament or even some important bilateral series...LOL

  • Anjana on June 27, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    This is totally crazy stuff. If there's any column on good performances of a player/team other than India, customary pack of Indian fans leap in to it and spoil all over the place. If the article praises a good innings of a batsman "A" from other country, these Indian fans soon compare that batsman "A" with Sachin or Sehwag taking stats and lot of hair splitting arguments and finally conclude that A's innings is not good compared to even a duck scored by Sachin/Sehwag. What I cannot understand is the cognitive levels of these sort of fans. All accept that Sachin is a great (perhaps the greatest batsman of all time), So I plea from Indian fans: Let the others to praise good performance of non-indian players too!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    I want to add a comment to what I have written earlier. Even though Kandamby is not deserved to be in any of the Sri Lankan teams (perhaps in the test team, but need to prove), he has showed a great potential as a captain in his 1st game. His analyzing and responding according to situations was superb. He seems to be studying the game really well. Very impressive. Well done! You can be the Sri Lankan Mike Brearley one day. Not very talented as a player, but great as a captain.

  • buddhika on June 27, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    come onnn dont talk now on weekneses...we have won the game talk about that..Talk about india is irrelevant for SL victory against England..

  • kundan on June 27, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    I firmly believe that the Lankans are much better team than England and Australia...and believe me its not the fault of BCCI or ICC that the POMS and Kangaroos are sliding down the rankings!!!...and people does it make any sense to talk about any new regulations or technology brought by ICC if you don't even know the ABCD of that...please don't unnecessarily increase the animosity on every comments section...LONG LIVE CRICKET!

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    Well done SL! It again showed us how experience is very vital in an international match and how we won the WC in 1996 and why couldn't SL repeat it in 2011. What SL lacked in the final? When KP and Morgan were going really well Sanath together with Malinga turned the match towards SL's way. 3 regular leggies to start with and a faster straighter one, which really surprised KP and bowled. Can anyone name a single player who can replace Sanath? Either with bat or ball he always proves his class. If we had Santh and Vass in the team, we could have won the WC. When India was going strongly there was no one to turn it around. At Whankade , we shouted at Sanga that the match was going India's way and do something to turn it around, but there was no one to do something special. If the senior players have voiced against taking Sanath (and Vass too) in to the teams in the WC and in the present, shame on them. That's not patriotism. Sanath, all the very best in your final match for Sri Lanka!

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    Jayasuriya made just 8 runs? Pathetic...I'm glad he's only playing 1 ODI...

  • uditha on June 27, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    @radhakris "india had 6 decisions against them" then why don't agree with UDRS. it is the belief that luck would save their games. this is about ind- eng tour. hey fellows u won't get flat wickets in Eng. get prepared for grassy wicket extra bounce. All eng fast bowlers are well above 6 ft so make sure to protect ur head like Yuvi did in the IPL against Malinga...Spinners like Bhaji won't make a considersble impact on the eng.....

  • sanjaya on June 27, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    I like these two matches India vs Sri Lanka. 1st SL scored highest total 952 for 6 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63762.html 2nd India All Out for 54 in an ODI against Sri Lanka http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65900.html

  • sachit on June 27, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    @mrgupta - ok if it is in tests i agree because No longer is Malinga available and mendis is now more of a line-and-length bowler rather than the potential wicket taker we saw. As a result SL's test bowling line up is weakened.

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