England v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Old Trafford July 8, 2011

Teams line up for series decider

42

Match facts

Saturday, July 9, Old Trafford
Start time 10:45am (0945 GMT)

Big Picture

It is not often that after four desperately one-sided games you can head into a final match all square. But that's exactly how Sri Lanka and England have ended up in this curious one-day series.

Despite the agonising over personnel, balance, batting orders, and plenty else, it has been conditions that have dictated this series. Given a surface with movement for the quicks and some clouds to help - as we saw at The Oval and Trent Bridge - England can overturn most sides. When the sun comes out and a pitch stays flat, however, they can barely even compete.

Unsurprisingly England made no secret of wanting to harness home advantage but Old Trafford may not serve up what Andy Flower and Alastair Cook demand. It is the first international match at the ground since the pitch was rotated 90 degrees and what was once the best strip in the country has now lost much of its pace and bounce.

Sri Lanka would have noted with some interest that Lancashire have been playing a spin-heavy attack in Twenty20 cricket this season. If forecasts prove right and the sun shines over Manchester, the tourists must start as favourites. Though they are without Suranga Lakmal, it is their spin duo of Suraj Randiv and Jeevan Mendis who, alongside Lasith Malinga, will be their biggest theat.

In his debut series as full-time captain Cook had many doubters to win over and his riposte could not have been more emphatic than his unbeaten 75-ball 95 to seal victory at Trent Bridge. Unlike his century in a losing cause the game before this innings suggested Cook had the resources to set the pace his team needs to follow. Cook admitted he couldn't remember "hitting the ball so sweetly", but he may have been equally right if he added he'd not faced bowling as accommodating.

It was an innings and victory that helped settle the grumblings after two heavy defeats but it is only on a surface less tailor-made for their team that England's progress can be gauged. Old Trafford may not provide the track Cook wants but it will be the test he and his team needs.

Form guide (most recent first)

England WLLWL
Sri Lanka LWWLL

In the spotlight

Tillakaratne Dilshan launched his England tour with three hundreds in four games, but a fractured thumb at Lord's - courtesy Chris Tremlett - disrupted his rhythm and since returning to the side for the one-dayers he has scraped together just 13 runs in four innings. Sri Lanka have managed to do more than simply keep the series alive without his regular contributions at the top of the order, but the pressure will surely be more keenly felt in Saturday's decider and the stage could well be set for a Dilshan special.

Stuart Broad broke a four-match wicket drought with two scalps at Trent Bridge, but they were hardly prestigious wickets - Suraj Randiv gloving down the leg side and Jeevan Mendis top-edging an uppercut - and he is still struggling back to his best. He's been publicly backed by his captain, but Tim Bresnan's return from injury and England's current surfeit of talented quicks means this may well be his last chance to nail down his place ahead of India's arrival.

Team news

"I think it's important we've stayed unchanged [in the series], it shows we've got faith in our cricketers," Alastair Cook said after England's series-levelling win at Trent Bridge, but there were reports late on Friday that Stuart Broad wouldn't play due to a bruised heel. That could mean a call-up for Samit Patel and the Old Trafford wicket has been noticeably favourable to the spinners in recent domestic Twenty20 matches. Steven Finn is another option.

England (possible) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alastair Cook (capt), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ian Bell, 7 Samit Patel 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Jade Dernbach.

Sri Lanka may have more cause for tinkering than their hosts. They may well lose their leading wicket-taker Suranga Lakmal, who has picked up a side strain, with Dhammika Prasad and Thisara Perera the two most likely replacements. Given the conditions, Ajantha Mendis could also come into the equation. It's also quite possible that Thilina Kandamby, despite being vice-captain, could be dropped after contributing just 36 runs in his last three innings and looking unfit for the demands of limited-overs cricket. If that's the case, opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne could be in line for an international debut, and if he slots in to the opening position Dilshan will be bumped down to No. 3.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Suraj Randiv, 11 Lasith Malinga.

Pitch and conditions

This will be Old Trafford's first international since the square was rotated to prevent problems caused by the setting sun in autumn as part of ambitious redevelopment plans. No relaying has taken place, the new wickets being basically made up of the old ones, and it's said to have lost a lot of the pace it used to have. Recent scores in domestic Twenty20s have been low - Derbyshire were restricted to just 81 for 8 here last week - and taking pace off the ball could be key. Manchester was dank and grey on Friday but Saturday is expected to be warmer, with sunny intervals and a high of 20.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka have never lost an ODI to England at Old Trafford, winning by 23 runs in 2002 and 33 in 2006. Their only one-day defeat at the ground came against West Indies at the 1975 World Cup.

  • Alastair Cook has scored more runs than anyone else in the first four games of this series, with 267 at an average of 89, with one hundred and one fifty at a strike rate of 97.80. Not bad for a plodder.

  • Lancashire spinners Stephen Parry and Gary Keedy have taken a combined 6 for 74 in 16 overs in Lancashire's last two home Twenty20s. Lancashire have seen fit to play three frontline spinners on several occasions, with Simon Kerrigan also coming into the mix.

  • England have won 19 out of the 30 ODIs they've played at Old Trafford, but for the best part of a decade didn't find the ground to their liking. Since 2000, they've lost five of the nine games they've played there, with one match abandoned, but prevailed in two tight games against India and Australia in the last two ODIs in 2007 and 2010.

    Quotes

    "We've got a final. We fought back well at Trent Bridge and I'm excited to be able to beat Sri Lanka over a five-match series."
    Alastair Cook is keen to seize his chance for a second series win as England one-day captain

    Sahil Dutta and Liam Brickhill are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • -Aila- on July 9, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    so people still think England can't compete in unfamiliar conditions and Anderson not able to bowl when there is no swing? ;) I'm glad England proved today that I was right. Because it's true. I was at Old Trafford today and the sun was seriously beating down. And there was nothing in the pitch for the seamers. Yet England completed the job

  • on July 9, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    English has the higher chances to win the game.If the pitch and condition would be same as trent bridge sri lanka will be in a big trouble.Congratulation...............................................eNG

  • Roar911 on July 9, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    wish we could exchange a wicket keeper for a fast bowler with pakistan! :)

  • Sakthiivel on July 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Go England go!! Send the Visitors home with empty hands as usual .,

  • on July 9, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Go Lanka Go. Its the best chance keeping in mind the conditions will suit them better than thay are for England.

  • yorkslanka on July 9, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @ landl~ ps apologies for the term "silly" about your comments in my last post, that was not the correct word to use by me, i welcome a healthy debate but do not wish to insult and no offence was intended my friend...

  • yorkslanka on July 9, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @landl, of course Sri Lanka's batting was bad in those matches you mention, otherwise we wouldn't have lost?you are trying to compare apples and oranges my friend, you cant compare results unless they are played on the same wicket..hope we play ajantha mendis today as i have been to old trafford twice in the last two months and in both matches, both teams opened with spinners and they did really well...for me, Kandamby must be dropped with karunaratne opening with dilshan and mahela back to three where he will be when our regular opener is back...come on Sri Lanka....

  • Mindmeld on July 9, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Re. Anderson, @Aila, I think you'll find that the last Ashes series featured the wettest conditions on record, played in the wettest summer in 100 years in Australia. He was part of a team that bowled first on green wickets in 4/5 tests. In the only test where he had to bowl second, Australia took a 200 run lead on the first innings. Make no mistake, conditions played a huge part in Anderson's Ashes performance, and thus England's. By the time of the one day series which Australia won 6-1, the rain had pretty much stopped, and pitches were flatter and dryer, as is normal for one dayers in most countries. But more to the point, the AIR was dryer by that point, so much less swing. I think there are still legitimate questions about Anderson's ability to bowl in dry, flat conditions. He's not really very fast, and relies greatly on movement. No doubt though that he's a force to be reckoned with on a wet day.

  • yasask on July 9, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    My XI for Sri Lanka

    1. dimuth karunaratne 2. mahela 3. dilly 4. chandi/sanga 5. sanga/chandi 6. angi 7. jeevan 8. perera 9. randiv 10. malinga 11. prasad

  • on July 9, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    hope lots from mahela .... whoaaaa!!!!!

  • -Aila- on July 9, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    so people still think England can't compete in unfamiliar conditions and Anderson not able to bowl when there is no swing? ;) I'm glad England proved today that I was right. Because it's true. I was at Old Trafford today and the sun was seriously beating down. And there was nothing in the pitch for the seamers. Yet England completed the job

  • on July 9, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    English has the higher chances to win the game.If the pitch and condition would be same as trent bridge sri lanka will be in a big trouble.Congratulation...............................................eNG

  • Roar911 on July 9, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    wish we could exchange a wicket keeper for a fast bowler with pakistan! :)

  • Sakthiivel on July 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Go England go!! Send the Visitors home with empty hands as usual .,

  • on July 9, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Go Lanka Go. Its the best chance keeping in mind the conditions will suit them better than thay are for England.

  • yorkslanka on July 9, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @ landl~ ps apologies for the term "silly" about your comments in my last post, that was not the correct word to use by me, i welcome a healthy debate but do not wish to insult and no offence was intended my friend...

  • yorkslanka on July 9, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @landl, of course Sri Lanka's batting was bad in those matches you mention, otherwise we wouldn't have lost?you are trying to compare apples and oranges my friend, you cant compare results unless they are played on the same wicket..hope we play ajantha mendis today as i have been to old trafford twice in the last two months and in both matches, both teams opened with spinners and they did really well...for me, Kandamby must be dropped with karunaratne opening with dilshan and mahela back to three where he will be when our regular opener is back...come on Sri Lanka....

  • Mindmeld on July 9, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Re. Anderson, @Aila, I think you'll find that the last Ashes series featured the wettest conditions on record, played in the wettest summer in 100 years in Australia. He was part of a team that bowled first on green wickets in 4/5 tests. In the only test where he had to bowl second, Australia took a 200 run lead on the first innings. Make no mistake, conditions played a huge part in Anderson's Ashes performance, and thus England's. By the time of the one day series which Australia won 6-1, the rain had pretty much stopped, and pitches were flatter and dryer, as is normal for one dayers in most countries. But more to the point, the AIR was dryer by that point, so much less swing. I think there are still legitimate questions about Anderson's ability to bowl in dry, flat conditions. He's not really very fast, and relies greatly on movement. No doubt though that he's a force to be reckoned with on a wet day.

  • yasask on July 9, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    My XI for Sri Lanka

    1. dimuth karunaratne 2. mahela 3. dilly 4. chandi/sanga 5. sanga/chandi 6. angi 7. jeevan 8. perera 9. randiv 10. malinga 11. prasad

  • on July 9, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    hope lots from mahela .... whoaaaa!!!!!

  • stormy16 on July 9, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    I fail to see why some of you are still debating the conditions - I think the article and series results speaks for that. I reckon Eng should give Patel ago in place of Broad. From what I read the wicket may assist the slower bowlers and Patel can hit down the order and if the wicket doesnt have pace (ok lets not start a debate) Broad will be least effective. SL have a few decisions to make I would include Karunarathne for Kandambi and Perera for Lakmal. I wouldnt play Ajantha Mendis. SL's fast bowling stocks injuries are a serious concern given the leading bowlers of Pradeep, Dilhara and now Lakmal have all broken down.

  • on July 9, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    sri lanka will face a tough situation today. England has the higher chances to win the gamesri lanka will face a tough situation today. England has the higher chances to win the game

  • on July 9, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Sri lanka's middle is still a concern.If the pitch and condition would be same as trent bridge sri lanka will be in a big trouble.ENG has the higher chances to win the game.Sri lanka's middle is still a concern.If the pitch and condition would be same as trent bridge sri lanka will be in a big trouble.ENG has the higher chances to win the game.

  • saichander on July 9, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    A SERIES WIN BY SRILANKA IS VERYMUCH ON THE CARDS. THE TEAM BATTING FIRST IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY THE SERIES, HOPEFULLY SRILANKA.

  • landl47 on July 9, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    @yorkslanka: on those 'bowler friendly surfaces' England scored 229-8 at over 7 an over and 171-0, also at over 7 an over. Either Sri Lanka's batting was bad or their bowling was worse. Whichever it is, they've been less consistent than England, haven't they? @stationmaster: do you actually know who Bell is? He's the guy who got 2 hundreds and 2 fiftes in the test series in 4 innings, 3 not out. He's batting in ODIs at #6, in which position he either has to throw his bat at the end of the innings and give away his wicket if necessary, or dig England out of a hole if the top order hasn't made runs. So far he's had to throw his bat once and dig England out twice. In the 2 games he's had to dig England out he's made 35 and 30 and been in partnerships of 57 and 72. Who do you imagine is out there who would perform better? Bell gets chances because apart from Alastair Cook (who's batting out of his head) he's England's best batsman at the moment. Check his record and see.

  • RecordHunter on July 9, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    Good idea to Include Dimuth @ the top order and Dilshan at 3rd. Then 3 Experienced batsmen are @1,3 & 5th slots. Or Else SL would choose this game as the FAIR WELL OF KANDAMBY?....

  • lieghe2002 on July 9, 2011, 2:39 GMT

    To day no kandambhi good we will win today good luck Sri Lanka go and get the series

  • -Aila- on July 9, 2011, 2:10 GMT

    @ everybody whining against me about England losing 6-1 in Australia: I was talking about the fact that England trashed Australia during the Ashes. So ít's NOT that they can't compete on unfamiliar surfaces as is stated in this article. Furthermore, Anderson is criticized once more that he is only a good bowler when the ball swings. Which is not the case, as he did a good job in Australia during the ashes. Which is also a thing I wanted to point out with that. You guys are so short of memory, unbelievable. Accept the fact that Anderson has become a good bowler over the years, NOT only in swinging conditions. Accept the fact that the SL loss was due to their own inability and not because of the pitch. Cook and Kieswetter had absolutely no problems with it even considering the fact that it had rained just before the England innings

  • stationmaster on July 9, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    I admire Cook's feelings about wanting to stay unchanged, but in reality, Broad and especially Bell, have to give others a chance now. Bell seems to have a golden contract of 'never having to convert starts, ever' and still hold your place. The whole nation is wondering why no else gets the chances he does ?

  • shaileshacharya123 on July 9, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    comon MALI,,if mali sign then boucer,,short ball yorker..WOW

  • kothumalli11 on July 8, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    I don't know why we are not getting excuses like Anderson is swinging the ball, Broad is too fast and bouncy, Swann is spinning and not giving away runs, this is one day cricket they should be batsman friendly bowlers, like what we have in SL team etc.

  • on July 8, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    @jackiepthepen you are right but preparing pitches to suit home team should be only used in test cricket.One day cricket makes for better viewing on high scoring pitches.And its not the world cup or anything...

  • shruggy63 on July 8, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    It's been drizzly wet here in Manchester (there's a surprise) but it's enough to make the toss fairly arbitrary. I'm pretty confident that both sides will be able to make 20+ overs at least but if I had to choose I'd go for bowling first. If there's any sun it'll be in the afternoon.

  • yorkslanka on July 8, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    @ landl- your comments about England playing better because they scored more in the two losses is silly,of course they scored more, both tracks were flat batting wickets! The matches SL lost were both on bowler friendly surfaces- therefore the scores would be less...the fact is both teams have won their games with ease so far.

  • jackiethepen on July 8, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Rain in England pays no attention to early or late. May and June can be drier than July and August. We're having a wet summer because we had a dry winter after Christmas. As for all the fuss about England not being able to play on flat pitches. Hold on. Sri Lanka at home aren't told their victories don't count because they can't play in "English" seaming conditions. We are IN ENGLAND and the pitches that our batsmen usually play on tend to support swing bowling in damp weather conditions. Why on earth should we prepare pitches to suit visitors who apparently can't play so well on them?

  • Hasan2012 on July 8, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    Sunny = Sri Lanka Win. Saturday Weather at Old Trafford, Manchester is Sunny = Sri Lanka Win. Come on Malinga we need you to win the series for Sri Lanka. As said above '' Sri Lanka have never lost an ODI to England at Old Trafford '' = Sri Lanka Win. everything points to Sri Lanka Win.

  • DwightR on July 8, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    not only is the ODI series tied at 2-2 but the tour is tied 1-1 with Eng winning the tests and SL the T20. so go SL!

  • 5wombats on July 8, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    People commenting on the 6-1 in Australia need to remember; no-one actually cared.

  • Saim93 on July 8, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    I support Sri Lanka, may they win the series 3-2

  • Japan.Kolla on July 8, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    I think sri lanka shud use Dimuth as an opener with mahela. Dilshan can bat @ no 3. Kandamby is such a waste for the team. Thilan is better than Kandamby cos he can bat through. But both of these players not good in da field and never shown good playing skills as a ODI Batsmen. Try Kandamby in Test. I cant understand why selectors put him into vice captain role. such a stupid thing, cos he even didnt feature as a regular player as a sri lankan odi playing 11.kandamby's time is runing out !

  • PDilE on July 8, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    If Lakmal is injured i think we should go for Ajantha Mendis or Thisara depending on conditions, and definitely not Prasad. If Dimiuth is included, i feel MJ should drop down to 3, which i think what MJ should be doing in the long term, specially when Upul Tharanga comes back. As for Dimuth/Ajantha & Thisara this game if they get the chance & the 2 games against Ireland & Scotland would be big opportunities to make use of for their future.

  • Mazharul on July 8, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Come on Sri lanka..come to reality...Don't mark anyone player for future..Try to get some output...Thilina kandamby is another Chamara Kapugedera..give chance another one like dimuth Karunaratne, laihiru thirimanne..Look Dinesh chandimal is far better than kapugedera..but u didn't select him for World cup...Come out of fantasy..

  • on July 8, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    @ aila:- England lost to Australia 6-1 in the ODI series after Ashes!

  • on July 8, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Sad to hear Old Trafford has become a dead pitch. Dead pitches usually = rubbish cricket. Best thing about that ground was that it would produce lots of wickets for exciting games, but runs if you were a good batsman too.

  • tjsimonsen on July 8, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    "It is the first international match at the ground since the pitch was rotated 90 degrees" - Does that mean it's now vertical? That would certainly make for an interesting match ;-)

  • Herath-UK on July 8, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Come to the final match of a series spoilt by weather gods throughout.England should think twice getting touring teams so early.It was sad for the large crowd at Trent Bridge to see a green top pitch given to Sri Lanka to get a win for England;Crowd comes to watch a high scoring games with good chase and ODI pitches should be flat and batting friendly.I'm sure Sri Lanka will romp home here Ranil Herath -Kent

  • dinom on July 8, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    @aila - England thrashed Australia in test matches (no one doubt England's ability in test), but do not forget that Australia thrashed England in ODI after the test series (it is the ODI that England is doubtful).

  • landl47 on July 8, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    If England go into a match on a pitch which is known to favor slow bowling with four seamers, they deserve to lose. In all but the most seam-friendly conditions (ie Nottingham in the last game) it's better to have at least two bowlers who take the pace off the ball. That was how England managed to go through 2010 without losing an ODI series. That said, SL's form has been much more up and down than England's. Even in the two matches they lost, Eng made 246-7 and 240. SL were rolled over for 121 and 174 in their two losses. However, if SL replace Lakmal with a spinner, they'll have an attack much more suited to the conditions than England's. Here's hoping for an exciting game.

  • killboi on July 8, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    @-Aila-

    You must be living on another planet coz as everyone see it, England were thrashed by Australia, 6-1

  • -Aila- on July 8, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    what a load of crap. As if England can't compete when it's sunny. Everybody has forgotten that England trashed Australia on Australian surfaces recently?

  • on July 8, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan supporter i am so relived to hear it's a slow turner.GO LIONS.May god bless Sri Lanka:)

  • yorkslanka on July 8, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    come on the sunshine for tomorrow, not for any strategic reason, just that i will be there !!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • yorkslanka on July 8, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    come on the sunshine for tomorrow, not for any strategic reason, just that i will be there !!!!

  • on July 8, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan supporter i am so relived to hear it's a slow turner.GO LIONS.May god bless Sri Lanka:)

  • -Aila- on July 8, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    what a load of crap. As if England can't compete when it's sunny. Everybody has forgotten that England trashed Australia on Australian surfaces recently?

  • killboi on July 8, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    @-Aila-

    You must be living on another planet coz as everyone see it, England were thrashed by Australia, 6-1

  • landl47 on July 8, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    If England go into a match on a pitch which is known to favor slow bowling with four seamers, they deserve to lose. In all but the most seam-friendly conditions (ie Nottingham in the last game) it's better to have at least two bowlers who take the pace off the ball. That was how England managed to go through 2010 without losing an ODI series. That said, SL's form has been much more up and down than England's. Even in the two matches they lost, Eng made 246-7 and 240. SL were rolled over for 121 and 174 in their two losses. However, if SL replace Lakmal with a spinner, they'll have an attack much more suited to the conditions than England's. Here's hoping for an exciting game.

  • dinom on July 8, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    @aila - England thrashed Australia in test matches (no one doubt England's ability in test), but do not forget that Australia thrashed England in ODI after the test series (it is the ODI that England is doubtful).

  • Herath-UK on July 8, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Come to the final match of a series spoilt by weather gods throughout.England should think twice getting touring teams so early.It was sad for the large crowd at Trent Bridge to see a green top pitch given to Sri Lanka to get a win for England;Crowd comes to watch a high scoring games with good chase and ODI pitches should be flat and batting friendly.I'm sure Sri Lanka will romp home here Ranil Herath -Kent

  • tjsimonsen on July 8, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    "It is the first international match at the ground since the pitch was rotated 90 degrees" - Does that mean it's now vertical? That would certainly make for an interesting match ;-)

  • on July 8, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Sad to hear Old Trafford has become a dead pitch. Dead pitches usually = rubbish cricket. Best thing about that ground was that it would produce lots of wickets for exciting games, but runs if you were a good batsman too.

  • on July 8, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    @ aila:- England lost to Australia 6-1 in the ODI series after Ashes!