Cook's calculations pay off
Selection of the day
The Saturday morning newspapers reported that Stuart Broad had been left out for the deciding match and that was confirmed by Alastair Cook at the toss. It wasn't dressed up, either, as Cook said the move was a "tactical decision" as they wanted to play Samit Patel as a second spinner. Broad, who took his only wickets of the series in the previous match, has been carrying a heel niggle since the third Test at The Rose Bowl but injury doesn't appear to have been the deciding factor. Broad later tweeted: "Gutted not to be playing today but taking full advantage of being told to get my feet up!!" So two weeks after leading his country in the Twenty20, Broad was on the sidelines.
Useful comeback of the day
Dhammika Prasad wasn't in the original one-day squad but was called up to replace the injured Dilhara Fernando and has had to wait until now for his chance. His performance suggested he could have been worth a game or two earlier in the series. Having seen the England openers score freely, Prasad gave Sri Lanka some control as he removed Craig Kieswetter with a ball that kept low then found Kevin Pietersen's outside edge with one that climbed a touch. After six overs he had 2 for 26 and it was a surprise that he didn't bowl again.
Figures of the day
Suraj Randiv is part of the future of Sri Lanka's spin bowling in the post-Muralitharan era and has caused England problems during this series. He is a tall offspinner who gets quite a bit of bounce, which was evident in both the ball that spun to remove Alastair Cook and the one that took Tim Bresnan's top edge. His 5 for 42 were a new career-best, beating the 3 for 23 he took against Zimbabwe last year, and were largely responsible for England making 55 for 6 in their last 13.2 overs.
Headless rush of the day
Dinesh Chandimal is another with a huge part to play in taking this Sri Lanka team forward. His 54 off 64 balls lifted Sri Lanka from trouble at 29 for 3 and the momentum was swinging their way. When he attacked he did so with no half measures - including a thumping straight six off Tim Bresnan - but, in the end, his youthful aggression was too much. Charging down the pitch he attempted to launch Graeme Swann over the leg side, lost his shape, and was comfortably stumped.
Decisions of the day
Alastair Cook has earned his stripes over the last two weeks. He has racked up 298 runs at a strike-rate of 96.75 and then showed his skills as captain as this match came to a tight finish. Cook had to ensure he had enough overs from his death bowlers at the end, but also had to bowl Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan during the batting Powerplay. He gave Samit Patel the 47th over and he broke the vital stand between Jeevan Mendis and Angelo Mathews, then Cook had to work out the order of his quicks. First it was James Anderson and when Dernbach claimed two in two in the 49th over it had all worked out perfectly for Cook.
Ball (s) of the day
And what an effort it was by Dernbach to close out the match. To have the confidence in his skills to deliver a back-of-the-hand slower ball to the in-form Mathews with his first ball back was outstanding. He completely confounded the batsman who spooned to backward point. Then, next ball, he speared an inswinging yorker at Malinga's toes - the master of such deliveries himself - and it rebounded back to clip the stumps. Cue massive celebrations from the home side.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo