England v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Edgbaston June 3, 2014

Jayawardene finds the gap

Plays of the day from the fifth and final one-day international between England and Sri Lanka

Missed chance of the day
The game was in the balance when Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne came together. Sri Lanka were 62 for 3 and looking uncomfortable against both Tredwell and the excellent James Anderson. But if England were to defend their modest total, they needed to take every chance. With the score on 77 and Jawawardene on 8, he edged a probing delivery from Harry Gurney only to see the ball pass between Chris Jordan, at first slip, and Jos Buttler, the keeper. Some will blame Buttler; others Jordan. Certainly the ball appeared closer to Jordan than Buttler. But the fault was more tactical. By trying to spread the reach of the slip, England had positioned Jordan much wider than a traditional first slip position, meaning that such incidents were an accident waiting to happen.

Giant slaying of the day
At first glance, it appeared an unequal battle. It pitted Kumar Sangakkara, one of the great players of spin, a man with nearly 13,000 ODI runs, a man who could play spin bowling before he grew teeth, against James Tredwell. That's James Tredwell the gentle offspinner without a doosra; the gentle offspinner that cannot currently hold down a place in Kent's Championship side; the gentle offspinner who has played nearly 350 fewer ODIs than his adversary. But on this Edgbaston surface that is starting to gain a reputation as something of a spinner's paradise, it was Tredwell who prevailed with a peach of a ball, delivered from round the wicket, that drifted in towards the batsman, drew him into a stroke and turned sharply to take the edge. Jordan, at slip, dived to his left to claim a fine catch. But it was Tredwell's perfect delivery that had earned England a valuable wicket.

Tactical change-up of the day
Having moved smoothly enough to 46 without loss from the first ten overs, England chose to take the batting Powerplay at the earliest possible opportunity. Presumably hoping to mitigate damage later in the innings, when losing wickets can put a greater check on the scoring, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell continued in their groove, adding 30 runs from the next 29 balls before Bell plinked a return catch to Ajantha Mendis. Steady but unspectacular: it's the England way. Just like the collapse that followed.

Eventful over of the day
Angelo Mathews began the 31st over with an ambitious review of an lbw appeal against Ravi Bopara, which was proved to be too high, but it was the batsmen who trumped him for scatty thinking. Bopara nearly ran himself out off the third delivery, a tip-and-run to mid-off, then Eoin Morgan had to throw himself back to the crease to beat a direct hit from backward point. Those warnings were not enough to prevent Morgan scooping the next ball, Mathews' fifth, straight to deep-backward square leg as England slipped to 142 for 5.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Alan Gardner is an Assistant Editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Marlon on June 7, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Oh Mahela you are awesome! One of the greatest batsman of the cricket world. You are a living legend.

  • No featured comments at the moment.