England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, The Oval May 22, 2014

All-round Jordan brings a smile back to England


England 247 for 6 (Ballance 64, Bell 50, Root 45, Jordan 38*, Senanayake 3-30) beat Sri Lanka 144 (Jayawardene 35, Dilshan 33, Jordan 3-25, Tredwell 3-38) by 81 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:29
'You'd put your mortgage on Chris Jordan'

For Sri Lanka, this was a one-day international that will not live long in the memory, a match ruined by rain. But that is only half the story. For England, it was much more than that. It was a match worth remembering: a match that uplifted spirits, created smiles and brought hopes that after a tormented tour of Australia all was not lost. And it was a match that insisted, not for the first time, that England had a new entertainer in their midst.

England won not just because of the rain - although the second interruption, during Sri Lanka's innings, came along at a convenient time - but because of Chris Jordan. His unbeaten 38 from 13 balls at the end of England's innings swung the game in England's favour. His three wickets confirmed that Sri Lanka would not remedy what had become an impossible situation. His fielding was pretty spritely, too.

Several rain interruptions wrecked the game - just utter the words Duckworth-Lewis and people lose interest, the only thing worth analysing being the bottom of a warm pint of beer - but Jordan made a celebration of it all the same.

With all the talk of a new start in place, with a new coach, Peter Moores, talking of encouraging individuality, Jordan was just what England needed: a blithe spirit. He ran riot in the closing overs and much later after another stoppage he browbeat Sri Lanka with three wickets. England, living off his positive mood, felt powerful again.

Jordan's ebullience has made him one of the most appealing faces in England's new order. Sixty runs spilled from the last four overs as he smashed an unbeaten 38 from 13 balls, finishing with a length-ball six over long on against Lasith Malinga and a meaningful tuck of bat under arm, job done. As many as 93 came from the last seven overs. Malinga, so often England's tormentor, had never conceded as many against them in an ODI: 71 from eight wicketless overs.

Sri Lanka's chase of what started as 259 in 39 overs - before that became something else - foundered from the outset. Lahiru Thirimanne, back as opener after Sri Lanka dropped Kusal Perera to find room for Dinesh Chandimal, fell lbw for nought to an inswinger from James Anderson in the first over; Kumar Sangakkara was not the first to work out the cranky bowling style of England's left-armer Harry Gurney and dragged on.

Then came the rain; then came Jordan. Three balls after the resumption, Tillakaratne Dilshan flung the bat at a wide one and perished to a neat catch by Gurney at third man. Chandimal and Kulasekara, promoted in desperation, both followed to catches at the wicket.

There was a big wicket, too, for James Tredwell, so bereft of first-class form for the past year that he has been left out by Kent, but shrewd enough to sneak out Mahela Jayawardene at midwicket. He, too, finished with three wickets, but without the same pzazz. Such is his lot. "Poor effort by the whole team," said Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's captain.

Three wickets for Sachithra Senanayake, an offspinner with the additional sleight of hand rarely seen in the English game, had kept England in check until Jordan took charger. His variations were subtle, but certainly effective as he dismissed Eoin Morgan, Gary Ballance and Ravi Bopara to record 3 for 30, his best return in 30 ODIs.

Ballance acquitted himself well at No. 3 with a punchy 64 from 72 balls, surviving the rain interruption midway through his innings. He is not the most elegant batsman in the world, but his impressive first-class form has suggested a good business brain and he exhibited that here.

Ian Bell's orderly half century brought tranquillity and a sense of organisation to England's top order in the first of these five ODIs. He was dismissed to the last ball before rain intervened for the first time. Deceived by Mathews' slower ball, he helped it to Malinga at short fine leg. He had survived a Sri Lankan review earlier in Mathews' over: Mathews' lbw decision refused both by umpire Rob Bailey and the TV adjudicator.

Bell, whose most authoritative blow was an easeful straight six in Thisara Perera's first over, was again the emollient figure at the heart of this England side: England's favourite moisturiser to help them through a dry, sore phase in their history. Alastair Cook's form needs more moisturiser than most: his awkward stay ended when he edged a wide one from Kulasekera to the wicketkeeper, Sangakkara and he was also dropped on 1 in Kulasekera's first over, a tough chance to Dilshan, diving high to his right at backward point.

Morgan was promoted to No. 4 after the skies cleared, but he fell third ball to Senanayake, chopping on a ball flicked out of the front of the hand. Ballance holed out at deep midwicket and Ravi Bopara, who was playing despite dislocating a finger just before the toss, fell lbw sweeping.

A jaunty contribution from Joe Root, England thought, might only bring 225. At the end of the game, the discussion might be of Senanayake and of England's frailties against unconventional spin. A lusty burst of rain, and an even lustier bout of hitting by Jordan soon put paid to that notion.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Monoz on May 27, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    @Dhoni48: There are some other interesting statistics as well. See the win/loss ratio of SL,IND,PAK and BAN against SA,AUS and ENG in away/neutral last 5 years.

    Overall (Test,ODI,T20): SL-1.04, PAK-0.53,IND-0.46, Ban-0.20 Test: PAK-0.54,SL-0.16, IND-0.10, Ban-0.00 ODI: SL-1.14, Ban-0.50,IND-0.45, PAK-0.40 T20:SL-2.33, IND-1.00, PAK-0.75, Ban-0.00


  • Marlon on May 24, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    @Dhoni48, yes I agree Sri Lanka has not won a test match in India and not won a bilateral ODI series against India since 1997.

    Ok but see how long India took to create history in Pakistan. Took 72 years since getting test status to register the first ever test win against Pakistan in Pakistan which only happened in 2004. Sri Lanka already has 6 test wins against Pakistan in Pakistan.

  • Marlon on May 24, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    @Worldcricketlover on (May 23, 2014, 19:39 GMT), completely wrong! Yes Sri Lanka is poor in ODI cricket outside sub continent and that is why they won against England 5-0 in 2006 right? Because Sri Lanka are poor in ODI cricket which was why they won 2-1 in Australia in late 2010? Because they are poor in ODI cricket was why they won the Morocco Cup tri series in 2002 ah? Then what about the ample tournament victories for Sri Lanka in Sharjah??

    Also look at the the test wins for Sri Lanka in NZ and England since 1998 as we have 2 each. India only have 1 win in NZ and just 2 test wins in England. So you are totally wrong. Look at India, only 1 test win in NZ for the last 19 years and only 2 test wins in England for the past 18 years. Because Sri Lanka are weak outside sub continent it managed to tie a test series against Pakistan in UAE this year right?

    Ok so world T20 win this year was a fluke? I see your mentality and no surprise.

  • Samantha on May 24, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    When you think about the upcoming Test series in Eng, the obvious question is, do we have any opener with experience to partner Dilshan in those conditions? We have Kaushal Silva, who is new. Although, Tharanga had been given just 15 Tests, he had accumulated 713 Test Runs, Averaging 28.52 , 165 HS + 3 x 50+ scores during that short period in Test format.

    When you consider his ability to stay at the wicket, in any condition, and his recent performances in SL-A, I think Tharanga is a worthwhile option to try out in Tests too, especially in England.

    His unique record of long partnerships in ODIs, is a Golden Testimony for his ability to stay at the wicket to play a long inning. Which is the prime factor required from a Test batsmen.

    Upul Tharanga is holding the WORLD-RECORD for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODI. He has involved SEVEN times in 200+ PARTNERSHIPS for SL!. The only other player in the world, who has equaled this World Record, is Aussie player Ricky Ponting

  • karthik on May 24, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    @harmony111.Ok i got those stats wrong but now these wont be wrong.Srilanka hasnt won a bilateral odi series against ind since 1997.sl hasnt won a test in india till now

  • Paulo on May 24, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    @Nutcutlet re Carberry's elevation I think it happened by accident. I think he was picked ahead of Compton as a better 12th man. England were to open with Root. Cook got injured for the first warm-up so Carberry played and scored a fifty. He earnt the right to play the next match where he scored that hundred. Then England had to give him the test place.

  • Paulo on May 24, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    @Nutcutlet @JG2704 Carberry's time must surely be up. He has just looked uncomfortable throughout his brief England career. I'm pretty certain in tests that England will go with Robson and have Ballance in the top 5. Add in Root, Cook and Bell, and there's no room for Carberry unless they only pick 4 bowlers.

  • Marlon on May 24, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    @Shane Bond, no it was definitely Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana who pioneered the first 15 over blitz approach. That was what helped Sri Lanka win the 1996 world cup and give Jayasuriya the man of the series award. In that 1996 world cup, it was the first 15 overs which decided the game. Atherton following the quarter finals against said that authorities must take action to change the rules following the Jayasuriya blitz in Faisalabad.

    When you talk of ignorant people commenting here, look at what Dhoni48 says. He says Sri Lanka have not won a single test in England and NZ when actually we have won 2 tests each in both countries.

  • world on May 23, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    well all asians know that Sri Lanka is poor in test cricket and ODI outside subcontinent . This is again prove that . They were high bcz of ODI win against BD who lost against associate nation too now days. One fluke final win in WCT 20. But i appreciate the fact that Malinga bowled brilliant final over just few days back in T 20 when he was captain but in ODI. May be he need captaincy in ODI too. I still remember how he shamelessly he caught world cup trophy not even called poor chandimal.

  • john on May 23, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Hardly any surprise for me in this game. It was absolutely certain that Sangakkara would fail - he can only bat on Asian wickets. Mahela was supposed to get a mediocre score - and he did. Malinga is becoming increasingly predictable - and he was (backed by poor field setting). Angelo was supposed to play a lone hand - and he did. Chandimal - I do not think he deserves to be commented upon.

    SL is quite likely to lose the next match too. By playing conventional cricket with dull cricketers, SL will never do well in England. With full respect to seniors and their records, SL cricket will only prosper once these so called big 3 retires. Having dropped Sangakkaara, Mahela, and Chandimal and included players such as Kusal, Vithanage, and Tharanga SL will have some opportunity to save the blushes. At least that will be an investment for the future.