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After having lost four successive ODIs in the series against Sri Lanka, England would have thought they would finally break that depressing sequence when they rattled off 321 in the last match
July 1, 2006
After having lost four successive ODIs in the series against Sri Lanka, England would have thought they would finally break that depressing sequence when they rattled off 321 in the last match at The Oval. A face-saving win, perhaps? Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga, though, had other ideas which went something like this: how about a record opening partnership and a win inside 40 overs? After ten overs, they had blasted 133, and the deceleration in the rate thereafter was only when compared to the dizzying standards they had set.
When the partnership finally ended, England had been punch-drunk to the tune of 286 runs, scored in a small matter of 31.5 overs. The partnership beat the earlier record for the first wicket, between Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. That record, though, came against the rather modest Kenyan attack; this one came against - at least on paper - a much stronger attack.
|Pair||Partnership||Against||Venue and year|
|Ganguly-Tendulkar||252||Sri Lanka||Colombo, 1998|
Jayasuriya's contribution to the carnage was 152, off a mere 99 balls. The wagon-wheel below shows where the assault was concentrated: through the cover region, and the arc between backward square leg and mid-on. Those have always been Jayasuriya's favourite areas, and this time fetched him 112 of his runs, that's three-quarters of his total runs.
Jayasuriya was severe on all bowlers, but the ones who felt it the most were Kabir Ali and Tim Bresnan: Ali disappeared for 46 from 22 balls, Bresnan for 26 from nine. Steve Harmison was only marginally better, conceding 38 from 24. In all, Harmison went for 97 in his ten overs, the most runs conceded by an England bowler in a one-day international - beating Derek Pringle's 83 from ten in the 1987 World Cup against West Indies - and the fourth-most overall.
|Bowler||Analysis||Opponent||Venue & year|
|Mick Lewis||10-0-113-0||South Africa||Johannesburg, 2005-06|
|Martin Snedden||12-1-105-2||England||The Oval, 1983|
|Muttiah Muralitharan||10-0-99-0||Australia||Sydney, 2005-06|
|Steve Harmison||10-0-97-0||Sri Lanka||Headingley, 2006|
|Ashantha de Mel||10-0-97-1||West Indies||Karachi, 1987-88|
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches