Sri Lanka in England / Features

England v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Headingley

England feel the Jayasuriya effect

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

On the Ball with S Rajesh

July 1, 2006

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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 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.

Highest first-wicket partnerships in ODIs
Pair Partnership Against Venue and year
Tharanga-Jayasuriya 286 England Headingley, 2006
Ganguly-Tendulkar 258 Kenya Paarl, 2001-02
Ganguly-Tendulkar 252 Sri Lanka Colombo, 1998
Atapattu-Jayasuriya 237 Australia Sydney, 2002-03
Gibbs-Kirsten 235 India Kochi, 1999-2000

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.

Most runs conceded in ODIs
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

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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