First One-day International


At Khettarama Stadium, Colombo, March 10 (day/night). Sri Lanka won on scoring-rate. Toss: Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan leg, with Gooch safely back in England and Stewart taking over the captaincy, began with England's worst one-day performance of the tour so far. It ensured a losing double for team manager Fletcher, who was captain when Sri Lanka gained their only other one-day international victory over England in 1981-82, and Gatting, who played in both matches. The bowling in the closing stages of Sri Lanka's innings was particularly inept. England bowled ten wides and 11 no-balls in all; Defreitas was entrusted with only three overs and Jarvis and Reeve were hit especially hard.

The only other survivor of Sri Lanka's previous win, their captain Ranatunga, feasted on the bowling before Tillekeratne and Jayasuriya gorged themselves in an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 70 in just six overs. Heavy rain interrupted England's reply at 67 for three in the 20th over, reducing their target from 251 in 47 to an eminently achievable 203 in 38. But once Hick and Fairbrother were out the rest was a formality.

Man of the Match: H. P. Tillekeratne.

© John Wisden & Co