Third match

England v Sri Lanka

At Brisbane, December 17, 2002 (day/night). England won by 43 runs. England 5 pts, Sri Lanka 1 pt. Toss: England. One-day international debut: S. J. Harmison.

It took 61 days, 14 matches and much exasperation before England finally claimed a victory on their Australian tour. The introduction of new, more fallible, opposition renewed their vigour and they destroyed Sri Lanka by following a perfectly executed strategy. First the batsmen, in particular Hussain and Stewart, paced the innings delightfully to reach a big total; then the bowlers finally obeyed captain's orders - straight and fast. But Anderson slipped in a slower one to dismiss Jayasuriya which had Hussain shouting "You're the man, Jimmy, you're the man", as weeks of frustration gave way to joy. Harmison, previously considered too unpredictable for one-day cricket, was given a start with the sole intention of exploiting Sri Lankan weakness against pace and bounce. The gamble worked: his two for 39 was reward for sustained speed allied to a good length. Sri Lanka's batsmen settled for a quiet recovery and a bonus point rather than a quest for victory.

Man of the Match: A. J. Stewart.

© John Wisden & Co