First ODI

England v Sri Lanka in England, 2011

Nick Hoult

At The Oval, June 28 (day/night). England won by 110 runs (D/L method). Toss: Sri Lanka. One- day international debut: J. W. Dernbach.

Cook began life as England's full-time one-day captain - he had stood in for Strauss in Bangladesh in 2009-10, since when he had not played a limited-overs international - two days after being labelled a "plodder" with the bat and a "bit of a donkey" in the field, by Mike Atherton on television. Perhaps aware that Atherton's 54 one-day internationals had brought him a strike-rate of 58, albeit in a gentler age, Cook (who went into this game boasting a figure of 71) replied that "it takes one to know one", then fell to his third ball, strangled down the leg side. Rain intervened to reduce the contest to 32 overs each, but England's spirits were undampened. Kieswetter made merry almost a year after being dropped from the 50-over team, Morgan provided the mid-innings impetus, and Bresnan an emphatic punctuation mark. As in the Tests, Sri Lanka's batsmen - including Dilshan, returning after a broken finger - struggled against the moving ball in soggy conditions. They slumped to 15 for four under floodlights against Anderson, although it was Bresnan, feeling his way back from a calf injury, who ended the career of Jayasuriya, slashing anticlimactically to gully. Randiv and Malinga averted complete meltdown with a ninth-wicket stand of 52, but Cook was left to reflect - without the slightest trace of smugness - that "it doesn't get much better than that".

Man of the Match: J. M. Anderson. Attendance: 20,915.

© John Wisden & Co.
 
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