At Manchester, July 9. England won by 16 runs. Toss: England. One-day international debut: F. D. M. Karunaratne.
After four one-sided contests, the series reached a dramatic conclusion as Dernbach sealed a 3-2 triumph for England with two wickets in two balls. Mathews and Mendis were on course to win it for Sri Lanka during a sixth-wicket stand of 102, but panic set in as the last five fell for 19 in 14 deliveries, including Mathews, deceived by Dernbach's slower ball. He yorked Malinga next ball, leaving Cook's team to celebrate a series victory that had seemed unlikely after the Lord's defeat. This was Old Trafford's first international since Lancashire rotated the square by 90 degrees. After studying the surface, England made their only change of the series, drafting in Patel in place of the out-of-form Broad. Their innings was dominated by two partnerships. Cook and Kieswetter set the tone with 85 inside 13 overs, then - after England lost three for 14 in the batting powerplay, bravely taken after 12 overs - Trott and Morgan added 118, laying the foundations for a total of around 300. But a slow pitch demanded patience: Morgan hit only two fours in 60 balls, and his demise prompted a collapse. England's bowlers responded with discipline. Bresnan removed both openers, including the hapless Dilshan, caught by Dernbach at long leg for his fifth consecutive single-figure score, and Anderson took care of Jayawardene, who had been badly dropped on six, also by Dernbach at long leg. Sangakkara and Chandimal fought back with a stand of 94 but, when both fell in quick succession, England were favourites. Still the pendulum swung and, with Sri Lanka requiring 17 off two overs with two wickets left, it needed Dernbach's sleight of hand to settle matters.
Man of the Match: I. J. L. Trott. Attendance: 19,236.
Man of the Series: A. N. Cook.