down the track, over the ropes, that'll do! After nearly 12 hours at Pallekele, some eight of those spent warming up and waiting, England seal a 2-0 series lead!
11.58pm So, it's been an unnecessarily long day, full of digressions, delays, and ultimately some flamboyant cricket from a mightily confident England team who have lived up to their pre-tour billing. And, well, it's now two minutes to midnight in Pallekele. Which, in light of everything we were (head)banging on about earlier today, feels distinctly apt. Goodnight all!
Eoin Morgan "It's been quite a long day, I can't fault our bowlers, Sri Lanka came out fighting early on but three of our bowlers were outstanding today. To restrict them to 150 on a surface like this was a fantastic effort."
"We bowled our slower balls and cutters really well. Can't praise the bowlers enough.
"Losing two wickets, there was potential for a stutter, but the wicket was too good."
Good headaches for England, he adds. "Lots of disappointed guys in the dressing room, but competition for places creates a very healthy atmosphere."
11.45pm Here are the presentations. Oh, and here's a gallery that Alan has lovingly compiled too ...
The Man of the Match is Adil Rashid for his 4 for 36 haul. "We bowled exceptionally well as a team. It came out nicely, I've been practising hard in the nets, and I've got a simple gameplan." And a simple interview technique too.
Thisara Perera speaks on behalf of Sri Lanka ... Chandimal is hors de combat for some unknown reason. But he'll be fine, we are assured.
11.39pm Sean H.: "Today's performance can be summarized by the top 5 batsmen from each team. Sri Lanka's top 5: 105 runs from 98 balls. England's top 5: 146 runs from 111 balls." It can also be summarised by the split of Sri Lanka's innings. 45 for 0 after four overs. 105 for 9 in their next 17...
Ishan G : "@Devamithra: Morgan's strike rate was 118, Chandimal's was 81. Definitely not "run-a-ball"." Well there you go, a nonsensical gripe is proven to be even more nonsensical. Next!
11.34pm A seven-wicket win, sealed in style in spite of the abysmal weather and even worse scheduling. England are guaranteed a share of the series at least, and it's hard to see how they'll be denied by a team whose morale is pretty low at present. An off-night for Malinga after his five-wicket heroics at Dambulla, and though Akila threatened, there's was little to prevent England cruising home.
Devamithra: "Wow, While Morgan is praised for his run-a-ball innings, Chandimal is being criticized for same. #DoubleStandards" Not remotely the same context, but at least Chandimal hung around. The sense was that Morgan had unused extra gears, whereas Sri Lanka's batsmen were permanently at their limits
Siva: "Im just asking myself: Would England play the same way if say, Stokes was captain.. and I think yes.. Agreed, Morgan brought this style and the team bought it.. But doesnt mean hes indispensible, even as captain..." Morgan has a tactical awareness and a man-management sense that goes way beyond what you see in the final analysis
nurdled to the leg side, another single
a dirty full toss, dumped through the covers. Oh well. Tomorrow's a new day
Nine to win. Not long to go now ...
on the pads, deflects fine
Dez: "50 from Morgan but surely Curran for MOM?" Either him or Rashid. Four wickets for a leggie in damp weather is exceptional
retreating to leg to free up the arms, a cracking drive into the off side
flogged into the covers, not quite there for the stroke
nudged off the hip
Mohd Irshad: "Is that the same Morgan guy, suggesting to be sitting on bench during world cup if needs to be?" He was obliged to volunteer his vulnerability, it's not the same as promising to drop himself. And besides, I'd keep him regardless of form. He's too important as a captain
crashed through backward point for his fifty! He's purring now
sliced past backward point, too short, using the pace. Easy peasy
Four overs to go. Powerplay 3. Here's Perera for the first time tonight
low full toss, tapped to long-off, England continue to breeze along
width, and a wristy drive to the point sweeper.
better line, but easily worked into the covers off a full length. Up comes the fifty stand
Omar Wasim : "Srilanka are looking utterly toothless... This is getting too easy for England! Wouldn't be surprised if Srilanka slip further down the rankings below Afghanistan (and possibly other associate nations). "
that rather sums up Malinga's day, a powder-puff down the leg side. Free runs ...
full and targetting the pads, deflects into the leg side
very full again, nearly chipped back to the bowler but eludes Malinga in his followthrough
round the wicket, there's the yorker but it's easily dug out this time
Graham Hartley: "Another "anonymous" SHPT from Stokes? The man's got plenty of gears, and given his recent trials and tribulations, he's developed some maturity. I don't think we should bash him. " In all honesty, I don't think it's a criticism. He doesn't have to be the hero every time, he just has to chip in, and he invariably does
worked through the leg side once again
clipped off the pads to the leg side
tucked to the leg side, the target moves ever closer
an athletic interception by the bowler as Stokes makes room for a pummel through mid-off