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RESULT
7th ODI (D/N), Colombo (RPS), December 16, 2014, England tour of Sri Lanka
(45.5/50 ov, T:303) 215

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Player Of The Match
101 (124) & 3/37
tillakaratne-dilshan
Player Of The Series
357 runs • 12 wkts
tillakaratne-dilshan
Report

Dilshan stars as England thrashed

he full-house crowd might have come to bid farewell to Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, but it was another member of the trio of senior Sri Lankan batsman, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who led the home side to a crushing 87-run victory in the final ODI o

Sri Lanka 302 for 6 (Dilshan 101, Chandimal 55*, T Perera 54) beat England 215 (Root 80, Prasanna 3-35, Dilshan 3-37) by 87 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The full-house crowd might have come to bid farewell to Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, but it was another member of the trio of senior Sri Lankan batsman, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who led the home side to a crushing 87-run victory in the final ODI of the series against England. The result wrapped up the series for Sri Lanka 5-2.
The thought of trying to find replacements for Jayawardene and Sangakkara - both of whom may be playing their final ODIs at home - is enough to drive a Sri Lanka supporter to Arrack, so it must have been reassuring to know that Dilshan will be around to help with the transition.
Dilshan, playing his 300th ODI, not only made his 18th century in this form of the game and, in the process, became the fifth Sri Lanka batsman to reach 9000 runs in ODI cricket, but he also claimed three top-order wickets to snuff out any chance of a successful England run chase.
While Dilshan's reputation might be as a relentlessly aggressive batsman, here he showed the other facets to his game: the subtly, the calm and the ability to read the match situation. With Jayawardene and Sangakkara falling early, he was obliged to rotate the strike, see off a demanding spell from Moeen Ali and provide a platform from which others could attack in the final overs.
For a time it looked as if Jayawardene, who has announced he will retire from international cricket after the World Cup, would reward the spectators with a vintage performance. He cracked the first ball of the innings - a long-hop outside off stump from Chris Woakes - to the boundary with a familiar cut and, in the next over, twice pulled more short balls from Harry Gurney to the boundary.
With runs leaking from the seamers, Alastair Cook introduced the offspin of James Tredwell into the attack in just the seventh over. But with only two fielders outside the ring, Dilshan skipped down the pitch three times to drive Tredwell for two fours and a six in an over that cost 15 runs.
But it was not to last. In attempting to pull another short delivery from Gurney, Jayawardene instead guided the ball off the top-edge to Woakes on the deep backward square leg fence. The groans from the crowd told the story eloquently. Still, by the end of the mandatory Powerplay, Sri Lanka were 66 for 1 and set for a high score on a pitch that looked full of runs.
England's spinners - and Moeen in particular - began to apply some pressure. Joe Root only conceded one boundary in his five overs, while Moeen did not concede a four until his seventh over and at times found sharp turn.
He also claimed a key wicket. With Sangakkara slightly tied down, his eyes must have lit up when he was presented with a full toss. But instead of punishing it, he picked out the fielder at mid-on and became the second man to walk off basking in the reception of an adoring public. Sangakkara had, when he scored 6, surpassed Ricky Ponting's record for the most international runs across all formats in a calendar year. Ponting scored 2833 in 2005.
Dilshan concentrated on rebuilding for the next dozen overs. He did not hit a boundary between the 15th and 27th overs, instead concentrating on seeing off a demanding spell from Moeen.
The Powerplay awoke him. Gurney, unable to take the opportunity he was given to impress ahead of the rested Steven Finn, was hit for successive boundaries when his attempted yorkers came out as full tosses and Dilshan completed his century from a relatively sedate 122 balls with nine fours and a six.
It was a full toss that accounted for him, too. Perhaps Chris Jordan was fortunate that the delivery was not called no-ball, but Dilshan swung it to deep midwicket to depart with six-and-a-half overs to go and left Sri Lanka in danger of falling perhaps 35 or so short of the 300 for which they were aiming.
But that only allowed Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal more opportunity. Together they thrashed 63 from 29 balls in a blistering fifth-wicket stand and saw Sri Lanka plunder 65 runs from the final six overs of their innings. Twice Perera lashed three successive boundaries - once off Woakes when he was punished for dropping short and once off Jordan whose length temporarily deserted him completely - before he then followed a pulled six off Woakes with a four driven through the covers when the bowler over-compensated.
Perera's half-century occupied only 23 balls - only Sanath Jayasuriya has hit a quicker one for Sri Lanka - while Chandimal drove Moeen for a six and Tredwell for four as Sri Lanka took the game beyond England.
It left England requiring a record second-innings total at the Premadasa - Sri Lanka made 301 against India in 1998 and still lost - and not for a moment did they threaten to go close.
Moeen Ali, making room to cut, was bowled first ball; Alex Hales, replacing Ravi Bopara in the side for a last chance to impress ahead of World Cup selection, picked out long-on and Cook, having been dropped and been perilously close to leg before, was well caught at slip by Jayawardene. The sight of Cook waiting for the umpire's decision, even after a pretty clear catch had been confirmed by an illustrious fellow international player, summed up his ever more desperate - and increasingly unseemly - battle for survival in this format.
James Taylor was caught off the glove from a good short ball from the impressive Suranga Lakmal and Eoin Morgan, who scored fewer runs in the series than Cook, failed again when he missed a sweep.
A seventh-wicket stand of 66 in 12.3 overs between the impressive Root and Woakes narrowed the gap between the sides, but it was never likely to change the result. When Woakes yorked himself off Dilruwan Perera, playing instead of the injured Sachithra Senanayake, and Root was leg before attempting to reverse sweep, England's chase faded away. It is the ninth time in their last 12 ODIs that England have been bowled out within their 50 overs and means they have lost 10 of their last 13 ODIs.
The sight of Jayawardene claiming the final wicket, his part-time offspin luring Tredwell down the pitch, left the crowd in ecstasy. He will be greatly missed far beyond the borders of Sri Lanka.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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