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1st ODI, Chester-le-Street, June 29, 2021, Sri Lanka tour of England
(34.5/50 ov, T:186) 189/5

England won by 5 wickets (with 91 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Full commentary

5.43pm That's the end of that then. England make it four in a row in their white-ball campaign. From myself and Matt, and Thilak and the rest of the ESPNcricinfo team, good night, good luck if football is your thing (and especially if it isn't) and see you at The Oval!

Time for some presentations.

Kusal Perera, who made a battling 73. "I am trying to back myself and do my basis, try to bat to the 40th over, 50 would have been great. But two more games to go. Hasaranga did a good job for the team, we got a partnership but not enough for the team. It's a team game, we have to get together to get a good score."

Eoin Morgan "Delighted, good lengths, adapting to conditions, good lengths, cross-seam, full credit to the bowling unit, they really did fire. The lead bowlers at mid-off, mid-on, good communication with the three of us and the keeper is crucial.

On Root: "he's one of the best in the world, in most situations. Notable in training how easy he finds things, never seems to struggle. I think you can't rule Joe out [of T20 World Cup] the role he played in 2016 was a big part in getting us to the final, and the knock he played in the final was outstanding." So there you go.

The Player of the Match is Chris Woakes: "I think opening the bowling, a big part of the job is assessing conditions and communicating. Taking wickets stems the run-flow but trying to be as accurate as possible. Don't want to give any freebies, width goes to the boundary, try not to leave the stumps, find the length that hits the bails until the batsman tries something different. My rhythm wasn't too bad, a bit short in first two overs, couple of games for Warks, hit my straps well."

5.30pm So, it wasn't pretty but it was mighty effective. Joe Root, in his 150th ODI, restates his value as England's barometer in the middle order. No rush to get the runs, so he took no rush at all, but still ticked along at a 90-odd strike rate, 79 not out from 87 balls. And he's got 6000 runs in the format too.

Chris Woakes played a blinder too with the ball - the stunning figures of 4 for 18 in ten overs, with five maidens - four of them in the Powerplay. And Jonny Bairstow was outstanding in reply before getting out when gloriously set. No-one else made it look so easy all day. And a note too for Dushmantha Chameera, four wickets last week, three more today. He was a constant menace in an innings where wickets were Sri Lanka's only currency. And what might have happened if Moeen Ali had been caught first ball?

George Macphers: "Thank god that's over. It's shouldn't be that hard to chase down a score of 185. Hopefully the next ODI will be a lot better than this one." You are a terrible pampered human. I rather enjoyed seeing a bit of a tussle!

Fernando to Sam Curran, FOUR runs

Full toss, flogged through mid-on, that'll do it! Curran mops up the resistance to put England 1-0 up. Wonder if anyone's managed similar in the football yet...

Abhijato: "Sri Lanka have really exceeded expectations here, as depressing as that might sound - I suspect the rest of the series isn't going to be the cakewalk England thought it would be if the Lankans can settle into their roles." Indeed. Their bowlers need their batters to give them something to work with. Nearly managed it today!

Fernando to Root, 1 run

full length, into the pads, flicked in front of square, scores are level

Fernando to Root, no run

dipping from round the wicket, blocked out to point

WrongTeam: "Root showing his value, again, but MoM for Woakes methinks" That feels fair to me

Fernando to Sam Curran, 1 run

flashed down to third man, England chipping away as Curran throws his bat outside off stump

Fernando to Root, 1 run

fenced off the pads, and into the leg side

end of over 346 runs
ENG: 182/5CRR: 5.35 RRR: 0.25
Sam Curran4 (7b)
Joe Root77 (84b 4x4)
Dushmantha Chameera 8-0-50-3
Binura Fernando 9-0-43-1

Racheed: "The one bright spark to come from Sri Lanka's disastrous recent form is Chameera. He's really developed nicely, is sharp, and can lead that pace attack for the future. " So true. So long as they don't snap his willowy frame, they've found themselves a proper competitor

Chameera to Sam Curran, no run

banged in short, ducked

Chameera to Sam Curran, no run

round the wicket, tailing into the toes, blocked to the off-side

Chameera to Sam Curran, no run

full toss, patted into the covers

Chameera to Root, 1 run

swings into the pull, down to backward square. England are a boundary away

Chameera to Root, FOUR runs

climbs into the drive, and the intent burgles him a boundary, off a fat edge through the vacant slip. He'll take that, even if he was aiming about 100 degrees further into the covers

George Macphers: "What a poor reply from England. Chasing 180 and now 6 wickets down against a inconsistent Sri Lanka bowling attack. Not good advertisement for cricket. Where is the England team that were able to dominate matches?" George, George, even on hand with the hottest of takes. They are about to win with approximately 16 overs to spare. Not an appalling day's work when you look at it like that

Chameera to Sam Curran, 1 run

flicked off the hip to backward square

end of over 333 runs
ENG: 176/5CRR: 5.33 RRR: 0.58
Sam Curran3 (3b)
Joe Root72 (82b 3x4)
Binura Fernando 9-0-43-1
Dushmantha Chameera 7-0-44-3
Fernando to Sam Curran, 1 run

Curran keeps the strike with a nudge into the gap. England are nearly there

Abhijato: "Wimbledon, cricket, the Euros - today's been a good day for fans of mediocre yet thrilling sport, hasn't it? xD" And it's only just warming up. Got West Indies-South Africa to come!

Fernando to Root, 1 run

swings into a measured pull from outside off, hitting down into the stroke for the single

Fernando to Root, no run

hurried on the back foot again, fenced down into the crease as it is squeezed off the inside-edge into the pads

Fernando to Root, no run

round the wicket, hitting the pitch hard, Root is tucked up once more on the back foot

Fernando to Root, no run

back of a length, Root shuffles into line to nudge to the leg side

Fernando to Sam Curran, 1 run

nudged down into the crease, just back of a length

Howdo. Nothing else going on in the world. Apart from Mark Cavendish's Tour de France stage win, of course. Scenes!

end of over 323 runs • 1 wicket
ENG: 173/5CRR: 5.40 RRR: 0.72
Sam Curran1 (1b)
Joe Root71 (78b 3x4)
Dushmantha Chameera 7-0-44-3
Binura Fernando 8-0-40-1

And with that's here's Miller for the last rites.

Chameera to Sam Curran, 1 run

angled across Curran, who dabs down to deep third to retain the strike

Chameera to Sam Curran, 1 wide

short ball, his third of the over, and therefore, that's given as a wide

Sam Curran at No. 7. I doubt he'll be hanging around. Chameera stays over the wicket to him. Slip in

Vivaan: "The end of an uncharacteristic but a very vital innings from Moeen Ali"

Chameera to Moeen Ali, OUT

chopped on! Chameera makes the breakthrough. Too little, too late? Length ball, angling across Moeen, who was hanging back in his crease after those short balls. He threw his hands at it, looking to flay it away through cover, but could only inside-edge onto the base of the stumps. The 91-run stand is broken, but England are nearly home and hosed

Moeen Ali b Chameera 28 (57b 1x4 0x6 84m) SR: 49.12
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