Sanath Jayasuriya showed his hunger for one-day cricket hasn't dimmed with a match-winning display at The Oval. He struck a sublime 122 which, alongside crunching fifties for Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, powered Sri Lanka towards their impressive 319 for 8. While England had Kevin Pietersen there was hope but Jayasuriya struck the key blow in the 32nd over before returning to clean up two more, snuffing out any thoughts of a fightback and, in the process, sealing a 2-0 series lead.
Some aspects of England's play were improved from an effort at Lord's that was sometimes shambolic, yet the margin of defeat was significantly larger. Steve Harmison was outstanding in his 10-over spell and the ground fielding lifted itself by a few notches - especially the fine catches held by Pietersen and Tim Bresnan. Promising partnerships between Pietersen and Ian Bell then Pietersen and Paul Collingwood shaped a hopeful run-chase but ultimately too much rested on to few.
Not all the failings from Saturday were erased, either, with 33 extras being conceded including another criminally high 21 wides. In their current form, Sri Lanka are not a team that need a helping hand and they quickly showed their intent to climb all over England while they are down.
Harmison's early pace brought the wicket of Saturday's hero, Upul Tharanga, but once Jayasuriya and Jayawardene had assessed the conditions - and found them to be very flat - they set their sights on doing serious damage to England's bowling figures. Jayasuriya was the first to flick the switch and unleash a volley of rasping boundaries. Sajid Mahmood was brought back following a first two-over spell that cost 26 and proved even more expensive second time around as Jayasuriya put his foot down by taking 17 off Mahmood's fifth over, including an effortless six over midwicket.
Jayawardene lost nothing in comparison to his partner and his fifty was noticeably faster, taking just 50 balls. The partnership raced past 150 and ended in the only way that appeared likely - a mix-up between the batsmen. Jayasuriya ploughed on to his 20th one-day century off 122 balls and continued a fond acquaintance with The Oval after he first signalled his presence to English crowds with a double-century in the 1998 Test. Sangakkara ensured the momentum was never lost and, after a steady start, he showed his own repertoire of boundaries and raced to his half-century from 41 balls with a swing over midwicket off the struggling Mahmood.
Chasing more than a run a ball from the outset, England needed a rapid platform. Trescothick's start hinted at the possibility of a Jayasuriya-style onslaught but, attempting a third four, he leant back on a drive and sliced a catch to backward point. With the more orthodox pair of Strauss and Ian Bell together the innings didn't get the flyer that was needed to exploit the fielding restrictions.
Strauss tried to hit over mid-on and only located Muttiah Muralitharan at mid-off but in many ways his dismissal opened up England's best chance of staying in the game. Pietersen started positively with a couple of crunching cover drives - one from a short-of-length ball that was still rising - and a glorious lofted drive over mid-on off Ruchira Perera, whose first two over cost 21. Pietersen found his range and overcame a painful blow to the knee from Lasith Malinga to crunch a forehand smash off the same bowler. Bell was not overshadowed and slapped a stunning straight six off Chaminda Vaas as England upped the tempo.
However, Malinga made the breakthrough for Sri Lanka when Bell top-edged a pull and found Muralitharan at mid-on. With the stand flourishing it was bad timing for England and Malinga had again proved a valuable go-to man for his captain. Pietersen, who eased past fifty off 48 balls, and Collingwood formed another sensible stand and were the ideal combination to bring the required mixture of singles and boundaries.
But the day quickly turned into the story of one man of which so much has already been written on tour. Jayasuriya kept firing in his non-spinning, leg-stump bullets and Pietersen fatally showed his stumps as he missed an expansive sweep. Collingwood's typically energetic half-century came off 55 balls but the task was becoming desperate. He fell to Jayasuriya's quicker ball and Dalrymple went in similar style with a massive air shot.
The last three wickets - varying degrees of laughable run outs - summed up proceedings. Sri Lanka have dominated the two matches from start to finish, England haven't been at the races. It would be a brave person to put money on this series being alive into next week.