At Colombo (RPS), December 7, 2014. Sri Lanka won by six wickets. Toss: England.
England managed to take the game to the final over, though in truth it was never as close as that. But, even while going 3-1 down, they could take solace from Taylor's accomplished 90, in only his third one-day international, three years after his first. Cook's suspension meant Morgan led the side, and allowed Hales to move up to opener; he promptly edged his first legitimate ball to slip (and later dropped Mathews at third man with 25 still needed). That brought in Taylor, who made an immediate impression with an innings full of hard running and no little power. In searing heat he suffered cramp in his left forearm, and fell ten short of a hundred when the bat handle twisted in his sweat-soaked gloves and he lobbed a catch to cover. Taylor, who put on 93 with Root, had provided the platform but, from 170 for three, England fell away. Only Morgan held firm: his 47-ball 62 was his first half century in 11 months, and included 18 off the final over, bowled by Dilshan. Morgan later said England were "20-25 short" of a defendable target, and a beguiling stand of 96 between Sangakkara and Jayawardene broke the back of the chase; Mathews finished the job. On a pitch tailored to spin, England had again omitted Tredwell; Dilshan, Herath and Ajantha Mendis took nine wickets between them. The management preferred to have another look at Stokes, which was both brief and costly, and Morgan admitted that planning for the World Cup might not always be compatible with short term success.
Man of the Match: K. C. Sangakkara.