First One-Day International

Sri Lanka v England

At Dambulla, November 18, 2003 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by ten wickets. Toss: England. One-day international debuts: K. A. D. M. Fernando, K. M. D. N. Kulasekara; A. J. Strauss.

This was an unmitigated disaster for England. After being skittled for 88, their second-lowest total in 385 one-day internationals, they were destroyed by the Sri Lankan openers, who raced to victory in little more than an hour. "We were in it for about 1.2 overs," admitted a sheepish Vaughan. On a pitch that was sluggish but far from unplayable, and against an attack that contained two debutant seamers, England needed a last-wicket stand of 21 between Giles and Anderson to squeeze past their all-time one-day nadir of 86, against Australia at Old Trafford in 2001. It was not the only near-miss in the record books: the 83 balls required by Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana to knock off the runs represented England's second-fastest defeat, behind the 74-ball sprint by Gilchrist and Hayden for Australia at Sydney ten months earlier. England replaced the out-of-touch Solanki with Strauss, but he provided his fellow-debutant Dinusha Fernando with a return catch in the fourth over, and the rest followed amid a flurry of misjudgments, over-ambition, and world-class fielding, with Jayawardene outstanding; only Collingwood and Giles reached double figures. England managed just four boundaries in 46.1 overs, but Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana equalled that tally inside three, and went on to smash 13 fours and a six between them to romp home with more than 36 overs to spare. In the steamy Dambulla jungle, the two one-day trophies of the English summer felt a world away.

Man of the Match: W. P. U. J. C. Vaas.

© John Wisden & Co