Sri Lanka’s top-order finally fired some runs, while the bowlers picked up wickets helping them thump England by a massive 219 runs in a rain-shortened fifth match at Colombo on Tuesday.
The defeat was England’s heaviest in terms of runs and surpassed their 165-run defeats against West Indies and Pakistan in 1994 and 2005 respectively. England had already clinched the series 3-0 coming into the match and made as many as three changes including that of skipper Eoin Morgan, who decided to rest handing deputy Jos Buttler the reins.
But Buttler failed to make most of it going out for a duck as England found themselves in a humiliating 132/9 situation when incessant rain brought the lop-sided contest to a premature end with England suffering a 219-run defeat. They were 234 runs behind when rain had intervened.
Chasing 367, England were off to a worst start and from being at four for nil they went to being 4/3 at one stage, with Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Buttler back at the pavilion – the latter two for a duck. Joe Root followed adding 10 runs more before the injured Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali (37) steadied the collapse. They stitched a 79-run partnership to rebuild hopes of an England victory, but Ali departed at run-a-ball 37 initiating another collapse.
Soon England from 107/5 were reduced to 132/9 with an emphatic victory for the Lankans awaiting them. But rain restricted any further play with the results being declared via Duckworth-Lewis method.
Akila Dananjaya was the most successful bowler for Sri Lanka with four wickets for just 19 runs in 6.1 overs. Dushmantha Chameera was also equally impressive and returned with figures of 6-20-3 after getting into the side in-place of Lasith Malinga.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Sri Lanka started with a bang smashing young Sam Curran for four boundaries in a single over, three of which came from Sadeera Samarawickrama (54). The right-hander enthralled the crowd with three straight drives.
He notched up his maiden half-century that had eight hits to the fence and starred in a 137-run opening partnership to set the tone for a big Sri Lanka score. Together with Niroshan Dickwella, who top-scored with 95, the opening pair smashed every bowler around the park.
Moeen Ali (2/57) then removed both with Dickwella going after adding another 30 runs with skipper Dinesh Chandimal. But Ali could have had the Lanka captain twice, both times catches were dropped, and Chandimal made them pay with a fine 80 from 73 deliveries – his first big innings in two-years’ time.
Kushal Mendis then made a quick-fire 56 with the lower order also adding valuable runs to take Sri Lanka to a massive score of 366 for six at the end of 50 overs.
Image Source: Hindustan Times