Sri Lanka to Play for Pride in Only T20I against England Post Losing ODI Series

July 04 15:54 2016

engNew Delhi, Monday, July 4 – Sri Lanka did not get any chance to rise after England put a total of 324 on the scoreboard in the last One Day International match held on Friday, July 2. Fans of the Sri Lankan cricket team were disappointed for not logging any win on the host in 5-match ODI series, which started with a tie at Trent Bridge in Nottingham,  a win for England at Edgbaston in Birmingham by 10 wickets, no result in third match due to rain at County Ground in Bristol, another victory for England at Kennington Oval in London according to DLS method and finally, a 122-run win for English cricketers in the 5th ODI at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

Playing XI of the England had Jason Roy, Joe Root, James Vince, Eoin Morgan – the captain, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid. On bench, the players were Alex Hales, Moeen Ali and Steven Finn. On the other hand, Sri Lankan squad was headed by Angelo Mathews. Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Chaminda Bandara, Nuwan Pradeep, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal,  Seekkuge Prasanna, Dasun Shanaka, Upul Tharanga and Suranga Lakmal were the men who were elected to make the team taste victory, which unfortunately did not happen. Farveez Maharoof, Dhananjaya de Silva and Suraj Randiv were in extras for the final ODI.

As a matter of fact, Sri Lanka were supposed to put entire input to emerge as a winner for the reason that they did not see success by the time they landed on England soil. They were on the back foot right from the beginning of the series till its end. Situation were almost alike in the 50-50 over matches at a time when many thought travelling squad is not going to miss the opportunity to rise. On some occasions, they seemed in the game but England were determined not to lose, letting the opposition bear the brunt. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bowl first in a match that concluded recently. But perhaps nobody had the idea how wrong this decision is going to turn for them since a few England players did their bit that kept them in momentum all the time.

Some good play was presented by the opening batsmen of England in the first few overs. When first wicket was lost in the form of Jason Roy in 11.3 overs, a partnership of 67 runs was done. Roy was dismissed by Lakmal at a score of 34 that came in 34 deliveries, together with four 4s. James Vince and Joe Root made sure not to lose wickets early, not letting Sri Lanka to get wickets at different time intervals. Vince was stumped by Chandimal in Gunathilaka’s over in the 19th over. The opener struck five boundaries in his knock of 51 runs. Best was yet to come from Root, who was steadily progressing towards hitting a ton. The England skipper Eoin Morgan appeared in some hurry and hit a couple of fours and a six in his small but impressive play of 20 runs off 18 deliveries. Mendis made no mistake to catch the ball after Morgan tried for another short in  an over by Gunathilaka, who also dismissed Jonny Bairstow at an individual total of 22 runs (4 x 1).

The wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler put on display some great batting when many thought England might suffer batting collapse. But he turned Man of the Match in the end for pocketing 70 runs off just 45 deliveries, along with seven boundaries and a six.  Chaminda Bandara made Sri Lanka heave a sigh of relief by dismissing Buttler.  Root fell seven runs short to get a ton but 93 runs off 106 balls (4 x 6) helped the team gain foothold. Pradeep was the man to finally earn his wicket. Despite the fact that some crucial wickets were lost by England in the death overs, Sri Lanka were not successful in lowering down the England’s speed of scoring runs. Chris Woakes was not out at 17 runs that were thanks to a six and four, along with some singles and twos. Liam Plunkett was run out by Pradeep at 9 runs (4 x 2) on the final ball while making sure to get some more runs.

Here is to describe that it turned out wonderful for England to lose the toss given that 324 runs were scored by them for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs. They played far better than any other match in the series post adapting to the conditions in a way that was needed. Gunathilaka took three wickets – the highest from Sri Lankan bowlers. Lakmal, Bandara and Pradeep got one wicket each. 60 runs were scored in the mandatory powerplay. Sri Lanka innings started on a rough note in view of the fact that Kusal Perera – the opener – was given lbw in Willey’s overs when playing at an individual total of 6 . a little bit of stability was brought by Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis but soon the growing partnership between the two players was broken. Thanks to the efforts of Bairstow and Buttler, Mendis was run out at 22 runs. His small innings consisted of two boundaries as well. Danushka Gunathilaka got his leg before wicket by Plunkett when he was only two runs away from getting a fifty.

Dinesh Chandimal, however, played an important knock of 53 runs off 66 deliveries, along with two 4s and a six. Angelo Mathews arrived on the crease and hit a couple of 4s. But before he would have gained foothold, Plunkett showed him the way back to the dressing room. 13 runs were his total score. Upul Tharanga was out for a duck by Adil Rashid. Dasun Shanaka was stumped by Buttler in Adil Rashid’s over when he was playing at 22 runs. His innings included a six and four. Seekkuge Prasanna struggled a bit since he faced 17 balls to get 5 runs. Plunkett got his wicket, taking England close to victory. Suranga Lakmal struck a four and played a knock of 10 runs prior being dismissed by Willey, who ended stint of Chandimal too.

If truth be told then game was over for Sri Lanka much before but wicket of Nuwan Pradeep’s, who scores seven runs, to Willey put a stamp on it. Chaminda Bandara was not out at one run. 15 extras were bowled by England bowlers. Sri Lanka were all out at 202 runs in 42.4 overs, losing the match by 122 runs. Willey dismissed four batsmen, Plunkett three and Rashid two. Scope of improvement always remains and this gets proved by Morgan’s speech where he mentioned that he would have gone with two spinners had mood of the pitch been known earlier to him. England pacers did a good job by hitting good lengths and restricting Sri Lanka at ‘not so impressive’ score.

They believed to do better than previous and it worked for the team. Jason Roy, who batted well in the tournament, was declared ‘Man of the Series’. Each player contributed from his end to take the team towards success. The Only T20I between the two cricketing nations is to be played on Tuesday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Sri Lanka must try to at least win the last game of their tour of England and go back home with their heads held high. But keeping their average performance in mind, it is certain that more than hundred per cent is to be given to beat England, who have great chance to shine again. Rest to a few England cricketers is likely while some have a good opportunity to showcase their talent. The ground is supposed to get jam-packed as viewers are all set to see an interesting contest between Sri Lanka and England that is to start in a short while.