England secured an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series beating Sri Lanka by 18 runs according to the Duckworth & Lewis System, in the rain-affected fourth ODI match in Pallekelle today.
In what could have been an interesting chase of the Sri Lankan score of 273 on a slow surface, England was 132 for 2 in 27 overs, when a massive downpour ended the game pre-maturely again at around 3.46pm (local time).
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, England’s most senior duo had added 56 runs at almost five-runs per over, when rain gods opened after Jason Roy and Alex Hales made a vital opening stand.
Hales, who came in place of injured Jonny Bairstow, found it difficult to get going but played the second fiddle to Roy, who was striking with ease.
Photos: Sri Lanka vs England | 4th ODI
After a solid 52-run stand, Hales was stumped off Akila Dananjaya, courtesy some quick glove-work by Niroshan Dickwella, in the very first ball of his spell.
Roy was hit on the pads by Dananjaya in the 16th over but the umpire Lyndon Hannibal deemed it not out and thanks to the DRS, Sri Lanka was able to overturn the decision.
The hosts’ were deprived of a third wicket in the first ball of the 23rd over when umpire Hannibal called a no-ball, even before Joe Root top-edged a Dhananjaya De Silva full toss to short fine-leg, when an extra fielder was placed outside the inner-circle.
Earlier, on a gloomy morning, England opted to field and their decision paid dividends when opening bat Sadeera Samarawickrama edged behind off Chris Woakes in the fifth over.
Dickwella and skipper Dinesh Chandimal steadied the innings, adding 70 runs for the 2nd wicket before the latter came down the track and missed a Moeen Ali delivery, which sneaked through the bat and pad gap.
During the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka had been given one hell of a schedule. Angelo Mathews’ side had to frequently….
Chandimal scored 33 runs at a strike-rate of 70 but gave his wicket away at a crucial juncture of the match, the 19th over as the England spinners started to slow things.
Dickwella, upon reaching his 7th ODI fifty missed a sweep, was hit on the elbow and was given LBW to become Ali’s second victim, despite reviewing the decision.
After being 89 for 1 at one stage, Sri Lanka quickly stumbled to 102 for 4 when Kusal Mendis was also adjudged plumb in front to become Adil Rashid’s only wicket.
Dhananjaya De Silva, after receiving a reprieve behind the stumps by Jos Buttler in the first ball he faced, partnered up with hard-hitting Shanaka to resurrect the innings for the fifth wicket.
They added 52 off 67 deliveries, with Shanaka taking on the slow bowlers with his power-hitting through and over the mid-wicket region.
De Silva was caught behind in the 35th over, which brought the two all-rounders, Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka together.
Shanaka and Perera changed the momentum in the Lankan innings, smashing 58 off just 48 balls before the former was involved in an unfortunate run-out in the 43rd over, just as the hosts looked to take off and set for a substantial score.
Shanaka, who came in at number six, played a pivotal role, scoring a run-a-ball 66 which also included five sixes.
Perera and Akila Dananjaya played it smart, scoring 44 and 32* respectively to post a decent score and cap-off Sri Lanka’s best batting performance in the series.
The fifth and final match of the series will be played on Tuesday (23rd October) at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo.
England won by 18 runs (D/L)
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Niroshan Dickwella||lbw by M Ali||52||70|
|Sadeera Samarawickrama||c J Butler b C Woakes||1||7|
|Dinesh Chandimal||b M Ali||33||47|
|Kusal Mendis||lbw by A Rashid||5||14|
|Dananjaya de Silva||c J Butler b T Curran||17||28|
|Dasun Shanaka||(runout) E Morgan||66||66|
|Thisara Perera||(runout) B Stokes||44||41|
|Akila Dananjaya||not out||32||26|
|Lasith Malinga||not out||4||1|
England ‘s Innings
|Jason Roy||lbw by A Dananjaya||45||49|
|Alex Hales||st N Dickwella b A Dananjaya||12||23|
|Joe Root||not out||32||57|
|Eoin Morgan||not out||31||34|
|Dananjaya de Silva||4||0||18||0||4.50|