Sri Lanka secure whitewash

Today’s defeat was a humiliating one for England. Not only did it allow Sri Lanka to complete a thumping 5-0 series victory, their bowlers were absolutely torn apart by the Sri Lankan pair of Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya.

But before the Sri Lankan obliteration, England looked like they had a very good chance of a consolation victory. They won the toss and chose to bat, and scored a formidable-looking 321. This was on the back of Marcus Trescothick’s 12th ODI century.

Vaas and Malinga found some movement early on, but not enough to trouble Trescothick or Alistair Cook. Once set, Trescothick began to attack a little more, and some poor Sri Lankan fielding assisted him on occasion. He also received a let-off on 36, the umpire not giving a clear edge to Sangakkara.

This was the first time an England batsman has really got in and let a score be built around him. Trescothick received support from Ian Bell and Cook, and after his dismissal Dalrymple and Solanki upped the tempo towards the end. England didn’t get as many as they would have liked in the dying overs though, Lasith Malinga kept things tight in his spell of 4-44, and England finished on 321-7.

The total looked to be a good one, but the pitch was flat, and Sri Lanka fancied their chances against England’s second-string pace attack. The first over would prove to be a sign of things to come. Kabir Ali gave away two boundaries on the leg-side, one off Jayasuriya’s legs, and off his bat. The second over was more disastrous. Four offside boundaries for Sri Lanka and a total of 18 off the over.

Despite bowling changes, Sri Lanka continued smashing whatever England could throw at the to the boundary. They reached fifty in the fourth over, England were on just two at the same point. Steve Harmison was England’s most senior bowler in this match, and many expected the battle between him and Jayasuriya to the crucial in the outcome of the match. Harmison’s 10 overs went for 97, so any battle was comfortably won by the Sri Lankan.

At the end of the first ten over Power Play Sri Lanka had reached 133-0 and any England victory hopes were flying out the window. It was an absolute masterclass by the Sri Lankans. Jayasuriya danced down the track, lofted bowlers over their heads and flicked them into the stands. He brought up his 21st ODI hundred in just 72 balls, and went on to make 152.

Upul Tharanga was sublime for his 109 too. He didn’t quite have the aggression of his senior partner, but played with confidence not seen on the earlier segment of the tour, and scored his second hundred of the series.

Their partnership was broken on 289, the third highest in ODIs ever, and the highest opening stand. Jayawardene and Sangakkara knocked off the rest of the runs with ease, and Sri Lanka had their victory before even the 38th over had begun.

England 321-7
Marcus Trescothick 121, Vikram Solanki 44*, Alistair Cook 41
Lasith Malinga 4-44

Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets

Sri Lanka 324-2
Sanath Jayasuriya 152, Upul Tharanga 109
Jamie Dalrymple 1-48, Vikram Solanki 1-17

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