In a series decider Sri Lanka came out strong to beat the hosts, England by 6 wickets.. Sri Lanka clinched the series 3-2 and proved their reputation of being a superb limited overs side. The match heated up over the Mankading incident happen in the game. This series win also ensured that Sri Lanka wlakover India to got the No. 2 spot in the ICC ODI rankings.
Match Review: Sri Lanka Tour of England and Ireland: 5th ODI – England vs Sri Lanka. Played at Birmingham, Edgbaston, June 3rd, 2014
England opted to bat as the pitch is expected to be on the slower side and might assist the spinners. Both teams preferred to go in unchanged for the big game. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell weren’t in a hurry from the beginning. Neither batsman looked for boundaries but were not restricted down either. The only chance provided was when Bell, on 18, flicked to mid wicket only to see Mahela Jayawardene put down a simple chance. Ian Bell was looking fluent before he threw it away as Ajantha Mendis tossed one up that just stopped on Bell. He tried to push it got on the bottom of the bat and looped a very simple catch to the bowler. It was a wasted start and a much needed breakthrough for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka got another wicket without quite forcing the batsman. Lasith Malinga came in for a new spell and bowled a full delivery well outside off. Ballance reached out to make contact but the ball, once again, ball appeared to been stopped on the batsman. He ended up chipping it back to the bowler. However, Captain Cook was unmoved by the two wickets that fell at the other end and moved on to register his 19th ODI fifty and England needed him to carry on to make it a bigger one. On the other end wickets continued to fell as Sri Lanka made a successful review after Joe Root was adjudged not out. Root, trying to play a reverse sweep had got in on his glove before it lobbed to the keeper. The initial appeal was for LBW but Sri Lanka were looking for the catch as well which went their way.
Sri Lanka fought back superbly after the good opening stand as Cook attempted paddle sweep took the top edge similar to Root and lobbed off his helmet to the keeper. Morgan survived a run-out chance but swung the very next delivery into the hands of backward square leg. Suddenly, England were in a deep trouble and were in a need of partnership to be rescued. England’s soft dismissals continued as Bopara played a pull shot too early as the ball kept a low and went between Bopara’s legs to rattle the stumps. England were kept under tight line with the boundaries dried up.
Sachithra Senanayake made himself highly unpopular to the English crowd after he chose to ‘Mankad’ Jos Buttler. Senanayake had warned Buttler against backing up too far once before. However, when Buttler repeated it in the next over, Senanayake promptly whipped the bails off and appealed. The umpire consulted with Angelo Mathews, who chose to go on with the appeal. Boos rang across the ground as England’s last match hero departed. After that dimissal the innings went the same like before along with Sri Lanka remaining in firm control. Malinga finished with three wickets and England were kept down to just 219.
No overs were lost after 15 minutes delay as Sri Lanka began the chase in quick fashion. Dilshan and Kusal Perera were attacking but were also tested by some good seam bowling. Dilshan was batting well and looking to take the game away from England but fell while playing one shot too many. Tredwell bravely tossed the ball up and Dilshan danced down the track to drive hard through cover and he failed in the process giving a catch to Root. Tredwell got one to grip and turn after that wicket. Sangakkara was all squared up and edged to slip where Jordan dived to his left to grab onto the sharp chance. Perera was dropped on 13 by Chris Jordan off his own bowling. But departed after two quick wickets adding 5 more runs to his account as James Anderson got him in the very next over as the left-hander played all over a straight delivery.
Jayawardene and Thirimanne put on a good stand. Their main aim was to preserve wickets. With both batsmen well set and capable of switching gears, coupled with power-hitters to follow, Sri Lanka were slowly but surely took the advantage. Jaywardene had just got to his fifty and Sri Lanka were looking well set till Chris Jordan came back into the attack. With the powerplay on, Jayawardene seemed to attack more. He tried a lofted shot, misuced it ending up at long off.
Lahiru Thirimanne registered his 7th ODI fifty and anchored the chase. The asking rate was around run-a-ball when skipper, Mathews walked in. He was busy at the crease and put on a superb stand with Thirimanne which eased the pressure from Lankans. Mathews also pulled off the boundaries at crucial stages as Sri Lanka raced ahead. With 15 needed off 19, Anderson dropped an easy caught and bowled chance but it was already a bit too late for England. Sri Lanka chased down with 10 balls to spare.
England: 219/10 in 48.1 overs (A Cook 56, I Bell 37; L Malinga 3/50, A Mendis 2/50) lost to Sri Lanka: 222/4 in 48.2 overs (L Thirimane 60*, A Mathews 42*; J Tredwell 2/30, J Anderson 1/33) by 6 wickets
Player of the match: Lahiru Thirimanne (Sri Lanka)
Disappoinment of the match: Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)