Eng v SL 1st ODI Review: Nail biting contest ends in a tie

Eng v SL 1st ODI Review: Nail biting contest ends in a tie

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 21: Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett of England celebrate a last ball tie for the match during the 1st Royal London One-Day International between England and Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground on June 21, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

The visiting Sri Lankans had an uphill task as they approached the first of the five ODIs against England in the hostile English conditions. A couple of weeks earlier, Sri Lanka had a disappointing series defeat in the Tests, and hence had their agenda clear – to make amends in the ODI series. Having beaten Ireland 2-0 in the meantime, they did gather some confidence back ahead of the big clash at Trent Bridge.

England, on the other hand, were sky high on confidence and definitely the favourites to run through the Sri Lankan team. Coming into the game, England won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first in seaming conditions.

Sri Lankan openers, Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka, came into the middle to start the proceedings. For the English, it was the pair of Chris Woakes and David Willey, who took the cherry in hand. After a flying start, David Willey struck early in the 4th over to dismiss Gunathilaka for just 9 to have the visitors on 27/1. Kusal Mendis was the new man in. A couple of overs later, Willey struck again as he dismissed Perera on 24 (23).

Mendis fell cheaply too, scoring 17 off 14, as he became Woakes’ first wicket. The experienced pair of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews were at the crease and had a heavy repair job in hand with Sri Lanka struggling at 56/3. The batted cautiously and put on 64 in 101 balls for the 4th wicket before Chandimal perished off the bowling of Moeen Ali on 37 (56). In walked Seekkuge Prasanna, who had recently hit a belligerent 95 against Ireland.

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He seemed to continue from where he left the other day. An absolute carnage followed as Prasanna hammered the English bowlers to bring up his half-century in just 24 balls. However, he perished soon after and ended up with a score of 59 off 28 with 8 fours and 4 sixes. He became Woakes’ second scalp of the night. Meanwhile, skipper Angelo Mathews brought up his half-century too.

Upul Tharanga was removed cheaply for just 3 by Liam Plunkett and Dasun Shanaka, too, could score just 20 before getting run out. Mathews, who held the fort from one end, eventually perished in the 47th over as Liam Plunkett struck again to dismiss him on 79 that came off 105 balls. A late unbeaten 31 off 30 balls by veteran Farveez Maharoof saw Sri Lanka end with 286/9 in their stipulated 50 overs.

Suranga Lakmal started the proceedings for Lanka as Alex Hales and Jason Roy came in to bat. It was the second over of the innings, bowled by Angelo Mathews, that caught Jason Roy plumb in front of the stumps and he had to walk back on 3. An over later, Lakmal removed Hales on just 4. Hales quickly reviewed the decision but in vain. Both the openers were sent back in by the end of 3 overs.

Eoin Morgan and Joe Root were the new men at the crease. Root’s stay wasn’t long enough either as Mathews struck again in the 6th over to clean him up on just 2 as England crumbled 17/3. Johnny Bairstow came in but lasted just 6 balls for his 3 runs before he became Lakmal’s second wicket in the 9th over. Jos Buttler joined his skipper Morgan in the hot waters.

Morgan then decided to up the ante and started the counter attack. Buttler, on the other hand, was happy to play the second fiddle. However, Morgan’s resistance came to an end when Nuwan Pradeep dismissed him on 43. Moeen Ali departed soon as well. Chris Woakes joined Buttler at the crease with the score reading 82/6. The duo then showed great resilience as they hammered the Lankan bowling to amass a 138 run stand for the 7th wicket.

It was only a shame as Jos Buttler failed to reach his ton and was dismissed on 93 that came off 99 balls including 6 fours and six. It was Prasanna who got the key breakthrough. David Willey fell in quick succession but the match had gone down to the wire. Woakes notched up a brilliant half century and paraded lonely thereafter. Eventually, with Liam Plunkett at the other end, England needed 14 to win off the last over.

Nuwan Pradeep had the ball in hand. He gave away just 4 runs in the first 4 balls and Woakes had entered the 90s. It was all set for an anti-climax though. Woakes took 3 on the penultimate ball where it should have only been a couple to end up stranded on 95. Needing 7 to win off the last ball, Pradeep got his length wrong and Plunkett launched the ball out of the park over long off and England managed a tie!

Such a great game of cricket. Sri Lanka left no stone unturned but yet failed to register a win on the tour.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka – 286/9 in 50 overs (Mathews 79, Prasanna 59, Woakes 2/56, Willey 2/56)

England – 286/8 in 50 overs (Woakes 95*, Buttler 93, Mathews 2/22, Pradeep 2/64)

Man of the match: Chris Woakes