Sri Lanka's Tour of England: Excitement, Controversies and real Entertainment of Cricket

Sri Lanka's Tour of England: Excitement, Controversies and real Entertainment of Cricket

Sri Lanka celebrate in style after a close finish.(Photo: PA)
Sri Lanka celebrate with trophy.(Photo: PA)

The Sri Lankan’s tour of England went on with some Controversial aspects and words exchanged between the players off the field. Moreover, the match produced exceptional entertainment and grabbed intention of Cricket Fans towards the series.

The Sri Lanka’s tour started with a 2-ODI series against Ireland with second one had been abandoned due to rain. The series was taken by Sri Lanka after they won the first ODI which was won by them even after putting a low score on the board which was easily defended by the bowlers.

The momentum came to England when Sri Lanka faced the hosts in the one-off T20 International. After brilliant batting performance with help of Thirimanne and debutant Vithanagne and a firepower at the end from Thisara Perera helped them to put on 183. Later Alex Hales, Morgan and Butler ensured England in the chase but a fearsome death bowling from Malinga ensured a 9-run victory for T20 Champions.

The tour followed up with 5-match ODI series in with the first game was a rain effected. England took away the game with team effort after imposing a run a ball total in reduced overs and later collapsing Sri Lanka from the target.

The 2nd and 3rd ODIs seen scores of below 100. Sri Lanka with the help of Dilshan’s anchor role innings put up a decent 256 on the board in the second game. Later a tremendous bowling efforts from Kulasekara and Senanayake ensured England collapse for just 99. In the third game, England took a sweet revenge over Sri Lanka collapsing them for 67 with help of a five-fer from Jordan which later was chased down by England without any loss and took a lead of 2-1 in the series. After the game, the controversial part of the tour began.

To be alive in the series, Lanka needed to win the fourth ODI and done a good job after batting first as they put on 300 with help of classical century from Sangakkara. Later SL bowlers done a fair bit of job collapsing half of the team and made things difficult with the required rate going out of hand but a terrific comeback led by Bopara and Butler kept the hosts in the game. Even after Bopara fell, Butler kept the game on. With 12 runs needing of last over a terrific last over from Malinga gave just 4 runs which made the 74-ball 121 run in vein. After the game England reported doubts over Senanayake’s actions to the umpires starting the controversies.

The final ODI, series decider was started with a decent beginning from England. But a middle order collapse ensure SL to pull the things off. The last match hero tried to end England on high but Senanayake “Manked” Jos Butler as he kept running before the ball bowled even after warned, which made Sri Lanka to face booing from crowd. Sri Lanka’s chase of 220 was led by Thirimanne, Jayawardene and in the end by Mathews as they sneak through a 6-wicket win to take on the series. Alastair Cook responded over the incident saying Sri Lanka cross law of “Spirit of Cricket”.

Top Run Scorer in ODI series:

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
TM Dilshan (SL) 5 5 0 222 88 44.40 284 78.16 0 2 0 22 0
KC Sangakkara (SL) 5 5 0 175 112 35.00 220 79.54 1 0 0 20 0
JC Buttler (Eng) 5 4 1 172 121 57.33 124 138.70 1 0 0 14 5

Top Wicket Taker in ODI series:

Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 4-fer 5-fer
CJ Jordan (Eng) 5 5 42.0 0 232 12 5/29 19.33 5.52 21.0 0 1
SMSM Senanayake (SL) 5 5 36.1 1 136 9 4/13 15.11 3.76 24.1 1 0
JC Tredwell (Eng) 5 5 39.0 3 166 9 3/38 18.44 4.25 26.0 0 0

The real excitement of the game was shown in Test Match which results weren’t decided till the last over.

In the first test, the hosts started their domination with Joe Root stepping up with an unbeaten double ton along with some crucial stands helped England declare at 575 for 9. With the pitch became flat in the next two days, Sri Lanka played with ease. Sangakkara and Mathews stepping up with centuries helped Sri Lanka to score 453. With a lead of 122 runs in hand England put on 267 for 8 in 2nd innings delaying a bit for Ballance to complete his maiden Test Century.

Later Sri Lanka was set a target of 390 on the last day. It looked like going down to a draw with another 8 wickets needing in around 36 overs. But just before Tea and after tea Anderson send back set batsmen as England started to hope for win. Soon were five down with 32 over still to be played. However, Mathews and Prasanna survived for 20 overs before Jordan struck. England kept picking up wickets and needed another two in the last over which was bowled by Broad who could manage a wicket straight of the first ball. Pradeep survived the next 3 balls but the penultimate ball produced a wicket which was turned down after a review. Pradeep edged the last ball but fell short of the slip as England took away with draw.

The second and final test was crucial as the series was still equal. England again began their domination reducing Sri Lanka for just 257 with help of Plunkett’s 5-fer who failed badly in his comeback test in Lord’s. England tightened their grip on the game after getting into lead with eight wicket in hand. But once Robson fell with 21 lead as third wicket, England’s collapse started as they bundled out for 365 on third day’s first hour. Trail by 108, Sri Lanka were brought down to 277 for 7 despite of contributions from Sanga and Mahela.

The match turned completely towards Sri Lanka way when Mathews put on a 149 run stand along with Hearth resulting in setting England a target of 350. An astonishing spell at end of the Day 4 from Prasad collapsed England to 57 for 5. But a fight back from Moeen Ali on final day took the game way down. First He batted 30 overs long with Root and later 15, 17, 8 overs respectively with Prior, Jordan and Broad. Which meant England needed to bat 20 more over to survive the game. And with help of Anderson, Ali managed to do the miracle. In the process he completed his marathon innings batted ton. On other end, Anderson kept on blocking without getting off the mark. The match went to the last over and Eranga began with shorter balls which resulted in success and made Anderson nick of the penultimate ball as SL ran through in celebrations and the batsman in tears.

However, England will take some positives like Robson, Ballance and Ali who impressed a lot. In between the final test, some words were exchanged over Cook’s captaincy tactics in press meetings between Jayawardene and Bell.

Top Run Scorer in Test series:

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2 4 0 342 147 85.50 676 50.59 1 3 0 39 0
AD Mathews (SL) 2 4 0 306 160 76.50 539 56.77 2 0 0 41 2
JE Root (Eng) 2 4 1 259 200* 86.33 456 56.79 1 0 0 24 0

Top Wicket Taker in Test series:

Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5WI 10WM
JM Anderson (Eng) 2 4 94.5 27 258 12 4/25 7/118 21.50 2.72 47.4 0 0
LE Plunkett (Eng) 2 4 92.5 11 331 11 5/64 9/176 30.09 3.56 50.6 1 0
RMS Eranga (SL) 2 4 104.4 30 357 11 4/93 6/226 32.45 3.41 57.0 0 0