Sri Lanka vs England 3rd ODI: Buttler and Ali help England triumph in rain-affected showdown

Buttler was named Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat

Buttler was named Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Moeen Ali both hammered half-centuries to help their side beat Sri Lanka by five wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis method in Hambantota.

However, Sri Lanka batting duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne both deserve a lot of credit for scoring 63 and 62 respectively.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews would have been brooding over his decision to bat first after opening batsman Kusal Perera was caught by Eoin Morgan at backward point off the bowling of Chris Woakes for a duck.

Just a few deliveries later, the players were ushered off the field due to heavy rain.

After a three-and-a-half hour delay, play finally resumed, but the match was cut down to 35 overs per side.

It was England who benefited from the rain delay as Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught behind off the bowling of Steven Finn for 23.

Thilina Kandamby, who was playing in his first ODI since 2011, failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Chris Jordan at first slip off the bowling of Woakes.

Sangakkara and Mathews stabilised the innings with an 87-run partnership before Mathews was caught behind off the bowling of Jordan for 37.

Sangakkara went on to score 63 off 62 balls, which included seven boundaries, before he was caught by Ali at mid-on off the bowling of Jordan

Sangakkara brought up an impressive personal milestone during his knock as he became only the fourth player in ODI history to score 13,000 runs.

Sangakkara surpassed 13,000 ODI runs during his valiant knock of 63

Sangakkara surpassed 13,000 ODI runs during his valiant knock of 63

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Jeevan Mendis made a quickfire 12 before he was caught by Finn at square leg off the bowling of Joe Root.

Thisara Perera scored eight runs before he was caught by Ali off the bowling of Woakes.

Dhammika Prasad made a rapid 21 before he was stumped by Buttler off the bowling of Ravi Bopara.

Thanks to Thirimanne’s unbeaten knock of 62, which came off 47 balls and included seven boundaries, Sri Lanka finished on 242/8 off their 35 overs.

Thirimanne made a gutsy 62

Thirimanne made a gutsy 62

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Woakes was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Jordan snapped up two and Finn, Bopara and Root chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 236 to win due to the Duckworth-Lewis method, England got off to an excellent start as captain Alastair Cook and Ali amassed an 84-run partnership before Cook was caught behind off the bowling of Prasad for 34.

Ali ended up making 58 off 40 balls, which included two boundaries and five sixes, before he was run out by Rangana Herath.

Ali smashed two boundaries and five sixes during his entertaining knock  of 58

Ali smashed two boundaries and five sixes during his entertaining knock of 58

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Alex Hales made 27 runs before he was caught by Ajantha Mendis at mid-on off the bowling of Mathews.

Bopara failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught behind off the bowling of Herath for six runs.

Morgan fared no better as he was caught by Thisara Perera at long leg off the bowling of Mathews for one run.

Thanks to Buttler and Root’s unbeaten 84-run partnership, during which Buttler registered his half-century, England reached their target with eight balls to spare.

Buttler scored 55 off 37 balls, which included nine boundaries, while Root remained undefeated on 48 off 48 deliveries, which included two boundaries and two sixes.

Mathews was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Prasad and Herath claimed one wicket each.

Mathews was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “The batters put up a good fighting score but the conditons were a bit wet but I thought we were poor in the field. The Duckworth-Lewis you can’t rely on it but our bowlers weren’t up to it today. Catches and no-balls have cost us. Thirimanne batted brilliantly and played so well with the tail. Mahela will be back for Colombo but we don’t need to panic.”

Cook was pleased to have beaten Sri Lanka for the first time in the series, and said: “It’s great to get over the line. We got a great start with Mo. The lads played great to win the game. We should have cruised it better than we did but we got there in the end. I think they showed how hard it is to defend. Our fifth bowler didn’t quite get it right. We felt 235 was par and we played well to get there. It was a great wicket and credit to the groundstaff. My back flared up during the break but it was nice to score a few runs.”

Buttler was named Man of the Match.

 

 

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