Chandimal Eventually Sees Sri Lanka Home
Sri Lanka 249-4 (Chandimal 105no, Jayawardene 79) beat
England 246-7 (Cook 119) by six wickets
Third One-Day International, Lord's
Dinesh Chandimal stroked a fine century as Sri Lanka eventually beat England by six wickets in the third One-Day International at Lord's to move into a 2-1 series lead.
Chandimal finished unbeaten on 105 and the tourists might have finished the game far earlier than they did but for the determination of Angelo Mathews to get Chandimal through to his second ODI century.
With the game seemingly sewn up, Mathews blocked and refused obvious runs in a curious innings of one in 21 balls that irked both the England team and his own dressing room.
His blushes were spared when the impressive Chandimal, a hard-hitting, enterprising and innovative batsman, hammered Tim Bresnan over long-on to reach three figures and he then finished the match by carving James Anderson over cover for a boundary - his 11th in all.
Anderson had bowled the 47th over to Mathews without conceding a run - a rare event during a Power Play but having been the better team throughout the day, Sri Lanka were able to briefly put the team's hopes to one side in favour of their 21-year-old starlet's pursuit of individual glory.
His century overshadowed that of Alastair Cook, who held England's faltering innings together with a knock of 119 in 143 balls - also his second ODI century.
England slipped to 85 for four and were unable to accelerate during the Power Play and it took unti the penultimate delivery of the innings for Graeme Swann to hit the first - and only - six of the innings.
Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis all grabbed two wickets apiece to keep England in check. Kevin Pietersen (41) and Ian Bell (30) offered Cook support, but he badly needed either Pietersen to go on and make a big score or batsmen around him to score quicker.
Their score of 246 for seven never looked like enough and so it proved with Mahela Jayawardene also scoring a typically fluent and graceful half-century.
He faced just 77 balls in making 79, falling short of a second straight century when he was caught by Eoin Morgan off Jade Dernbach.
Opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan had fallen cheaply, bowled by Bresnan for three before Jayawardene added 112 with Kumar Sangakkara (25) to break the back of the run chase.
Although Sangakkara and Thilina Kandamby (11) both fell to off-spinner Swann, there was to be no stopping Sri Lanka - at least not by England - they were only able to take the game as far as the penultimate over because Sri Lanka slowed things down to get Chandimal to his century.
It was not the first time that Sri Lanka had engineered such a situation - in the in Colombo earlier this year, Dilshan blocked to allow Upul Tharanga to reach three figures butt Sri Lanka still got home with more than ten overs to spare on that occasion.
The fourth match is at Trent Bridge on 6th July.
© Cricket World 2011