Cook Helps Essex Beat Sri Lankans
Essex 161-5 (Cook 71, Foakes 51) beat
Sri Lankans 146-9 by 22 runs (D/L)
Tour game, Chelmsford
Essex beat the touring Sri Lankans by 22 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method) in a one-day tour game in Chelmsford that was reduced to a 21 overs per side affair due to rain.
Thanks to half-centuries from England captain Alastair Cook and wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, Essex posted a score of 161 for five.
As Essex's innings was interrupted, Sri Lanka were set a revised target of 169 and they closed on 146 for nine.
On-loan quick bowler Oliver Newby returned three for 36 as Essex restricted the experienced Sri Lankan line-up to claim victory.
Cook, fresh from runs in a rain-shortened game for England against Scotland last week, cracked four fours and two sixes in a knock of 71 in 49 balls to help Essex recover strongly from being reduced to 21 for three following a lengthy delay due to rain.
Suranga Lakmal removed Mark Pettini (8), Greg Smith (1) and Dammika Prasad, a late addition to Sri Lanka's ODI squad, trapped Ravi Bopara in front for a two-ball duck.
Cook and Foakes, who blasted 51 in 31 balls, went on the counter-attack and added 82 runs together and after both fell, to Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasad respectively, Essex finished strongly through James Foster hitting a run-a-ball 12 not out and Tom Westley making 16 not out in six.
Lakmal finished with two for 21 and Prasad justified his late call-up with two for 30 as Dilshan claimed one for 32.
Like Essex, Sri Lanka also lost three early wickets as Kushal Janith Perera, Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne fell for four, six and five respectively and Dilshan also fell for 22 in 20 balls to leave them struggling at 44 for four.
Unlike Essex, they were not able to launch an effective counter-attack, despite the best efforts of Dinesh Chandimal, whose 31 took him 25 deliveries.
Angelo Mathews (19), Thisara Perera (13), Ashan Priyanjan (10) and Chaturanga de Silva (20 not out) all hit out in a bid to keep up with the required run-rate but they eventually closed well short.
Newby grabbed the scalps of Kushal Perera, Jayawardene and Chandimal while spinners Smith and Monty Panesar both took two apiece.
Reece Topley and Matthew Salisbury - making his one-day debut - took one apiece as Essex put a recent string of injuries to their fast bowlers behind them to produce a disciplined performance against the reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions.
Sri Lanka play England in the first One-Day International at the Kia Oval on 22nd May, before which they also play Kent (16th May) and Sussex (18th May).
© Cricket World 2014
Images above © REUTERS / Action Images
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