Woakes shines to restrict Sri Lanka


Published: Wednesday 10th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Chris Woakes took six wickets as England bowled Sri Lanka out for 239 on an awkward surface at the Pallekele International Stadium.

The tourists therefore faced a feasible but far from straightforward chase to stay in this one-day international series, after Kumar Sangakkara had continued his prolific form.

Sangakkara underpinned the home total after Alastair Cook chose to bowl first – with heavy clouds threatening, and Duckworth-Lewis a distinct possibility.

Veteran left-hander Sangakkara turned his fourth successive ODI 50 into a precious 91, sharing stands of 51 with Tillakaratne Dilshan and then 85 with Angelo Mathews as Sri Lanka seek to close out the series from 3-1 up with three to play.

But on a turning pitch which persuaded Cook to use 25 overs of spin, James Tredwell bowled 10 for just 33, and seamers Woakes (six for 47) and Chris Jordan also fared well.

Jordan was involved in each of the first four wickets.

He held a sharp chance at second slip to see off Kusal Perera for a second-ball duck off Steven Finn, bowled Dilshan off an inside-edge and was perfectly-placed at a wide solitary slip as Mahela Jayawardene went cheaply when he edged Woakes.

Sri Lanka were 59 for three. But Sangakkara played the long game, ably assisted by Mathews until Jordan – who had just failed to hold a very tough return chance offered by the home captain on 36 – got him for 40 instead, mis-pulling one that hurried on to him.

Three overs of spin in powerplay, including a maiden from Tredwell, helped England limit Sri Lanka to 25 for none.

Tredwell then had Lahiru Thirimanne lbw sweeping at the start of the last 10 – but Sangakkara had power to add until he picked out deep mid-wicket as he searched for an 11th four.

The late scurry favoured England, and especially Woakes despite some harsh wide calls, as wickets continued to tumble and Sri Lanka ran out of them with an over unused.

Forecast rain began to fall during the interval and was still doing so with the ground under full covers when England’s reply was scheduled to resume.

A D/L recalculation was in the offing, although there was leeway to play an extra hour to accommodate the full 50 overs – or return on the reserve day.

Published: Wednesday 10th December 2014 by The News Editor

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