Half-centuries from Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis helped Sri Lanka amass 366 for 6 in their 50 overs. In reply, Dushmantha Chameera (3 for 20) and Akila Dananjaya (4 for 19) destroyed England's much-famed batting lineup to knock them out cold. The visiting side were 132 for 9 before the rain arrived.
Dickwella earlier added 137 runs with opening partner Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made 54, to give the hosts a perfect platform for their formidable total after electing to bat first. The two took the attack to the bowlers from the word go and didn't allow anyone to settle in. It was offspinner Moeen Ali who finally broke the stand when he knocked over Samarawickrama after the right-hander brought up his maiden ODI fifty.
Meanwhile, the left-handed Dickwella hit 12 fours in his 97-ball 95 before becoming Moeen's second victim. The wicketkeeper-batsman missed his third ODI hundred by just five runs.
Skipper Chandimal soon took charge to carry forward the momentum, building crucial partnerships including a 102-run third wicket stand with Mendis, who smashed 56 off 33 balls. Tom Curran (2 for 71) got Chandimal out for 80 with a slower delivery with Jason Roy taking the catch at deep mid-wicket. Chandimal hit 6 fours and 2 sixes in his 73-ball knock.
Tom Curran struck again on the very next ball with the wicket of Thisara Perera for 11, but was denied the hat-trick by Dananjaya De Silva, who played a useful cameo of 19 not out. Dananjaya put on an unbeaten 38-run partnership with Akila Dhananjaya, who hit 18 off 11 balls, to help Sri Lanka post their highest total against England.
England had the batting to track down this total but Kasun Rajitha and Dushmantha Chameera demolished their top-order by picking up three wickets in the first two overs. Rajitha first castled Jason Roy (4) with a very full delivery before Chameera got rid of Alex Hales and Jos Buttler in the very next over. Both the batsmen failed to get off the mark and were caught behind the stumps.
Joe Root was looking to build his innings but Samarawickrama pulled off a screamer at point to send him back for 10. Having been reduced to 28 for 4, Ben Stokes (67) and Moeen Ali (37) stitched together a 79-run stand for the fifth wicket to help England cross that three-figure mark.
The two played their shots freely and Stokes, despite struggling with his fitness, almost limped his way to a half-century. It was now Akila's turn to take over. The offspinner first outfoxed Moeen with his googly before getting rid of Stokes with a teasing flighted delivery. The left-hander hit 12 fours during his stay in the middle.
There was hardly any contribution from the lower order as England were nine down in no time. That's when rain arrived and denied Sri Lanka from putting the finishing touches.
The two teams will now play a solitary Twenty20 International on Saturday before the focus shifts to the three-match Test series.
Akila DananjayaDinesh Chandimaldushmantha chameerakusal mendisMoeen Aliniroshan dickwellaSadeera Samarawickramasri lanka vs england 2018
First Published: October 23, 2018, 9:46 PM IST