Twenty20 International v England
Mahela’s classy knock
seals Sri Lanka win
reporting from England
Saturday - Sri Lanka may have faltered in the Test
series, but when it came to the shortest version of
the game they brought out all their IPL experience
to bear to fashion out a comprehensive nine-wicket
win over ICC World T20 champions England in the
one-off Twenty20 International played at Bristol on
Saturday. It was Sri Lanka’s biggest T20
International victory by the margin of wickets.
The game was turned into a totally one-sided
affair after England was restricted to a moderate
score of 136-9 and Sri Lanka buoyed by Mahela
Jayawardene’s fifth T20 International fifty cruised
past that total with 16 balls to spare making 137-1.
Sri Lanka lost the wicket of veteran Sanath
Jayasuriya for eight in the fifth over, but that was
all the success that England could gain as
Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara finished the match
off in style against some ordinary bowling. The
experienced pair put together 97 runs off 86 balls
with Sangakkara’s contribution being 43 off 39 balls
Jayawardene indisputably the Man-of-the-Match
with a classy 72 not out off 57 balls (1 six, 8
fours) would have felt relieved to have found his
form back ahead of the five-match one-day series
starting at the Oval on Tuesday (June 28) following
a disappointing Test series where he failed to get
past fifty in six innings averaging just 17.
England invited to bat first built their innings
in patches. They lost two early wickets that of
openers Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter for 12 by
the third over and the innings was steadied by
Pietersen and Eoin Morgan who put on 83 off 55 balls
for the third wicket which contributed over 60
percent to England’s final total.
Morgan clearly showed his intentions when he got off
the mark with a six off the third ball he faced and
followed it up with a four over bowler Lakmal’s
head. He looked dangerous and England would have
been in deeper trouble if Angelo Mathews had not
dropped an easy chance off him at long-on at 22.
The partnership prospered with both batsmen
feasting on some high full tosses bowled by Thisara
Perera who went for 24 runs in his second over
inclusive of three sixes.
Lasith Malinga finally ended the partnership when
Morgan holed out to Jayawardene at deep square leg
for 47 scored off 32 balls inclusive of three sixes
and four fours.
Jayasuriya coming for his first bowl then ended
Pietersen’s innings for 41 scored off 27 balls (2
sixes, 3 fours) by bowling him with a quicker ball
which he attempted to cut. He later picked up the
wicket of Bopara with a similar ball to finish with
figures of two for 18. England lost their way after
the fall of Morgan and Pietersen within six runs of
each other and three wickets fell for seven runs off
Thilina Kandamby in his first appearance as
captain of his country kept the pressure on England
so that the last five overs produced only 27 runs
and one four while four wickets fell. England
managed to hit only one boundary after the
Morgan-Pietersen stand was ended which gave a clear
insight to how Sri Lanka controlled the game.
With Malinga’s presence Sri Lanka suddenly looked
like a winning side. He ended up with the best
figures of 2 for 15 with the fast improving young
Lakmal not far behind with 2 for 26.
The ground which has a capacity to take 7000 was
expanded by the erection of temporary stands to
accommodate 15,000 spectators.
Two international captains made their debuts and Sri
Lanka’s Thilina Kandamby came out on top today ahead
of England’s Stuart Broad who turned 25 on the eve
of the match.