The second ODI match between Sri Lanka and England belonged to the visitors as an Eoin Morgan inspired England beat Sri Lanka by 31 runs by DLS Method at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla. Like in the first ODI rain had a major say in this match too. However, enough play was possible to find a result. Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Lasith Malinga has been in excellent form since his comeback to the National Team and he proved his worth once again when he dismissed Jason Roy in the first over for a nought. Joe Root looked aggressive from the beginning. He and Bairstow looked to steady the innings. Both of them, especially Root, found boundaries at regular intervals. But Thisara Perera’s disciplined bowling paid off and he got the wicket of Bairstow.
The most experienced English duo, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan were now on the crease to help England to reach a winnable score. Root soon completed his 29th half century. But the right-handed Yorkshire batsman was dismissed on 71 by Dhananjaya De Silva as the visitors were reduced to 140-3 in the 29th over. Morgan upped the ante after Root’s dismissal. The duo of Morgan and Ben Stokes added 50 runs for the fourth wicket before Stokes was removed by Akhila Dhananjaya. There’s no stopping Morgan on the other hand. However, the southpaw was unable to convert his fifty into a century. Lasith Malinga caught off his own bowling to send the English captain back to the pavilion. Malinga got two wickets in two deliveries when he removed Moeen Ali for a golden duck as England found themselves lingering at 218-6 in the 42nd over.
Jos Buttler hit two boundaries. But his stay was not for long. He missed a full toss from Nuwan Pradeep as the ball crashed onto his stumps. Malinga again struck twice in an over to get his 8th five-wicket haul in ODIs. Late boundaries from Adil Rashid and Olly Stone helped England post a score of 278 for the loss of 9 wickets in their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka’s reply to England’s target had a shaky start. Chris Woakes got rid of Upul Tharanga in the first over for a duck. Olly Stone got his first wicket in ODI cricket when he picked up Niroshan Dickwella in the start of the fourth over. Chris Woakes was again in the thick of the action. This time he was successful in removing the Sri Lankan captain, Dinesh Chandimal, for 6 runs and reduced the hosts to 20-3 in the fifth over.
Dasun Shanaka offered little resistance and bestowed Woakes with his third wicket of the innings. Kushal Perera and Dhananjaya De Silva started to construct a slow partnership as they looked to soak in all the pressure. The duo added 43 runs before Liam Dowson dismissed Perera for 30 runs.
Sri Lanka were 74-5 in 16 overs at this stage. Thisara Perera’s arrival on the batting crease filled Sri Lanka with hope as the left-handed batsman looked to take on the attack on the English bowlers. De Silva and Perera had added 66 runs as the Sri Lankan scorecard read 140-5 in 29 overs before rain stopped play. Sadly that was the end of the game because of persistent rain. England were ahead by 31 runs at this stage by DLS Method and hence were successful in winning the match.
Sri Lanka would like to improve their batting display in the next match. Erstwhile the visitors would be happy to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The series now moves to Pallekele which hosts the third one-day between the two sides and fans are hoping for a complete match to be played.
England: 278-9(50 o.)
Eoin Morgan: 92(91)
Joe Root: 71(83)
Lasith Malinga: 10-1-44-5.
Sri Lanka: 140-5(29 o.)
Thisara Pererra: 44(49)
Dhananjaya De Silva: 36(50)
Chris Woakes: 5-0-26-3.
Man of The Match: Eoin Morgan