Sri Lanka ended their dismal series against England on a high after they defeated the visitors in the 5th ODI by 219 runs by DLS Method at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
Having already won the series, England decided to rest captain Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone. Jos Buttler was appointed as the captain of the team. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, dropped Lasith Malinga in favour of Dushmantha Chameera from their last match. Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and decided that the hosts will bat first.
Niroshan Dickwella had looked threatening all throughout the series. And he started the innings aggressively taking on the English bowlers. Sadeera Samarawickrama too joined the party and hit three consecutive boundaries of Sam Curran in his second over. The duo added 72 runs in the mandatory powerplay period. Both the openers reached to their fifties as the hosts, for the first time in the series, put on a 100 run partnership. The 137 run stand was finally broken by Moeen Ali when cleaned up Samarawickrama for 54 in the beginning of the 20th over.
Dickwella, however, continued to play his fearless game. The southpaw was unlucky to miss out on an ODI century as he was dismissed on 95 by Moeen. Dinesh Chandimal and Kushal Mendis both looked to accelerate from the beginning. Mendis clovered 6 sixes all around the park and a solitary four to reach to his fifty. Both the batsmen added 102 runs for the fourth wicket. Liam Plunkett finally got the better of Mendis as the hosts were reduced to 270-3 in the 39th over.
Dasun Shanaka played a cameo with three boundaries to his name. Captain Chandimal kept the innings going with flamboyant stroke making. Chandimal was dismissed on 80 and Shanaka on 18 but they had done enough to take the score past the 300-mark. Late contributions from Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya De Silva helped the hosts to post a mammoth score of 366 on the board in their 50 overs.
England’s reply got off to the worst possible start. They lost their explosive opener Jason Roy in the very first over when Kasun Rajitha clean bowled him. Dushmantha Chameera made the lives of the English batsmen even more difficult. He picked up both Alex Hales and Jos Buttler for a nought in the second over of the innings as England soon found themselves in a precarious position. The visitors had put on just 4 runs for the loss of three crucial wickets after the end of the second over. Joe Root and Ben Stokes tried to stabilise the innings. But their attempt went in vain.
Chameera’s third wicket in the form of Root put England even more back from chasing down the target. Stokes and Moeen looked comfortable for a certain period. Both the left-handers tried to be aggressive and found a few boundaries. But a lot was asked of them. Akhila Dhananjaya dismissed Moeen in the 19th over for 37 as half of the England side were sent back to the pavilion for 107 runs.
Dhananjaya de Silva too chipped into the action as he brought the sixth wicket for the hosts. It was Sam Curran who had to depart this time. Ben Stokes’ resilient 67 finally came to an end in the next over when Akhila got his second wicket. Two more wickets from Akhila reduced the visitors to 132-9 before rain stopped play and no further cricket was possible as a result of which Sri Lanka won the match by 219 runs (DLS Method).
The rain-marred series as finally came to end. England would be pretty happy with their performance in the series. The 3-1 series victory adds another achievement to Eoin Morgan’s CV. Sri Lanka, erstwhile, have been convincingly beaten once again in their home. They would be hoping to bounce back in the test series which starts from 6th November which is also the last series for veteran bowler Rangana Herath.
Sri Lanka: 366-6(50 o.)
Niroshan Dickwella: 95(97)
Dinesh Chandimal: 80(73)
Moeen Ali: 8-0-57-2
England: 132-9(26.1 o.)
Ben Stokes: 67(60)
Moeen Ali: 37(37)
Akhila Dhananjaya: 6.1-0-19-4
Man of The Match: Niroshan Dickwella
Man of The Series: Eoin Morgan