A disastrous tour further wracked by the sending back of three frontline players including vice captain Kusal Mendis on disciplinary grounds of breaching the bio bubble and team rules, a fresher laden Sri Lanka once again suffered a 5-wicket defeat at the hands of England at Chester-le-Street yesterday. Also on the mat were opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella having stepped out of their hotel late night the day prior to the match.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka flopped for 185 off 42.3 overs with skipper Kusal Janith Perera top scoring with 73 off 81 balls and Wanindu Hasaranga, promoted to No. 5 in a rehash of the batting order, striking 54 off 65 hitting 6 boundaries and a six. The rest of the Lankan batsman came apart in the face of England’s tear away attack led by Chris Woakes’ Player of Match 4 for 18 and David Willey’s 3 for 44.
England’s response was swift romping to 189 for 5 winning with 91 balls to spare spearheaded by a breezy 43 off 21 balls by Jonny Bairstow containing 6 boundaries and a six from where star batsman Joe Root carried the victory charge with an unbeaten 79 off 87 inclusive of 4 boundaries.
Dushmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka collecting 3 for 50 off 8 overs while Chamila Karunaratne took 1 for 39 and Binura Fernando 1 for 50.
Going into the match with debutant reinforcements, but Pathum Nissanka and youth finds Charith Asalanka (0) and Dhananjaya Lakshan cleaned up for 5, 0 and 2 sounded a bad start In a rehashed batting order that also saw out of form Dhananjaya de Silva dropped. Skipper Kusal Janith Perera carried the brunt with a studious innings backed by Hasaranga, The duo added 99 runs for the fourth wicket off 123 deliveries in a repair job after Sri Lanka had lost 3 wickets for 45 off 8.1 overs after Dasun Shanaka, promoted to No. 4 had fallen for 1 nine deliveries after Asalanka had disappointed at No.3. Shanaka was Chris Woakes second victim caught by Joe Root after England’s strike bowler had started the slide having Nissanka caught by Moeen Ali m – 1 for 23 4.4 overs. .Asalanka followed Nissanka caught by Root off David Willey – 2 for 24 in 5.5.
Hasaranga exited caught by Liam Livingstone off Woakes with the score 145.. Dhananjaya Lakshan followed four runs later becoming Woakes fourth victim to a catch to Joe Root off the third ball of the 31st over while next man in Ramesh Mendis was trapped leg before wicket for 1 by Moeen Ali. Skipper Kusal Janith Perera’s long resistance came to an end, seventh out caught Billings bowled David Willey hwith the total 152 off 32.2. Binura Fernando became Willey’s third victim cught by Ali for 2 0 160 for 8 36.1. No.8 Chamika Karunaratne defied for an unbeaten 19 off 33 with a six hile the last two Dushmantha Chameera and Praveen Jayawickrama ran themselves out for 7 and 4.
SRI LANKA 185 (42.3 Overs) RR: 4.35
(Kusal Janith Perera 73, Wanindu Hasaranga 54, Chamika Karunaratne n.o. 16, Chris Woakes [i]4/18, David Willey 3/44)
ENGLAND 189/5 (34.5 Overs) RR: 5.42
(Joe Root n.o. 79, Jonny Bairstow 43, Moeen Ali 28, Sam Curran n.o. 9, Dushmantha Chameera 3/30, Chamika Karunaratne 1/39, Binura Fernando 1/50)
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-