England

Plunkett To The Rescue!

 

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Liam Plunkett’s late cameo helped England secure a thrilling tie in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka

 

Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett hit a last ball six to ensure that England’s one-day series with Sri Lanka ended up in a thrilling tie. England in the one-day format are under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan. In the last 15 months much has been made of the Three Lions’ attacking approach, England were hoping to carry on their winning momentum from the test matches into the one-day series.

Winning the toss, home captain Morgan opted to field. The decision seemed justified as Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, and Kusal Mendis were all back in the pavilion before the score reached 100. Those early dismissals brought Sri Lanka’s experienced duo of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Matthews to the crease.

The pair put on a watchful stand of 64, the main reason for that was due to the brilliant and well-disciplined bowling of the ever improving Adil Rashid,who bowled quite wonderfully in his 10 overs.

Adil’s superb bowling was putting pressure on the Sri Lankan’s to up the scoring and that helped break the partnership. Moeen Ali was able to profit from Chandimal’s impatience as the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper was well caught by Chris Woakes. The tourists were still in trouble at 120-4.

When Prasanna came into the crease, he was able to add much-needed impetus to the Sri Lanka innings. The Sri Lankan clubbed 59 off just 28 deliveries, which was exactly what the tourists scorecard needed, but when Prasanna was out off the bowling of Chris Woakes, Upul Tharanga also was dismissed very soon after.

A collapse seemed on the cards which has happened far too often this summer in the Sri Lanka batting line-up. Thankfully for Sri Lanka Shanaka and Farveez Maharoof were able to help get the Asian side’s score up to 286-9 in their 50 overs.

On a pitch that seemed like it was giving some assistance to batsmen, Sri Lanka seemed to be about 15-20 runs short. What happened next in this match I don’t think anyone saw this coming, if anyone. England got their run chase off to a disastrous start.

The usually reliable England to order crumbled, Alex Hales,Jason Roy and Joe Root were all back in the hut before the score had got to 20. Outcome Bairstow next, the man who had been England’s saviour in the test series, but even he didn’t really trouble the scorers as the Yorkshireman was out for three.

It was left to Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler to recover the situation, but when Morgan was the fifth man out with the score not even getting over 100, an absolute mauling for England was on the cards.

Thankfully for England in the one-day format, they have been able to call on Jos Buttler and yet again the wicketkeeper-batsmen produced the goods. After Moeen Ali’s fell in quick succession to his captain’s, it was left to Chris Woakes and Buttler to drag the hosts back into the game.

The seventh wicket pair brilliantly put on 138 for the seventh wicket to drag England right back into contention. Sadly for England disaster struck as Joss Buttler holed out and was excellently caught on the long off boundary by Dasun Shanaka. David Willey was the next batsmen in.
Yorkshire all-rounder Willey has impressed with the bat over the years, but sadly in this game, the 24-year old struggled to make an impression. David Willey was duly put out of his misery and was dismissed for just seven.

At this point, Sri Lanka were firmly in the box seat, but what was about to happen next I am sure not even the most optimistic of England fan would have saw coming. The hosts England were needing 15 an over, which with the greatest respect to England seemed near impossible, but cometh the hour cometh the man.

That man on this occasion was Liam Plunkett. The Yorkshire all-rounder has been in good form with the bat this year and the 29-year old took his good form on to the international stage for England. The Three Lions thanks to lusty blows from Plunkett were able to tie a game that they seemed almost certain to lose.

The tie was secured with a six off the last ball, this was only the eighth time in England’s one-day international history that they had a tied a match. The second one day international between the two sides will be on Friday in Bristol.

Dan The Man For England

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A last-gasp Daniel Sturridge goal helped England get their Euro 2016 campaign back on track as The Three Lions edged out Wales 2-1 in a game that was dubbed ‘the battle of Britain’. England came into this game knowing that one result was only really going to suffice, victory.

For football fans from the UK, much build-up wouldn’t have been needed for this game, but with Slovakia defeating Russia yesterday the pressure on England to win grew even more.

Coming into the game Wales who impressively beat Slovakia in the last game after being pegged back, made two changes to their side. Jonny Williams and Dave Edwards made way for Hal Robson-Kane and Joe Ledley respectfully.

As for England,their team showed no changes in a match that anything other than a win would see the Three Lions all but knocked out of the tournament. The match itself in the early stages after quite a big build up, disappointed as England struggled to assert themselves in the game and Wales were looking a little nervous.

The 1996 semi-finalists were lacking a cutting edge and an end product for all their possession they were having. Raheem Sterling though however, who was later taken off had a glorious chance to put his side in front after skying over when well place to convert Adam Lallana’s centre.

That miss, though, however, wasn’t going to be costly for the English. There was a scare for England before hand as Wales’ star player Gareth Bale opened the scoring with a stunner of a free-kick.

Just like in the Slovakia game, England goalkeeper Joe Hart’s positioning was questionable as a free-kick from some 40 yards shouldn’t be really finding the back of the net.

England were no doubt a bit rattled, manager Roy Hodgson who has a wealth of experience, really needed to draw upon that now as his side were staring down the barrel.

Roy’s men were in need of a good team talk, some might even say a ‘Carlsberg team-talk’. One thing was for certain if the score stayed the same England would have been all but out of the tournament.

If you are of the England persuasion, however, you would be happy in the knowledge that didn’t happen. Knowing England needed to change the momentum of the game. Hodgson made what would turn out to be two very inspirational substitutions.

In the first-half Wales’ back three weren’t tested enough, but with the introduction of subs Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy, England had more pace in the side and were eventually starting to ask questions of the Welsh backline.

Sturridge, in particular, seemed to make his intent clear, he wanted to be more direct. Although the Liverpool man saw a few speculative efforts go well over the bar initially, the former Manchester City and Chelsea would make go on to make a key contribution in the end.

Fellow sub-Jamie Vardy would help get England back into the game by scrambling in an equaliser. That goal was the least England deserved at that point, from that point onwards there only looked to be one winner, England.

Wales who hadn’t offered much going forward were in need of a firm rearguard to keep out the wave after wave of England attacks. The Welsh were getting deeper and deeper in their own half after the England attacks intensified.

An England winner looked inevitable and the winner duly came from the boot of Daniel Sturridge, in the 92nd minute. From sadness, the English fans were ecstatic as their team pulled off a dramatic injury time win.

Quite a different story from the Russia game, what a difference a week makes.

The One’s To Watch In This years World Cup

James Taylor has blossomed since entering the International Arena, while his England team mates have struggled, he most definitely hasn't.

James Taylor has blossomed since entering the International Arena, while his England team mates have struggled, he most definitely hasn’t.

With the cricket World Cup is very much in full flow now, this tournament promises to be a cracker. The team here at Asian Sunday take a look five players who we think will ‘light up the tournament’.

Although the World Cup is just a few games old there are already a few players who are catching ‘the headlines’. In New Zealand’s emphatic win over Sri Lanka, unsurprisingly Corey Anderson caught our eye as well as his New Zealand team mate and captain Brendan McCullum. Ultimately we want to chose some players that you might not be aware of.

Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

The New Zealand all-rounder who hit the headlines with the fastest one day international at the time off 36 balls is a key player lower down the order for the Kiwis. Even in the World Cup Opener against Sri Lanka,Anderson showed the cricket world why he is a key player for the Black Caps. A cleaner striker all around the ground and a decent bowling option, Corey Anderson could be a key man for New Zealand in this years World Cup- but also for many years to come for New Zealand overall.

James Taylor (England)

When analysing a game, not many would give a mention to a player on the losing side – but James Taylor’s brilliant knock was the undoubted highlight of a very lacklustre England performance against co- hosts Australia. Although small in size this young Englishmen is very quickly becoming a man of ‘giant stature’. After a good season for Nottinghamshire the 24 year old has finally been given his chance at International level. Taylor may have a different style to Corey Anderson – but will be effective in a slightly different way. England have been crying out for so many years for a player who can rotate strike and remain calm under pressure. In James Taylor we are convinced England have their man.

Harris Sohail (Pakistan)

The 26 year old Harris Sohail has only just broken on to the international scene now, how the world of cricket mourns over that fact. Sohail a 26 year old left handed all rounder is truly the whole package, a very useful spinner of the cricket ball and a clean striker of one. For us though it’s Harris Sohail’s very good temperament in pressured situations that have already impressed us in his career so far.

Ajinkya Rahane (India)

In a batting line up including Rohit Sharma (a world record holder) , Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, you might be surprised that we picked out Rahane. The Rajasthan Royals opener has been selected in our list for his temperament and all round good game, a similar reason to James Taylor. A batsmen who has exceeded in all formats, Ajinkya Rahane could be a key factor in the tight games. Rahane does boast of scoring centuries in England and South Africa, Rahane has all the shots so it’s fair to say the 26 year old can most definitely ‘walk the walk’.

David Miller (South Africa)

Just like Rahane, Miller is potentially another surprise choice – but if you have watched the Indian Premier League in recent months, I really don’t think anyone will be that surprised why he has made our list. The Punjab Super Kings player like Corey Anderson is destructive if the bowling is to straight. Time and time again the Punjab player has made big knocks when his team needed him. Although Miller maybe unproven in International cricket, we feel it’s a matter of time before the whole cricket world takes notice of this man. Well it’s always going to be tough to be seen as dangerous batsmen, especially when you’re in the same side as AB DeVilliers.

The best thing about tournaments like this one is that it help other players get noticed that even we might have failed to notice. Regardless who plays in this tournament, the tournament it self plans to be a cracker.

World Cup 2015 Preview

The I.C.C World Cup kicks off on Friday 13th February, where India will be looking to retain their crown.

The I.C.C World Cup kicks off on Friday 13th February, where India will be looking to retain their crown.

The Cricket World Cup 2015 is almost upon us. Fourteen teams from across the globe will be competing for crickets top prize. With cricket’s biggest event under a month away, the team here at Asian Sunday we thought that we would get you into the cricket world cup spirit.

We take a look at England’s preparation for the tournament as well as the Asian nations as well. Sri Lanka kick the tournament off against in form co hosts New Zealand on 14th February.

This years tournament, just like previous tournaments will see two groups of seven which will also include qualifiers of the round robin event to qualify for the tournament. Afghanistan, Ireland, UAE and Scotland were the teams to qualify through the round robin event.

Pool A consists of: England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan , Scotland.

Pool B consists of: South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland , UAE .

Pool A Review:

Group A sees England in a very difficult group. The three Lions will be joined by Australia the team with the most world cup trophies (four) , in form New Zealand, Bangladesh, T2O winners Sri Lanka, Scotland and the very dangerous to underestimate Afghanistan.

With the first four teams from each group going through to the super eight phase, on paper you would expect England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka to all progress to the next round. The gulf of class between the more experienced teams shall we say and the so called smaller sides is still big – but surprises do happen such as Ireland beating Pakistan in the 2007 tournament. It will have to take a surprise of extreme proportions for one of the qualifiers to qualify, which we don’t see happening .

England who have been marred by controversy off the field such as Kevin Pieterson’s criticism of the England set up, in the media and in his auto biography, hasn’t helped their preparation. On the pitch however England’s form has been poor which lead to Alistair Cook been replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan.

The Dubliner who replaced Cook due to the test captains poor form in one day internationals, hasn’t faired much better himself with the bat – but the 28 year old does have a good scoring average as captain and did hit a 100 in a losing cause in the match against Australia last week . A brilliant nine wicket win against India, should given Morgan confidence in his ability as a one day leader for England.

The Three Lions have taken a good squad with them with a mixture of ‘big hitters’ and ‘sensible batters’. Some may argue the exclusion of Ben Stokes is a mistake – but the Durham man’s bowling looks to have counted against him.

The ‘smaller nations ‘ if you can call them that I am afraid haven’t closed the gap yet – but countries such as Afghanistan, UAE and Ireland for example can only beat the best if they compete against the best.

The Afghan’s in particular have impressed in World Cups, Asghar Stanikzai is a player that caught our eye in the last tournament, Mohammed Shazhad is another who has impressed for the Afghans. The Achilles heel for the Afghans has been their fielding – and the Asian side will have to improve on that if they are to compete in matches in this World Cup.

Sri Lanka the T20 winners have struggled in the build up to the World Cup. The current series against New Zealand has been a difficult one – but the Sri Lankan’s have a lot of talent at their disposal – and not to forget the legendary Mahela Jayawardena and his partner in crime Kumar Sangakarra. I don’t think they need to worry to much, ideally though the Asian side would love to carry a winning momentum into the tournament.

Bangladesh the other Asian side in the group, unfortunately I think will not get past the first round. Off the field issues in The Tigers build up to the tournament hasn’t been ideal build up.

Teams we predict To Qualify From Group A:

Australia (Winners)
New Zealand (Runners Up)
Sri Lanka
England

Pool B Review:

Defending champions India, start their defence against arch rivals Pakistan on 15th February in a mouth watering game. The defending champions since their title 2011 win have gone onto to dominate recent tournaments. An ICC Champions Trophy and a runners up spot in the T20 World final emphasise the dominance the South Asians have had in recent years.

India’s preparation for the tournament hasn’t been the best however. The defending world champions have lost their last two games, which is never ideal. With superstars such as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and not to forget to mention Suresh Raina it can be argued that the Indian’s have an embarrassment of riches.

Their opening game against Pakistan won’t be easy due to the way these matches have always been well contested – but the Indian’s haven’t lost to their fierce rivals in World Cup games.

Pakistan who will be facing arch rivals in the first match of their world cup campaign, come into this tournament with not as much cricket as their rivals. Matches against England and Bangladesh, just before the tournament starts could help the 1992 champions get into the right mindset.

The Pakistani’s forever known to be unpredictable, were rocked at the start of the tournament with the news that star spinner Saed Ajmal will miss the tournament as the 34 year looks to correct his illegal bowling action. The inclusion of all rounder Mohammed Hafeez who has also been reported for his action is a plus – but the 34 year old is expected to be just a batsmen for the tournament.

With the other teams including South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland; UAE and that the first four qualify, you would expect a safe passage through to the super eights for both Asian sides .

The Teams We Predict To Qualify From Group B

India ( Group Winners)
South Africa (Runners Up)
Pakistan
West Indies

Our Verdict :

The 2015 tournament promises to be a good one. Australia, South Africa, India and Pakistan will no doubt feel they could go all the way and win the tournament. Australia the most successful side in the history of the tournament might have their work cut out in this tournament as they look to add to their four world cup wins.

India will feel they have something to say about, the defending world champions who have won the title twice and will be seen as favourites for this tournament by many , ourselves included. The beauty of sport and in particular sports tournaments – they’re never won on paper – but rather on the sports field.

New Zealand who will look to bring their good form to the world cup will be a potential dark horse. A team with Brendan McCullum in it, definitely has a chance of being successful, the Black Caps have never got past the semi-final – but maybe this team can?

England and Sri Lanka will be seen as outsiders by many – but both have good enough good squads to cause some surprises in the latter stages. Sri Lanka will be looking to give the legendary pair of Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardena a fitting send off, who most definitely will be playing in their last world cups.

The World cup starts on the 14th of February and finishes on the 29th of March.

England, Pakistan And Sri Lanka Announce Their Squads For The Cricket World Cup

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England's 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England’s 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

England who were runners up in the 1992 world cup, announced their cricket world cup squad on Wednesday 7th January and there was very few surprises. Former captain Alistair Cook was publicly dropped and was replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan as sports fan will know, Gary Balance is the man to take the England test captains place.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes is another player to miss out after disappointing in recent games for England – but as is the way with disappointments the 23 year old Stokes blasted an impressive 77 off just 37 balls for his new Australian club side the Melbourne Renegades the day he got omitted from England’s world cup side.

As for Pakistan (the side who beat England in that 1992 final) , the announcement of their cricket world cup squad brought a few surprises , the absence of experienced paceman Umar Gul, will no doubt raise eyebrows.Another experienced bowler, off spinner Saed Ajmal already was announced as an absentee for Pakistan’s world cup squad as the 34 year old already declared his unavailability on 28th November. The talented Akmal brothers both miss out – but Kamran Akmal’s inconsistency with his wicketkeeping has ultimately lead the Pakistani selectors to keep faith in current custodian of the wicketkeeping gloves Sarfraz Ahmed. Ahmed’s performances with the bat in recent months does justify the Pakistani’s decision to stick with the 27 year old wicket- keeper batsmen.

Sri Lanka who won the world cup in 1996 announced their squad which included the least surprises. Paceman Lasith Malinga who has recurring knee problems is included – but subject to fitness. The Asian side will be captained by Angelo Matthews as usual with Lahiru Thirimanne as vice-captain.Veterans Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jaywardena are included in what will most likely be their last world cup, and both will no doubt be wanting to go out on a high.

England’s 15 man cricket world cup squad :

Eoin Morgan (capt),Jos Buttler (wk) , Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad,, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan,), Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

Pakistan’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan,, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan,Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal,Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younus Khan.

Sri Lanka’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Angelo Mathews (capt), Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.

Sri Lanka Vs England Sixth One Day International Match Report

Kumar Sangakarra's brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

Kumar Sangakarra’s brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

England came into this game looking to level the series after an impressive five wicket win last time out. The tourists came into this one unchanged as they looked to carry on the winning momentum, as for the hosts Suranga Lakmal comes in, in place of Ajantha Mendis. Dhamika Prassad also makes way for Seekkuge Prasanna and at the top of the order out of sorts opener Kusal Pererra is dropped so Dinesh Chandimal comes in as the hosts looked to clinch the series with a win in Pallekele.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, it initially appeared to be not the right decision as Mahela Jayawardena who was opening in place of out of form Kusal Pererra departed cheaply. Jayawardena seems to have caught the same ‘bug’ as Pererra, the usually reliable Jaywardena departing cheaply to leave his side in early trouble.

A second wicket stand of 153 however turned the game back in the hosts favour. Chief tormentor in the last game Kumar Sangakarra was up to the same ‘tricks’ in this game as the Sri Lankan wicket keeper and Tilkeratne Dilshan were threatening to take the game from England.

Thankfully for England they managed to get a wicket at a good time, Ravi Bopara taking the catch of James Tredwell’s bowling to remove Dilshan. After the loss of the second wicket Sri Lanka were in danger of throwing away the good start they made.

Two further wickets fell before the score reached 200, England were looking to get a foothold back in the game – as for Sri Lanka their middle order was on the verge of anther collapse. with Sangakarra still at the crease, Sr iLanka knew they could post a competitive total.

The next wicket to fall would be that of Sangakarra’s , the veteran wicketkeeper managed to score yet another hundred in the midst of the carnage that was happening at the other end as wickets were falling at regular intervals.

The 39 year old eventually departed for a run a ball 112, at that stage Sri Lanka were 243-5 and in a good position to set a total which would be difficult for England to chase. The hosts would go on to make 292-7 which was always going to be a difficult total to chase considering the hosts bowling attack.

A near run a ball 35 of just 31 balls from Dinesh Chandimal was another contributing factor to the Sri Lankan’s getting to such a score.

England needing 293 to level the seven match series, got off to the worst possible start. Alistair Cook’s struggles continued as he fell second ball, James Taylor fell cheaply and Moeen Ali fell for an attractive 34 – but the tourists lost their first three wickets for 50 runs and were on the back foot very early into this run chase.

Just when the tourists looked to be on the road to recovery Sri Lanka made the break through with Lakmal having Ravi Bopara caught behind by centurion Sangakarra to break a fourth wicket partnership that was worth 84.

Just to make matters worse for England they lost another wicket with out a run being scored. At 84-5 it felt like the game was up – and sadly it was. Despite a battling 55 from Joe Root and a equally as gutsy 41 from all- rounder Chris Woakes, England lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short of their target by 90 runs.

With that win Sri Lanka take the series with a game to play, as for England the plus point they can take out of this game is that they only have to bowl at Sangakarra once more in this series!

The seventh and final one day international is on Tuesday in Columbo.

England Vs Sri Lanka Fifth One Day International Match Report

Joe Roots brilliant hundred has kept England in this seven match series.

Joe Roots brilliant hundred has kept England in this seven match series.

England came into this fifth one day international knowing that only a win would do. The tourists who are 3-1 down really needed a win to keep this series alive as a contest. Both sides made some changes to their teams from the last game. The hosts Sri Lanka included available again spinner Sachintra Sennaiyake who has remodelled his action since being banned by the International cricket council for his ‘illegal bowling action’ , Sennayake comes in for the injured Rangana Herath

As for England, the tourists welcomed back captain Alistair Cook who sat out the last game due to a one match ban for a slow over rate, Alex Hales was the man to make way. Struggling all rounder Ben Stokes is dropped, spinner James Tredwell comes in to give England another spin option. The match itself which had to be played over two days due to the rain, was a very hard fought game.

The tourists won the toss and to the surprise of many Alistair cook put the hosts into bat. The pitch at Pelekelle was expected to be a pitch which had turn, that would explain the array of spinners on show.

Sri Lanka after being put in by Cook, got off to the worst possible start. Kusal Pererra falling for yet another duck. After losing their first wicket with just three on the board it was left to the experienced pairing of Kumar Sangakarra and Tilkeratne Dilshan to rebuild the innings.

The veteran duo put on 51 for the second wicket, the second wicket stand was broken by Chris Jordan who bowled Dilshan for 35. England despite taking two wickets quite early were only to aware of Sri Lanka’s batting line up.

Despite the loss of the usually reliable Mahela Jayawardena for just two which left the Sri Lankan’s in the precarious position of 59-3, the hosts managed to make a recovery of sorts as Angelo Matthews and Sangakarra managed to put on 85 for the fourth wicket.

When the captain Matthews departed for a well crafted 40, at that stage the hosts were 144-4 but- the wheels started to come of a little for Sri Lanka there after. The highest score after the loss of Matthews’ wicket was 26. When the Asian side lost the wicket of Sangakarra who played brilliantly for his 91, it was only Thisara Pererra who made any form of contribution. The Hyderabad Sunrisers star scored a quick fire 27 off just 16 balls, the 24 year old Pererra scored four 4’s and one 6 in his innings.

Sri Lanka’s batting order suffered a middle order collapsed, at one stage Sri Lanka were 173-5 – but in the end the hosts crumbled to 239 all out. Chris Woakes despite skipper using 25 of the allotted 50 overs to spin was the star for the tourists, Woakes’ variations were causing havoc for the Sri Lankan batsmen. Warwickshire all- rounder Woakes took an impressive five wicket haul and finished the innings with 6-47.

England in reply had to wait a day to get their run chase up and running. The Sri Lankan rain meant that the Three Lions had to complete their innings today (a day later than what was initially planned). The tourists who were chasing what seemed to be a modest total still needed to be aware of the threat that Sri Lanka posed with their four spinners.

Just like Sri Lanka, England lost lost an early wicket – Moeen Ali who is top run scorer for England in this series the man out bowled by Sennayake. The platform was set for under performing captain Alistair Cook to take this game by the scruff of the neck after his side lost such an early wicket, that wasn’t to happen however as the England captain would be the next wicket to fall.

The tourists were 35-2 at that stage and were in serious danger of being dismissed for a low total. The remodelled action of Sennayaka proved to difficult for England’s openers, England needed to regroup and regroup they did.

A brilliant third wicket stand of 104 between James Taylor and Joe Root helped England to seize the initiative in this game. Taylor and Root brilliantly kept the scoreboard ticking with sensible batting which was attacking -but not over aggressive.

When James Taylor was caught for a well played 68, Sri Lanka must have thought they could pray on potential English nerves – a fourth wicket stand of 86 though however, effectively killed this game off as a contest.

There was time for Sri Lanka to take another couple of wickets, Ravi Boapara was out caught by Thrimanne with the winning line in sight, Eoin Morgan was caught by Thisara Pererra with two needed. After that little ‘wobble’ England duly crossed the winning line with five balls to spare, clinching a five wicket win to only trail 3-2 and give them selves renewed hope in the seven match series.

Key to this victory was Joe Root’s brilliant 104, the Yorkshireman was coolness personfied as England ended up needing two days to secure the win. The sixth One Day International between the two sides is on Saturday.

Mo Of The Same Please

Moeen Ali has been one of the highlights of the current tour of Sri Lanka, and on current for he could really make the opening batting slot his own.

Moeen Ali has been one of the highlights of the current tour of Sri Lanka, and on current for he could really make the opening batting slot his own.

England’s one day side has been struggling for some time – but one of the highlights in the current Sri Lanka tour has been Moeen Ali. Ali has also excelled in the test arena – and thankfully England the 27 year old has taken his test form to the one day arena.

When captain Alistair Cook inherited the captaincy from predecessor Andrew Strauss, the 29 year old Cook had initially enjoyed success in the role. England even enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the one day international rankings – but since those highs England have only suffered lows. Kevin Pieterson making claim after claim in his book about team morale and to actually find a KP replacement have been some factors which have seen seen England struggle in recent months.

The most underlining problem for England though however has been their opening partnership, for the best part of a year England have struggled to find the right combination- until now. Several players have been tried in the opening position to accompany Alistair Cook – Kevin Pieterson and Ian Bell who are more middle order batsmen were placed as openers -such was the difficulty England were facing in the opening batsmen department.

Opening batsmen Alex Hales has been included to try and solve this issue – but one thing which might have dissuaded the England’s selectors to select Hales in the long term is the 25 year old’s tendencies to have a bit of ill discipline.

When the one day international squad was announced however it was a surprise to see Alex Hales dropped for Moeen Ali who is also middle order batsmen by trade. Much to the surprise of many myself included- but Ali has been nothing sort of sensational.

The Worcestershire all-rounder is the leading run scorer for England in this five match series, Ali has scored a century and a very entertaining half-century already in this five match series – so it’s no surprise that Moeen Ali has the most runs.

It’s the 27 year old’s aggressive approach makes him suited the role. For so many months the outcry from many has been for England to be more aggressive, with Moeen Ali at the top of the order they can now do that. The maturity that Moeen Ali plays with is very admirable and I feel it’s what makes him a very good opener at one day international level. Where as Alex Hales tries to play to many agressive shots at times Ali however has managed to balance attacking instinct with sensisble batting.

Although it’s to early judge Moeen fairly as he has not played a world cup yet, the early signs look very promising. England look like they just might have found the right player to partner Alistair Cook at the top of the order,with a player many didn’t expect.

Where many players have failed over the years Moeen Ali has so far exceeded, some senior players could do with taking a leaf out of the Worcestershire all-rounders book.

England Vs Sri Lanka Third One Day International Match Report

An entrataining innings of 58 from just 40 balls helped England get back into the five match series against Sri Lanka.

An entrataining innings of 58 from just 40 balls helped England get back into the five match series against Sri Lanka.

England went into this third one day international with Sri Lanka knowing nothing else than a win would do.The Three Lions are trailing 2-0 in the five match series and new that if they were to lose this game against Sri Lanka, they will in turn lose the series.

The match itself belatedly got underway after a delay due to rain, consequently that meant meant the Duckingworth Lewis method came into play. The Duckingowrth Lewis method calculated that this match would be 35 overs a side.

The England side included Alex Hales who comes in for Ian Bell and Chris Jordan who comes in for Harry Gurney, as for Sri Lanka they included specialist middle order batsmen Thilina Kandamby in place of Mahela Jaywawardena who was unavailable for this match.

The hosts Sri Lanka got their run chase off to a terrible start, England managed to reduce their opponents to 31-3 at one stage, Kusal Perrera and Kandamby fell for ducks. A fourth wicket stand of 77 however allowed the Sri Lankan’s to regroup after the loss of the three early wickets – but captain Angelo Matthews was dismissed for 37 off the bowling of Chris Jordan who had the Sri Lankan captain caught behind by Joss Buttler.

That left Sri Lanka on 118-4 , the Sri Lankan’s were in need of another good partnership at that point- but the fifth wicket pairing of Kumar Sangakarra and vice captain Lahiru Thirimanne only managed to put on 32. Sanagakarra would be the next man out, the veteran wicket keeper was caught by Moeen Ali off the bowling of Chris Jordan for 63, which took the former Sri Lanka captain past 13,000 one day international runs. Sangakarra is only the fourth player to pass such a milestone .

At 150-5 and most of Sri Lanka’s more household named batsmen back in the pavilion, the Sri Lankan’s looked like they were going to get bowled out for a cheap score. Sri Lanka though however showed great resolve and thanks to a battling 62 from vice captain Thrimanne and a crucial cameo by Dhammika Prassad, that meant Sri Lanka were able post 242-8, which was a score which seemed daunting for England to chase in 35 overs. Due to the Duckingworth Lewis method however The Three Lions needed 236 to get back into this 5 match series.

England with the opening combination of Moeen Ali and Alistair Cook, went about the run chase in a very positive manner. Ali in particular hit two 4’s and launched 5 6’s over the boundary in a very entertaining 40 ball knock.

At the other end captain Alistair Cook wasn’t quite as ‘cavalier’ in his stroke play- but was looking solid. Cook who has been in disappointing form with the bat in one day internationals was looking for a well overdue half century- but sadly it wasn’t to come in this match, the England captain would be the first wicket to fall caught behind by Sangakarra off the bowling of Prassad. Sangakarra with that catch broke Adam Gilchrist’s record of 472 dismissals which Gilchrist and Sangakarra shared.

Moeen Ali who seemed to be taking quite a liking to Sri Lanka’s bowling attack, fell 19 runs later after a horrible mix up with Alex Hales lead to Ali being run out. England after Ali’s dismissal were 103-2 and were in need of a good partnership to consolidate the good start that was given to them by Cook and Ali.

An old fashioned middle order collapse followed however and England were in danger of losing this game. At 152-5 and with ‘finishers’ Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara back in the pavilion after both fell cheaply, things looked very bleak for England.

Cometh the hour cometh the man they say, in England’s case it was cometh the men, as Joe Root who has been England’s saviour so many times this year alone was accompanied by Joss Buttler. The England pair put on a brilliant partnership of 84 for the sixth wicket.

Buttler finished unbeaten on 55 from just 45 balls while at the other end Joe Root scored a composed run a ball 48. England are back in this series and trail 2-1, The three Lions will be looking to carry on the momentum for the rest of this series and into the world cup which starts in February.