Chris Jordan, with career-best figures of 5 for 29, led the English attack as Sri Lanka, after being put in to bat in overcast conditions, folded for just 67 in 24 overs. The target was easily overhauled by England captain Alastair Cook (30 not out), who was returning from injury, and fellow opener Ian Bell (41 not out), Bell finishing things off in the 13th over with a six off spinner Rangana Herath.
Earlier, after rain delayed the match start by 20 minutes, the Sri Lankan top order struggled to get going in conditions that favoured the hosts. James Anderson, on his Lancashire home ground, got England a dream start. He accounted for both openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne, both caught behind by Jos Buttler, leaving the visitors at 13 for 2.
Sangakkara, also caught behind, was the first of Jordan’s victims. Having scored 13, he would be the top scorer for the side, with Mahela Jayawardena (12) and Angelo Mathews (11), the skipper, the only others in the side to reach double figures. Jordan, the 25-year-old Sussex paceman, then had Dinesh Chandimal taken at short extra-cover by Bell.
Introduced into the attack in the 19th over, off-spinner James Tredwell had an immediate effect, bagging the prize wicket of Jayawardene leg before wicket. Mathews was the third of Jordan’s victims, caught behind, and with his wicket came a further collapse. Sri Lanka lost their last six wickets for nine runs in six overs. Jordan wrapped up proceedings when he had last man Lasith Malinga leg before wicket for two.
Sri Lanka’s total was its third lowest at this level, following the 43 it made against South Africa at Paarl in 2012 and 55 against West Indies at Sharjah in 1986. It was also its lowest in England.
England is now 2-1 up in the five-match series. The next ODI is at Lord’s on Saturday, before the final one at Edgbaston onJune 3. (Courtesy: Int’l Cricket Council) (KH/SI)