Anderson’s start puts new life into England

Strauss’s side cruise to unexpected win after they reduce favourites to 17 for 4

In the face of abundant doubt, scepticism and weariness, England enjoyed one of their most unlikely wins last night.

The victory by six wickets against a hitherto rampant Sri Lanka lent impetus to a Champions Trophy campaign which had looked doomed considering recent form, and also cast their captain, Andrew Strauss, as an exemplar of sportsmanship in the heat of battle.

All in all, it was a jolly good show. With England's one-day side, of course, anything is possible and while a place in the semi-finals is now there for the taking – a win against South Africa tomorrow would confirm their progress – it would equally be no surprise if they were still to make a terrible botch of things.

So, if England should not yet consider holding street parties, nor should this result be taken slightly. There was a second half-century for Eoin Morgan that was impressive for its reliance on orthodox method allied to diligence and patience rather than the improvised strokes he can play, which are hugely enticing but also occasionally dangerous.

Unshaken by an uncertain start, he made an unbeaten 62 from 83 balls. It was not a time for flirting with danger last night and, although England lost two early wickets, Paul Collingwood thrillingly and Owais Shah more circumspectly enhanced their advantage.

The pitch played into England's hands. It could have been transported from Durham in early May and the bowlers fed eagerly on it. While it did not quite nullify the Sri Lanka spinners it did not exactly encourage them either. That England won the toss was also helpful, but the job still had to be done. It duly was. The early dominance of Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions reduced Sri Lanka to 17 for 4 and, although they effected an admirable recovery, it remained only partial.

A measly target of 213 was just what England's stuttering batsmen needed and they managed to squeeze over the line with five overs left. They took the plaudits for graciousness under pressure too, which in its way was a victory of equal magnitude.

England were in a healthy position with Sri Lanka on 170 for 6 but they would not have wished to be chasing many more. Angelo Mathews, who had just completed a worthy half- century crashed into Onions, the bowler, as he turned for a second run.

It was one of those incidents where nobody was at fault. Onions was merely trying to run back to cover the stumps at the bowler's end, Mathews did not have time to react by running round him. There almost certainly was not two in it. The ball came whizzing in from the boundary with Mathews 15 yards short of his ground. He was duly given run out and, although he looked hurt, off he went. With the players gathered round him, Strauss held a quick conference and called Mathews back.

It was an extremely generous gesture. Perhaps Strauss recalled the vaguely similar incident at The Oval last year when the New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott was impeded and run out. There was hell to play when England, then under Paul Collingwood, failed to call him back.

Strauss said later: "I saw the replay and it did not look right and he looked as though he would get back comfortably for two. There was no malice in anything Graham Onions did."

Strauss has some recent previous. He did not demur for a moment in the recent Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston when, with the teams having been handed in, the opponents' wicketkeeper Brad Haddin broke a finger in the warm-up. Strauss allowed his replacement by Graham Manou.

The reward for such gestures is said usually to come in heaven. Strauss knows better. He went on to lift the Ashes and last night Mathews added only another single before he edged to the keeper. That effectively terminated the batting.

What a start for England. With the ball swinging, Anderson and Onions took immediate toll and with the top four out, it was always uphill. Partnerships of 64 and 82, and a controlled 53 from Thilana Kandamby partly rectified matters. But England knew this was a target in their grasp and, although the openers went early, there was no real worry. All to play for now.

England v Sri Lanka: Scoreboard

England beat Sri Lanka by six wickets

England won toss

Sri Lanka

T Dilshan c Morgan b Anderson: 2

12 balls

S Jayasuriya c Prior b Onions: 0

2 balls

*†K Sangakkara c Strauss b Onions: 1

6 balls

M Jayawardene lbw b Anderson: 9

12 balls 1 four

T Samaraweera c Collingwood b Broad: 30

48 balls 4 fours

T Kandamby run out (Wright): 53

82 balls 5 fours

A Mathews c Prior b Wright: 52

73 balls 6 fours

N Kulasekara not out: 17

24 balls 1 four 1 six

M Muralitharan b Broad: 18

10 balls 2 fours 1 six

L Malinga b Broad: 0

1 ball

A Mendis c Strauss b Anderson: 5

15 balls

Extras (lb 4, w 21): 25

Total (47.3 overs): 212

Fall: 1-7 (Jayasuriya), 2-7 (Dilshan), 3-17 (Jayawardene), 4-17 (Sangakkara), 5-81 (Samaraweera), 6-163 (Kandamby), 7-176 (Mathews), 8-197 (Muralitharan), 9-197 (Malinga), 10-212 (Mendis).

Bowling: J Anderson 9.3-2-20-3 (w3), G Onions 10-0-58-2 (w5), S Broad 10-0-49-3 (w5), L Wright 6-0-33-1 (w1), P Collingwood 8-0-24-0 (w2), G Swann 4-0-24-0 (w1).

England

*A Strauss c Kandamby b Kulasekara: 9

25 balls 1 four

J Denly lbw b Kulasekara: 5

11 balls 1 four

O Shah c Sangakkara b Muralitharan: 44

74 balls 3 fours 1 six

P Collingwood b Malinga: 46

51 balls 5 fours 3 sixes

E Morgan not out: 62

83 balls 7 fours

†M Prior not out: 28

27 balls 3 fours

Extras (lb 7, w 11, nb 1): 19

Total (4 wkts, 45 overs): 213

Fall: 1-9 (Denly), 2-19 (Strauss), 3-81 (Collingwood), 4-158 (Shah).

Did not bat: L J Wright, S Broad, G Swann, G Onions, J M Anderson.

Bowling: L Malinga 9-0-43-1 (w3nb1), N Kulasekara 9-1-42-2 (w2), A Mathews 8-2-26-0 (w1), A Mendis 9-0-35-0 (w1), M Muralitharan 10-0-60-1 (w3).

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) & B F Bowden (NZ).

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus all the build-up to Man City vs Chelsea and Everton vs Palace
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Polly Borgen at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012
peopleThe Emmy award-winner starred in Cape Fear, the Sopranos and Desperate House Wives
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam