Chris Jordan the star for new-look England

Batsman's assured performance guides hosts to victory over reigning World T20 champions Sri Lanka

After weeks gestating in a cocoon of management speak, widespread mockery and social media spats, English cricket’s new era has tentatively emerged from its chrysalis.

Following the winter’s great purge, the new regime required some new heroes and it needed them badly. Fortunately for the ECB hierarchy, the signs at The Oval last night suggest they may have found some.

Of course it would be foolish to rush to conclusions after just one rain-affected game, but, playing an ODI on home soil for the first time since their winter of discontent, Alastair Cook’s side showed some promise.

Gary Ballance, the Zimbabwean born left-hander, may have just been around to see the brutal last days as Andy Flower’s Rome fell around him, but he underlined in this match that he is very much a man for the new age of English cricket.

Batting in the number three spot vacated by Jonathan Trott, he looked equally comfortable playing safely, as England looked to build early on, as he did taking the game to Sri Lanka – including a thumping six pulled gloriously over deep square-leg.

Harry Gurney, who stood out in Tuesday’s T20, also impressed again here and his left arm bowling provides much-needed variety to an attack that had become all-too predictable.

However the obvious star of the show and the man who will have delighted both fans and team management alike was Chris Jordan.

Returning to the ground where he once played his cricket, Jordan’s all-round performance helped inspire the feeling that talk of a new era could be more than just hot air.

When he came to the crease, with just three and a half overs remaining, England were 193/6 and looked once again as if they had failed to make the most of their innings.

As it was they finished on a more than respectable 247/6, with Jordan smiting 38 runs from just 13 balls in an unbroken partnership of 54 with Jos Buttler.

Jordan came out swinging from ball one and was perhaps a little fortunate not to lose his wicket, missing with a couple of ugly early heaves.

Then however he seemed to remember he could bat and switched to playing more conventional shots, demonstrating a very useful ability to strike the ball cleanly down the ground with several superb lofted drives.

Batting though is not primarily what Jordan was picked for and fortunately for England he helped complete a memorable day’s cricket for him by turning in an excellent display with the ball.

He first removed the settled Dilshan, caught well by Gurney down at third man and then struck twice more later on to remove Chandimal and Kulasekara and leave Sri Lanka’s chase in tatters.

Overall it was the sort of performance that would seem to immediately make him an obvious contender for England’s first Test of the summer.

While of course there are still four more games to go in this series and plenty of time for England’s glorious new empire to falter, at least we are closer to knowing some of its new soldiers.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick