Jordan helps pull apart Sri Lanka as England enjoy crushing victory

Career-best five for 29 brings Sri Lanka's third-lowest ODI total

Old Trafford

This series is becoming daft. England responded to one of their direst performances and the opprobrium that it prompted by dismantling Sri Lanka on Wednesday night. It was bouncing back of an unexpectedly high order.

The tourists were bowled out for 67 in the third one-day international and lost by 10 wickets. In the second last Sunday, England were dismissed for 99 to be defeated by 157 runs. Remember the good old days when 50-over cricket was simply a feast of slogging and acquisition in which bowlers were treated as mere lickspittle labourers?

On a dank day with the ball moving appreciably off the seam, Sri Lanka were caught cold and unawares. At no point did they look remotely comfortable – had their captain Angelo Mathews really said the previous day that he expected the pitch to be sub-continental in nature? – and their last six batsmen went for nine runs in the space of 36 balls.

The innings lasted 24 overs and England needed only 12.1 more in under an hour to secure a win which puts them 2-1 up in the series. Presumably anything could still happen. Perhaps England’s bowlers, who had acquitted themselves adequately in Durham last Sunday in restricting Sri Lanka to 256 for 8, assumed that with their batsmen they could leave nothing at all to chance any longer.

Chris Jordan returned the best figures of 5 for 29, which were also the best of his career. It was the 26th occasion on which a bowler had taken five wickets for England in a one-day international innings.

Jordan, who clearly revels in the cut and thrust of international cricket, said: “We’re a team in transition. That sort of thing on Sunday is going to happen. I guess that really does send a message now.”

The England bowling coach David Saker referred to him as the ultimate professional. A Test summons clearly awaits.

The most compelling bowling was provided by Jimmy Anderson, who bowled seven overs for 10 runs at the start of the match in a small master class of how a fast bowler ought to go about his trade under cloudy skies.

With more rain around, England did brisk business with the bat. Alastair Cook, returning to the side after a slight groin injury, and Ian Bell shared an unbroken partnership of 73, their 12th above fifty for the first wicket in what is becoming a profitable alliance. Bell finished the match with a straight six into the pavilion.

Considering the amount of rain that had fallen in Manchester overnight and throughout much of the morning it was surprising that the match started only 20 minutes late. If it was a tribute to the quality of drainage on modern grounds and the recognition that the spectator comes first, it was still a miserable backdrop against which to play cricket. Low scoring limited overs internationals on grey days are not why the game was invented. But it was still an important way for this transitional England to respond after Sunday’s heavy defeat.

“The way we performed at The Oval to then perform like we did there [Durham] was really strange,” Cook said. “But the lads came out firing, desperate to prove a point today, and we did that.

“We didn’t quite get set straight away so the way we held our nerve and kept building pressure, and then when we got the chance Jords really hit the mark.”

Anderson had Sri Lanka’s batsmen in trouble as soon as he took the new ball after England won the toss. He struck in his second and third overs with balls that moved off the pitch. Tillakaratne Dilshan was beaten on the inside and Jos Buttler took an acrobatic catch to his left. Lahiru Thirimanne slashed at one moving away after advancing down the pitch.

Buttler completed a hat-trick of catches when Kumar Sangakkara drove errantly and immediately acknowledged his folly.

When Mahela Jayawardene played round James Tredwell’s first ball, which did not deviate a millimetre, Sri Lanka were finished.

The will among their batsmen, already dissipated, vanished completely. Whimsical shot selection and capricious running conspired against them and their uncertainty against the moving ball should have alarmed their coaches.

“We were disappointed with the whole batting line-up,” said Mathews. “No-one was hanging in there to tough it out. They bowled well and we didn’t have any answers.”

The way things are going Sri Lanka should win the fourth match at Lord’s on Saturday by a street.

Old Trafford Scoreboard

Sri Lanka 67

Jordan 5-29

England 73-0

Bell 41no

England win by 10 wkts

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album