Sri Lanka 269-7 England 150: Maharoof's swing has England dancing to destruction

Someday, it is fair to presume, England will again defeat Sri Lanka in a one-day match. On the evidence of the opening contest of the series yesterday, it is advisable that there should not be too much holding of breath. It is far more likely to be later instead of sooner; say next year, or the one after, or the one after that.

The victory, by 119 runs, was a formality for the home side. It was their seventh successive win against England and only against Australia have England suffered a worse sequence. If Sri Lanka had the better of the conditions on a slow surface, they also played the more intelligent cricket: B-plus students were opposing the D-minus set.

"It was an eye-opener for the boys who haven't played in Sri Lanka and about the skills that are needed here," the England captain, Paul Collingwood, said. "It's a proper scrap – they don't give you anything. This is where we have to show our character."

England, bullish coming into the match, got most things wrong. Dropping Monty Panesar for the fifth time this year and recalling Graeme Swann after almost eight years and 175 matches was bold, if surprising. Calling incorrectly at the toss was forgivable but much of what followed was less easy to accept.

The misdemeanours may have started in the build-up. On being informed that Muttiah Muralitharan was injured, England insisted on practising as if the legendary off-spinner was playing. For all anybody will ever know they might have given him a lesson he would not forget in the art of batting against mystery spin.

What they were ill-prepared for, unfortunately, was the array of skilful seam bowling that confronted them. The pitch was slow and becoming slower and lower, but England were hapless in their attempts to chase 270, which would have been comfortably the highest winning second-innings total at the ground.

They failed to rotate the strike, chose shots poorly and never came to terms with the pace of the pitch or the wily variations of pace used by the Sri Lankans, and especially the unsung Farveez Maharoof. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow – maybe it needed Mark Ramprakash in his Strictly Come Dancing mode.

It would have been more excusable had England not seen Sri Lanka pace their innings impeccably, looking for gaps, hunting down singles and keeping wickets in hand until the last 10 overs. Only one batsman made 50 but five went beyond 30, which was priceless.

On winning the toss they weighed their options, assessing what a decent score might be. But they always kept the scoreboard moving, deflecting here, nudging there, pushing, shoving, lapping. Mahela Jayawardene was particularly delightful, a master of the delicate shot.

England might have thought they bowled well, and indeed they did not bowl badly. The most heartening of their seven wickets was the debutant wicketkeeper Philip Mustard's stumping of Kumar Sangakkara off Swann, the batsman beaten by flight and turn. Might this be the first of many such alliances?

The trouble was that only once here had more runs been made in the first innings. England started well, Mustard blasting a few before naïvety undid him, but then decline set in. Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Collingwood all failed. By the time Swann and Ravi Bopara compiled a pleasant partnership the game was up.

Dambulla scoreboard

Sri Lanka (won toss)

W U Tharanga c Collingwood b Broad 40

S T Jayasuriya c Bopara b Sidebottom 41

†K C Sangakkara st Mustard b Swann 38

*D P M Jayawardene c Shah b Collingwood 66

L P C Silva c Cook b Collingwood 33

T M Dilshan not out 11

J Mubarak c Anderson b Broad 1

M F Maharoof c Anderson b Sidebottom 22

W P U Vaas not out 1

Extras (b3 lb5 w8) 16

Total (for 7, 50 overs) 269

Fall: 1-71 2-95 3-166 4-225 5-237 6-240 7-264.

Did not bat: S L Malinga, C R D Fernando.

Bowling: Anderson 8-0-47-0 (3w); Sidebottom 10-0-56-2 (2w); Broad 10-0-54-2 (2w); Collingwood 10-0-44-2 (1w); Swann 10-0-47-1; Shah 2-0-13-0.

England

A N Cook c Sangakkara b Maharoof 46

†P Mustard c Malinga b Maharoof 27

I R Bell c Sangakkara b Maharoof 0

K P Pietersen c Sangakkara b Maharoof 1

*P D Collingwood c D P M D Jayawardene

b Fern 9

O A Shah c Mubarak b Malinga 7

R S Bopara not out 27

G P Swann c Malinga b Dilshan 24

S C J Broad run out 1

R J Sidebottom st Sangakkara b Dilshan 2

J M Anderson c D P M D Jayawardene

b Jaya 0

Extras (w6) 6

Total (34.5 overs) 150

Fall: 1-43 2-58 3-60 4-73 5-91 6-102 7-144 8-145 9-149.

Bowling: Vaas 5-0-32-0 (1w); Malinga 6-0-32-1 (3w); Fernando 7-0-23-1 (1w); Maharoof 10-2-31-4; Dilshan 4-0-20-2 (1w); Jayasuriya 2.5-0-12-1.

Sri Lanka win by 119 runs

Man of the match: Farveez Maharoof (S Lanka).

Series: Sri Lanka lead 1-0.

Remaining matches: Thursday: Second one-day international (Dambulla). 7 Oct: Third one-day international (Dambulla). 10 Oct: Fourth one-day international (Colombo). 13 Oct: Fifth one-day international (Colombo).

Arts and Entertainment
Masterchef cooks Tony Rodd (left), Emma Spitzer (second left) and
Simon Wood (right) posing with judges Gregg Wallace (centre) and John Torode (second right), as the three will be seen cooking their hearts out in the hopes of winning the show.
TVReview: Tired Geography teacher John Torode and shaved Scotch egg Gregg Wallace crown the champion
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week
voices
Life and Style
life
News
The Grand Palais in Paris will be transformed into a 4,000-seat cinema, with 44 double beds at the front
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road