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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015