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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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 difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003