Twenty20 England v Sri Lanka: Errors creeping in again but progress of Harry Gurney offers England hope for new era

Sri Lanka 183-7 England 174-7 (Sri Lanka win by 9 runs)

the kia oval

England have spent the last two months telling their supporters that this summer represents a fresh start, yet the flaws that proved so damaging in the winter were to cost them once again here.

Poor work in the field on crucial occasions during the Ashes was one of the factors that allowed Australia to take a 5-0 whitewash. Here, a remarkable mistake by Michael Carberry – making his international debut in Twenty20 cricket – reprieved Thisara Perera, and allowed the Sri Lanka all-rounder to play the innings that allowed his team to achieve a nine-run victory in the only Twenty20 match between these teams this summer.

Carberry's error denied Alex Hales the chance to win a game against Sri Lanka for the second time in three months. His 116 in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March brought England success, but the Nottinghamshire opener's 66 from 41 deliveries here proved a vain effort.

Lasith Malinga, the master bowler in limited-overs cricket, finally outwitted Hales and took 3 for 28 in his four overs. In the shorter forms, mistakes from the Sri Lanka captain are rare indeed.

England were starting to gain the upper hand when the crucial moment of Sri Lanka's innings arrived. The dangerous Perera had powered to 20 when he misread Harry Gurney's slower delivery and the ball looped into the covers.

In such situations, decisive calling is paramount. Neither Carberry nor Eoin Morgan, captain in the absence of the injured Stuart Broad, seemed to be able to decide whose catch it was. When Carberry tried to claim it, he was sufficiently distracted to let the ball slip through his fingers.

Thereafter, Perera showed how effective a batsman he can be in this form of the game. Chris Jordan is one of England's principal hopes for the future yet he was left chastened after the penultimate over of the innings.

Harry Gurney takes the plaudits after bowling Tillakaratne Dilshan at the Kia Oval (Reuters) Harry Gurney takes the plaudits after bowling Tillakaratne Dilshan at the Kia Oval (Reuters)
Perera took the Sussex bowler for 22 from five deliveries and when he was eventually run out by Gurney off his own bowling in bizarre circumstances from the final ball of the innings, he had inflicted plenty of damage. His 49 came from just 20 deliveries and included seven fours and two sixes, helping his team to post what looked an imposing total of 183 for 7.

Hales batted well, as he had in Chittagong in March, but could not find a durable top-order partner. Carberry (7) and Ian Bell (13), who was playing his first Twenty20 match since January 2011, went cheaply, as did Joe Root (5). When Morgan was caught at long-off by a sprawling Suranga Lakmal, England were 85 for 4 in the 12th over.

Jos Buttler made an entertaining 28 before he was caught at deep midwicket, and Malinga showed his expertise to bowl Hales with a slower delivery. It left Ravi Bopara and the lower order with too much to do. Sri Lanka can look to the five-match 50-over series, which starts tomorrow, with some confidence.

Perera's innings tainted what was otherwise a steady display in the field from England, who won the toss. Lahiru Thirimanne was dropped on 14 and went on to make 40 yet despite that error, and the punishment suffered by Jordan and off-spinner James Tredwell, there was plenty to encourage England, who enjoyed a fine international debut in this format from Gurney.

The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer showed a mature temperament, claiming the wickets of Thirimanne and Tillekeratne Dilshan and conceding only 26 runs from his four overs.

He was also quick-witted enough to effect the run-out of Perera, when he remembered to remove the stump from the ground after the batsman's straight drive had removed the bails at the non-striker's end.

News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links