Fri, 01 July 2011 - England vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tour of England 2011, 2nd ODI - Bulletin
Mahela stars in series leveler
Sri Lanka came back strongly after a humiliating defeat at The Oval to trounce England by 69 runs in the second ODI. The series leveling victory was fashioned by a super batting by Mahela Jayawerdena boosting the tourists to 309 that was successfully by an all-round bowling performance. England, save for brief periods during their chase mostly when Eoin Morgan was batting, didn’t look to threaten the target as Sri Lanka pegged them with regular wickets.
Young bowlers Suraj Randiv and Suranga Lakmal claimed three wickets each to dent home team’s prospects of reaching the big target. England started the chase in a positive fashion with their skipper Alistair Cook and Craig Kieswetter scoring 53 for the first wicket. Kieswetter played some aggressive shots while Cook showed his intents of scoring at a brisk rate from the word go.
Lakmal though removed Kieswetter for 25 and Randiv had England captain’s wicket two short of a half century. It was Jeevan Mendis who got the big fish Kevin Pietersen and England slipped to 144 for in 28th over when Lakmal castled Johnathan Trott with a peach of a Yorker.
England best phase of batting effort came when Morgan was getting big shots away non-chalantly, depositing Mendis twice on successive into mid-wicket stands. His cheeky strokes were coming off big time as England were looking dangerous to have a real dash at the target.
All that seized though when Randiv had Morgan stumped for 40-ball 52 with score reading at 201. After that, it was Sri Lankan all the way. England didn’t put much of a challenge losing last six wickets for 39.
Earlier, Mahela Jayewardene’s career best of 144, his fifteenth ODI hundred, propelled his side to a formidable total. The Sri Lankan total largely revolved around marathon third wicket stand of 159 between Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara, yet again reiterating their importance in the Lankan lineup. It was Angelo Mathews’ 30-ball breezy 46 in the end that took the tourists across 300-run mark.
Mahela, opening the innings, lead the way in Sangakkara’s company to stabilize the Lankan innings after it had lost their skipper Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya’s replacement Dinesh Chandimal inside first ten overs. Both were run-out in a similar fashion, trying to steal a quick run to mid-on. Dilshan couldn’t beat Stuart Broad’s direct hit and Chandimal couldn’t make it in time thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding by James Anderson. The visitors were in a spot of bother before Mahela show began.
Mahela overcame some edgy moments that saw him being dropped by Graeme Swann in the slip on 7, to play some neat drives through off-side when bowlers dished up fuller and wider stuff. His placement through off-side was good as his peachy timing; strong he was off his pads and picked up the slower bouncers without much of an issue. He collected as many as 14 boundaries facing half of the full quota of 300 balls.
As his stay extended at the crease, Mahela seemed to have overcome his lean patch in the test series with strike rate always going up. It took him only 32 balls to add his last 44 runs after consuming 118 balls to rake up his fifth ton against England. Mahela’s superb knock comes in the back of Sri Lanka drubbing just two days ago when the home team handed them with 111-run defeat.
For Sangakkara, it was business as usual. Taking his time to get his eye in and surviving tough moments early, Sangakkara grew in confidence to unfurl his trademark cover drives. Happy to play second fiddle to Mahela’s masterclass, the stylish left hander, barring occasional aggressive strokes, was more interested turning the strike over and find gaps to keep the scoreboard ticking over. He faced 85 balls for 69 punctuated with five fours before enticed outside his crease by Swann’s loopy ball to give Kieswetter an easy stumping.
It didn’t stop Mahela from making a move as Sri Lanka opted for a batting powerplay in 41st over. Runs came thick and fast with both Mahela and Mathews hitting big shots regularly. And, England started to feel the heat, fumbling and dropping some catches in death overs.Mahela super effort was finally ended by Swann but the right hander had taken his team on a brink of going past 300-mark. Mathews, back into ODI squad after missing the test series, was in terrific hitting form. He backed away to crash some smashing off-side boundaries and never gave an impression of his long stay out of his game.
There was nothing to write home about England’s bowling performance as Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and Broad going all for more than seven runs a over in their effort. Swann though was a bright spot conceding 42 in his ten overs having wickets of Mahela and Sangakkara to his name. Anderson bowled a luckless ten over spell for 44 runs.© eContent.in
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