10 December 2014
Rain pushes fifth ODI to reserve day
England, down 3-1 in seven-match series, has 240-run target to chase down when play resumes on Thursday
Rain plays spoilsport in Kandy, pushing the fifth ODI to the reserve day.
When play starts on Thursday, at the usual 2.30pm local time, England would get its full 50 overs - unless, of course, weather plays spoilsport again - to try and stay alive in the seven-ODI series.
Earlier on Wednesday, England’s bowlers kept Sri Lanka on a tight leash. England, lagging 3-1 behind, had its bowlers – Chris Woakes in particular – giving them a fighting chance even as rain clouds hovered over the Pallekele International Stadium.
Woakes dominated proceedings with 6 for 47, while James Tredwell conceded just 33 runs from his ten overs as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 239 in 49 overs. Despite a typically fluent 91 from Kumar Sangakkara and a late flourish by Thisara Perera, England's bowlers never allowed the free-scoring Sri Lankans to take the game away.
Before play started, Alastair Cook returned to the team after serving a one-match ban for slow over-rate along with Tredwell, while Sri Lanka welcomed back Sachithra Senanayake, allowed to play again after the International Cricket Council cleared his bowling action. Senanayake replaced Rangana Herath, who injured himself during practice on Tuesday.
Cook's decision to put Sri Lanka in to bat proved justified when Steven Finn struck with the third ball of the innings to dismiss Kusal Perera, caught at second slip. He conceded just 28 runs in his six overs.
Sri Lanka was reduced to 59 for 3 by the 11th over when Chris Jordan caught Mahela Jayawardene off Woakes.
Angelo Mathews and Sangakkara provided the only partnership of substance, adding 85 for the fourth wicket. But following Mathews’s dismissal, Sri Lanka’s slide began as the English bowlers kept things tight.
Sangakkara fell with Sri Lanka on 199 but Perera contributed with a 17-ball 27, including four fours and a six to, give the Sri Lankan bowlers a moderate total to defend.
Root, Woakes keep England alive
Sohail, Afridi steer Pakistan to three-wicket win