Majestic Mahela

Sri Lanka sealed the NatWest Series with an eight-wicket rout of England in the third match at the Riverside. Mahela Jayawardene (126no) was chief destroyer as Sri Lanka reached their target with 46 balls to spare.

Mahela Jayawardene

Kumar Sangakkara (58no), Upul Tharanga (41) and Sanath Jayasuriya (23) also feasted on a barrage of short and wide balls, with all the seamers culpable.
That England made 261-7 was largely down to Ian Bell, who hit 77, his fourth ODI half-century.

There were few signs of the suffering to come when Strauss and Trescothick took England past the 50 mark on what appeared to be a good batting track in Durham. However, having played some crisp strokes through the off-side, Strauss was caught plumb in front by Vaas in the 13th over after making 36.

Trescothick followed in the next over for 32, playing all round a ball from Vaas when he looked well set. Pietersen hobbled in next, still feeling the effects of a blow on the knee at The Oval on Tuesday. Clearly impeded, he did not last long.

He crumpled to the floor in pain attempting to play a trademark whip through mid-wicket and was out in the following over, wafting at a wide one from Dilhara Fernando.

With Sri Lanka turning the screw, it was left to Bell and Collingwood to steady the ship and guide England past 100.

Bell was spilled in the gully by Russel Arnold off the bowling of Fernando but it was Collingwood who was next to depart. Like Strauss and Trescothick, the home favourite had looked in decent fettle, pulling Maharoof for four and marching down the wicket to smash Fernando over long-on for four.

But he rolled over meekly, stroking a Malinga Bandara delivery straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan in the covers. After a soporific start, Bell finally located the boundary off his 69th delivery with a flick through mid-wicket.

Dalrymple showed more urgency, hitting Bandara for a steepling six and carving Vaas for three fours in one over as England moved past 200. However, Dalrymple took one liberty too many against Malinga, moving across his crease and having his leg stump up-rooted.

Bell's innings came to an end when he was run out after good fielding from Maharoof, who threw the ball to Sangakkara and he whipped off the bails as Bell lunged desperately.

Geraint Jones chipped in with a handy 22 from 13 balls, but debutant Alex Loudon did not even face a ball as he was run out off the first ball of the next over.

Sri Lanka's openers Tharanga and Jayasuriya set about the target with relish, Jayasuriya particularly hard on England's indisciplined attack. Jayasuriya was run out by Sajid Mahmood having played some glorious cut shots but Jayawardene was in no mood to release Sri Lanka's grip on the game.

The Sri Lankan skipper's half-century came off 40 balls and included strokes all round the wicket as England's bowling went from bad to worse.

The visitors passed 100 in the 13th over, although the dismissal of Tharanga, who dollied a Dalrymple delivery to Strauss at short fine leg, slowed their progress.

However, Jayawardene, whose ton was his seventh in ODIs, and Sangakkara, whose fifty was his 33rd, put on 140 for the third wicket, Sri Lanka's highest third-wicket stand against England.

England Innings
ME Trescothick b Vaas 36
AJ Strauss lbw b Vaas 32
IR Bell run out (Maharoof/Sangakkara) 77
KP Pietersen c Sangakkara b Malinga 6
PD Collingwood c Dilshan b Bandara 33
JWM Dalrymple b Malinga 35
GO Jones not out 22
AGR Loudon run out (Dilshan/Fernando) 0
LE Plunkett not out 6
Extras (lb 5, w 6, nb 3) 14
Total (7 wickets; 50 overs) 261
Fall of wickets1-62 (Strauss), 2-75 (Trescothick), 3-92 (Pietersen), 4-145 (Collingwood), 5-208 (Dalrymple), 6-252 (Bell), 7-253 (Loudon)
Bowling : WPUJC Vaas 9-0-38-2, SL Malinga 10-0-50-2 (2w), CRD Fernando 10-0-68-0 (2nb, 1w),MF Maharoof 8-0-38-0 (1nb, 1w), CM Bandara 8-0-35-1 (1w), ST Jayasuriya 5-0-27-0
Sri Lanka Innings
W U Tharanga c Strauss b Dalrymple 41
S T Jayasuriya run out 23
D P M D Jayawardene not out 126
K C Sangakkara not out 58
Extras 5nb 5w 1b 6lb 17
Total for 2 wickets 265
Fall of wickets: 38(Jayasuriya), 125(Tharanga)
Bowling:S J Harmison 10- 0- 55-0,L E Plunkett 5.2- 0-46- 0,S I Mahmood 5- 0-36-0,P D Collingwood 6- 0-33-0,I R Bell 1-0- 12-0,J W M Dalrymple 9-1-40-1,A G R Loudon 6-0-36-0


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