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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Tharanga ton too much for England
Sri Lanka 257-9 (50 overs) bt England 237-9 by 20 runs

Upul Tharanga
Tharanga's first fifty was in marked contrast to his second
Upul Tharanga's third one-day century led Sri Lanka to a 20-run win in the opening one-day match against England.

The tourists totalled 257-9 after being put in by Andrew Strauss, helped by 42 extras gifted by England.

And they seized control by reducing England to 66-4, Kevin Pietersen among the early casualties, brilliantly caught by Mahela Jayawardene.

Marcus Trescothick and Jamie Dalrymple each made 67 but England ran out of overs with their score on 237-9.

With England's leading pair Trescothick and Pietersen at the crease and the score 65-2 after 15 overs, Sri Lanka opted to complete their powerplays and the decision paid dividends immediately.

Pietersen's trademark flip through mid-wicket failed to clear Jayawardene who took a stunning one-handed catch above his head.

We let ourselves down at the beginning of the innings with the ball and bat

Andrew Strauss

It was a key moment and despite the useful partnerships involving Dalrymple, England were always behind the rate as they slipped to their 11th defeat in the last 15 internationals.

The lack of experience was highlighted by the line-ups, with the England team's 401 total caps only just passing Sanath Jaysuriya's own 358, and way below the Sri Lankan team's total of 1658.

Having won the toss, England hoped that their quick bowlers would extract some life from a pacy pitch with a green tinge, but the main activity for the umpires was to signal wides and boundaries.

The first ball of the match from Steve Harmison barely pitched on the cut strip and landed between first and second slip, and Liam Plunkett was also unable to find the correct line to the left-handers.

Harmison had just bowled the eighth wide of the innings when Jayasuriya cut the final ball of the fifth over, also well wide of off-stump, and got a thin edge.

The change bowlers also struggled, Sajid Mahmood twice hit for consecutive boundaries by Tharanga and taken out of the attack after two overs for 22.

With 49 coming between overs 10-15, Strauss chose not to take the third powerplay and brought on Paul Collingwood and spinner Dalrymple.

Kevin Pietersen and Lasith Malinga
Pietersen's dismissal was a pivotal moment as usual

The next five overs produced only 18 runs, and though Jayawardene lofted Dalrymple for six, he soon fell to a slower one from Collingwood that he mis-timed to mid-off.

Tharanga's first fifty came from 44 balls with his 10th four but he then slowed and should have been stumped on 59 when Dalrymple went past his outside edge and Geraint Jones clumsily failed to gather.

The final powerplay was used between overs 23-27, and England gradually began to work their way back into the match.

Kumar Sangakkara was run out and Collingwood and Pietersen took excellent athletic catches.

England's extras surpassed their previous one-day record set in 1989, and wides and no-balls resulted in more than four additional overs having to be bowled.

The innings was not completed until 1431 BST, 16 minutes past the scheduled completion time.

There was time for Bresnan to bowl Lasith Malinga and collect a debut wicket, while Tharanga's innings ended on 120 in the penultimate over when he top-edged Mahmood to mid-wicket.

In a quiet start to England's reply, Trescothick had an early reprieve when just 10 as Malinga half evaded a fierce looking drive that was not properly timed, and spilled the return chance in the sixth over.

Three fours came in the next from Chaminda Vaas before Fernando was introduced and took two wickets in his opening two overs.

Strauss hooked his first ball and got a bottom edge to the keeper, while a flat-footed Ian Bell played onto his stumps.

After Collingwood blotted his copybook by being trapped on the back foot for a duck, Dalrymple played a composed innings, scoring 35 to Trescothick's 34 in a partnership of 72 in 15.3 overs.

It ended from the final ball of the 32nd over when Trescothick was bowled round his legs by the innocuous looking Dilshan.

Jones was dropped in the outfield on eight and went on to add 34 in 7.2 overs with Dalrymple, who had the confidence to reverse-sweep the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan for four.

Dalrymple and Bresnan took the equation to 52 from 30 balls with a stand of 36 but Malinga returned with a low full toss to dismiss the Yorkshireman.

In the next over, Murali's last, Dalrymple tried to heave a sharply turning ball and as his brave innings ended so did England's faint hopes.

Strauss looks ahead after defeat
17 Jun 06 |  England
Jayawardene hails bowling effort
17 Jun 06 |  England
England v Sri Lanka photos
17 Jun 06 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
17 Jun 06 |  England
Sri Lanka in England 2006
27 Jun 05 |  Future tour dates
Live cricket on the BBC
19 Apr 06 |  Cricket


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