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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 13:29 GMT
England humbled in Dambulla
England skipper Michael Vaughan
First ODI, Dambulla: England 88 lost to Sri Lanka 89-0 by 10 wickets

England were humiliated as Sri Lanka strolled to a stunning 10-wicket triumph with 36 overs to spare.

The hapless visitors failed to take inspiration from their rugby-playing countrymen, slumping to 88 all out - their second-lowest score ever.

The miniscule tally beat their lowest, set against Australia at Old Trafford in 2001, by just two runs.

Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana then showed England precisely how to bat on a slow, turning pitch to give new coach John Dyson a winning start.

It was a remarkable return to action for Sri Lanka, who had not played for four months, while England came crashing back to earth after Test and one-day whitewashes against Bangladesh.

The hosts were well-served by debutants Nuwan Kulasekera and Dinusha Fernando, both of whom claimed two wickets, while Chaminda Vaas grabbed three.

Paul Collingwood was one of only two England batsmen to reach double figures, tip-toeing his way to 31 off 96 balls.

I didn't expect it to be as tough as it was today
England captain Michael Vaughan

Skipper Michael Vaughan did not hesitate in batting first after winning the toss in the venue's first ever day-night match.

But Dambulla has been unkind to batsmen throughout its brief history, and England were not long in discovering why.

The highest total at the ground, 203, looked a long way off as the visitors struggled with pitch's lack of pace.

Andrew Strauss, in for Vikram Solanki, capped an anonymous debut when driving on the up and offering a return catch to Fernando.

Dinusha Fernando
Fernando enjoyed a memorable introduction to international cricket

Marcus Trescothick quickly became frustrated, lofting Vaas to mid-on one ball after inside-edging an ambitious pull shot to the fine-leg fence, England's last boundary for 31 overs.

Vaughan took 15 balls to get off the mark before playing Fernando onto the leg-stump as England slumped to 17-3.

If Andrew Flintoff had watched Strauss's dismissal he did not learn from it, the otherwise in-form all-rounder playing far too early to Vaas and holing out at short extra-cover.

A partnership of 10 for the fifth wicket, England's best to that point, was brought to a close when Rikki Clarke left a gaping hole in his defence and was bowled by Kulasekara.

Tillakaratne Dilshan then ousted Ian Blackwell with a sharp catch low down at point as 36-5 became 44-6.

And the hosts' fine fielding exhibition reached another level one run later when Mahela Jayawardene took a blinding one-handed chance at slip off Chris Read to gift Upul Chandana his 100th one-day scalp.

Collingwood traded sensibly in singles amid the flurry of wickets, but the end looked nigh when he was caught and bowled by Chandana.

Collingwood's was a remarkably mature innings in the circumstances, but to add to England's farce their best spell came when he had gone.

Muttiah Muralitharan's sole strike to remove Richard Johnson paved the way for Ashley Giles and James Anderson to show team-mates how it should be done.

Giles, in particular, profited by playing square of the wicket and fully deserved his highest score at this level, 21.

He eventually fell to another classic one-handed catch to Jawardene in the 47th over, stopping the tenacious last-wicket stand at 21.

But it was not enough to stop England crashing to their lowest score against Sri Lanka - that stands at 143 - and to one of their heaviest defeats ever.

It was England's second successive 10-wicket one-day defeat in Sri Lanka after the Colombo match in 2001 that rounded off a home sweep.

Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, TM Dilshan, Upul Chandana, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Dinusha Fernando.

England: M E Trescothick, V S Solanki, M P Vaughan (Capt) P D Collingwood, A Flintoff, R Clarke, I D Blackwell C M W Read (Wkt), G J Batty, R Johnson, J M Anderson.

Umpires: D Harper & TH Wijewardene

Links to more Sri v Eng stories


BBC Sport's Kevin Howells
"England's top order needed to show more patience"

England captain Michael Vaughan
"It's the worst performance since I've been in charge"

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