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Sri Lanka v England 3rd ODI

Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann batted and bowled with great confidence
Graeme Swann said he was delighted with his form after helping England to a dramatic win over Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The spinner took 4-34 and then hit a vital 25 as England triumphed by two wickets with seven balls left to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

The Nottinghamshire star has returned to the England team after seven years.

"It's gone better and better over the three games. I've been in good form this year and to recreate it here is a great feeling," said the 28-year-old.

Swann played once for England in South Africa in 2000 but fell out with coach Duncan Fletcher and was never chosen again under the Zimbabwean's regime.

However, Peter Moores gave the off-spinner another chance and his all-round game has seen him selected ahead of Monty Panesar for the first three games in Sri Lanka.

And his fighting spirit came to the fore during England's nail-biting run-chase.

Swann and Stuart Broad produced a vital eighth-wicket stand of 40 to revive England's faltering victory hopes under the floodlights in Dambullah.

He revealed: "Broady was the one who calmed me down. I wanted to go crash, bang, wallop.

We only needed a couple of decent partnerships to get close to 200 but we didn't even bat out our overs

Mahela Jayawardene

"He's only a young lad but you could tell he had been there before and he certainly taught an old dog a new trick."

The duo got England to within 17 of their Duckworth-Lewis target when Swann fell to Dilhara Fernando, but their Nottinghamshire team-mate Ryan Sidebottom helped Broad get England across the winning line.

England now need to win just one of the last two matches, both in Colombo, to carry off the series.

And their captain Paul Collingwood said: "We knew it was difficult to bat under lights so after losing the toss we knew we had to keep them to about 200 and we did better than that.

"We haven't won the series yet but all the bowlers were absolutely magnificent and with the bat we just had to get over the line and we did that.

"Broady knocked off the runs against India at Old Trafford and he did it again. We just have so much character and scrap in this team."

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene was particularly disappointed with his team's batting after they failed to bat for their permitted 48 overs and were all out for 164.

Jayawardene said: "We never thought we had enough runs. We made a lot of mistakes while we were batting.

"We only needed a couple of decent partnerships to get close to 200 but we didn't even bat out our overs.

"All credit to the bowlers. They showed a lot of heart, but we have to go back to the drawing-board and make sure we don't make these mistakes again."

Shah innings sets up England win
04 Oct 07 |  England
Coach Gibson tempted by England
03 Oct 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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