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Sri Lanka v England 5th ODI



FIFTH ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Colombo:
Sri Lanka 211 (48.1 overs) bt England 104 (29.1 overs) by 107 runs

England were shot out for 104 as they ended their one-day series in Sri Lanka with an embarrassing 107-run defeat.

Seamers Ryan Sidebottom (2-41) and Stuart Broad (3-36) helped bowl the home side out for 211 in Colombo, with only Chamara Silva (73) resisting.

But Dilhara Fernando ripped through the tourists with a superb spell of 6-27.

Apart from Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, who both hit 28, there was not much else as England, who won the series 3-2, crumbled in 29.1 overs.

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)

By Mark Mitchener

606: DEBATE

1646: Well, that (as Graham says below) is that. Fernando is man of the match for his superb 6-27 - although if I were him, I'd have given captain Jaywardene a flea in his ear for taking Fernando off (with two overs left) with only Jimmy and Monty to bowl at! Sidey is man of the series. If you haven't got a big enough fix of international sport, I can point you to BBC Sport's coverage of the Euro 2008 qualifiers and the build-up to tonight's rugby semi-final.

Anyway, that's it from me - and for the ODI series. After a month's break, the Test squad arrive in Sri Lanka, and the first Test begins in Kandy on 1 December. The time difference means that play will be starting in the wee small hours - but fear not, BBC Sport will be here to bring you our usual comprehensive live coverage. Thanks for all your e-mails and texts throughout the series - and have a good weekend.

"Well, that's that! Not the result anybody wanted, even though the series was in the bag. At least, now I won't have to practice my short sprints any more today. And Mark, 'Thank you for the Music'"
Graham, breathing normally, in Barcelona

Simon Mann
"England have missed the chance to go fourth in the ODI rankings - if you're not in the top six by a certain point, you have to pre-qualify for next year's Champions Trophy in Pakistan"
Simon Mann on TMS
[Not ANOTHER Champions Trophy? MM]

Dougie Brown
"The one-day series against New Zealand is going to be important now - and New Zealand are no slouches on the international stage. England have been outplayed tonight, but they were brilliant in some of the earlier games"
Dougie Brown on TMS

SRI LANKA WIN BY 107 RUNS (England win series 3-2)

Wicket falls
29.1 overs - WICKET - Panesar c Sangakkara b Malinga 3 - England 104 all out
It's all over - the Montster prods at the first ball of the Slinger's seventh over, and Sanga takes his fourth catch of the innings.

29th over - Eng 104-9
Bopara carefully guides Loku to wide mid-on for a single. A good-looking cover drive by Monty doubles his score. Bopara continues to work the singles away, and a misfield yields another single for Panesar. Bopara swings and misses at one outside off-stump while Jayawardene tweaks his field placings again.

Dougie Brown
"Can you please remove the deranged-looking photos of Dougie Brown, I find them quite disturbing"
Casper Clemence in the TMS inbox
[I was in line next to Dougie at the press entrance of Lord's for the Friends Provident Trophy final - it's not an unfair likeness of him - MM]

28th over - Eng 100-9
Malinga keeps Bopara tied down, while Dougie Brown's Scottishness must be brought into question after he reveals he will be cheering for England in tonight's rugby. Bopara brings up three figures for England with a single to backward square leg off the fifth ball of the over. Scotland make it 3-1 at Hampden, Monty gropes at the last ball of the over but it goes safely through to Sanga behind the timbers.

"Great ABBA reference (21.3 overs)... this cricket is hardly exciting stuff, but in Paris tonight 'The Winner Takes It All'"
Thomas Glyn in the TMS inbox

"I saw a gentleman sporting a Dilmah Tea Sri Lanka shirt circa 1996 in the casino late last night. I interpreted that as a good omen for SL. Now regretting last night's excesses and bemoaning lack of cricket or rugby coverage in my hotel room"
Ian in Las Vegas in the TMS inbox

27th over - Eng 99-9
After Monty has either his bat or his gloves taped up (the TMS team suspect a rogue advertising logo), he pushes forward to Loku, who's getting plenty of turn. The Montster is finally off the mark with a well-timed off-drive that beats all the close fielder as he takes a single. Bopara prods into a gap, but declines what would have been a very inadvisable single, before clipping a singleton to mid-on from the penultimate ball of the over. Monty takes no chances, defending the last ball of the over.

"If we're talking about long names, we have to mention Fiji's Ilikena Lasarusa Talebulamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau, holder of the longest name of any player to have played first-class cricket."
Andy, Wiltshire, in the TMS inbox

26th over - Eng 97-9
Bopara clubs Malinga for two to midwicket, where Loku completes the fielding. Bopara then has to dig out an excellent yorker. Can England make it to three figures? A bouncer is signalled as an aerial wide by Rudi/Kenny. Bopara off-drives and it sails through extra cover for four. A single gives Monty two balls to deffend. He's hit on the pad, Malinga appeals, Monty works it to leg but it's signalled as a leg-bye. (It pitched outside leg and was missing leg stump anyway). Bopara defends the last ball but can't take the single he might want to farm the strike.

"I reckon Belly was terrified by the sight of the penknife and was thinking, quite literally, that the slow finger of death might be brandishing it in the hotel later. And to think, they've been worrying about monkeys, cockroaches and cobras!"
Rich, Aylesbury, developing penknife obsession, in the TMS inbox

25th over - Eng 88-9
Bopara takes a single off the second ball of the over to draw level with England's lowest ODI score against Sri Lanka (88 in Dambulla in 2003 - the lowest in any ODI is 86 against Australia at Old Trafford in 2001). Monty defends his first ball from Loku, and then pushes one into the off-side. There are four fielders around the bat, but Panesar survives the rest of the over safely.

Dougie Brown
"It took 30 years for Ian Botham, but if Panesar's still there at the end of 50 overs, he should be knighted. He looked good in the nets yesterday"
Eternal optimist Dougie Brown on TMS

24th over - Eng 87-9
A textbook forward defensive from the Montster sees off the over.

Wicket falls
23.5 overs - WICKET - Anderson c Sangakkara b Malinga 2 - Eng 87-9
...or rather he won't. Astonishingly, Fernando has been taken off with figures of 8-0-27-6. Perhaps he needs a rest? The Slinger returns to the attack, and boosts England's total with a wide. Bopara works a single to leg, and Anderson shoulders arms to his first ball from Malinga. He then gets an edge and Sanga takes a simple catch. England are still one behind their lowest ODI total against Sri Lanka (88 in 2003)

23rd over - Eng 85-8
Anderson tries to flick Loku off his legs but completely misses the ball. He then has a more successful attempt at the shot, which yields a single. Bopara prods a single himself - he'll be on strike against the irrepressible Fernando next over...

"Ranjith Amunugama, impressively, has more initials than letters in his surname. His full name being Amunugama Rajapakse Rajakaruna Abeykoon Panditha Wasalamudiyanse Ralahamilage Ranjith Krishantha Bandara Amunugama... That's the most I've ever heard"
Ben, York, in the TMS inbox[If I ever have to do live text on him, he'll probably just get called Ranji so I don't wear my computer keyboard out - MM]

22nd over - Eng 83-8
The third successive left-handed batsman walks out - but James Anderson gets the nod ahead of the Montster. Jimmy dabs a single towards point to get off the mark. Bopara, who's lost three batting partners so far, can only defend the rest of the over.

Out for a duck
21.3 overs - WICKET - Sidebottom b Fernando 0 - Eng 82-8
One southpaw batsman replaces another, but Sidey lasts just two balls before he's clean bowled by the irrepressible Fernando. The stadium band are playing at full volume, so I'd assume he can hear the drums.

Alison Mitchell
"Fernando's slower ball is more difficult to read than Chaucer"
Alison Mitchell on TMS

Wicket falls
21.1 overs - WICKET - Broad c Jayasuriya b Fernando 1 - Eng 82-7
Sri Lanka clearly think they can see this game off quickly, as Fernando is continuing for his eighth over. He goes around the wicket to the left-handed Broad, and picks up his fifth wicket with another slower ball which completely foxes Broad as he spoons one to Jayasuriya at mid-on.

"What you really want is Caroline Cheese reporting cricket at Durham so she could tell us a batsman was c Mustard b Onions"
Neil in the TMS inbox

21st over - Eng 82-6
With the fielding restrictions off and Vaas's 10 overs bowled through, it's time for leg-spinner Loku. Alison Mitchell on TMS immediately notices the bleached streak through his hair. Bopara gets off the mark by letting the ball come on to him and directing it between midwicket and short fine leg for a single. Jayawardene sends in Mubarak under a helmet at short-leg for the left-handed Broad, who also gets off the mark with a prodded single. Bopara scampers a quick single, Sanga whips off the bails but the long-striding Broad has made his ground. They then run a bye, four runs come off Loku's first over.

Dougie Brown
"The game is so far out of England's reach now that there's no pressure on Stuart Broad. But anything is possible - they can't afford to lose any more wickets, they have to just stay in for 10-15 overs and see where they are"
Dougie Brown on TMS

Wicket falls
20th over - WICKET - Shah c Lokuarachchi b Fernando 4 - Eng 78-6
Shah defends well against Fernando, who's still on for his seventh over. He nudges one to fine leg and the Middlesex-Essex combo trot back for two runs. Shah tries to push forward but gets an edge out to Loku at cover.

"For JP - try the same technique as the legendary imbiber Richard Harris. There was the story of when he told his wife he was going out to get the Sunday paper and then disappeared for a week on a drinking binge. When he sobered up and decided to return home he was trying to think of an excuse. He stood on the doorstep as his wife opened the door, then stormed past her angrily saying: 'Why didn't you pay the ransom?' You have to acknowledge the ingenuity of a man to come up with that after a week on the sauce"
Bill in the TMS inbox

19th over - Eng 76-5
New batsman is Ravi Bopara - remember his tremendous partnership with Paul "the Badger" Nixon at the last World Cup that almost pulled off an unlikely win against this same opposition? He defends the last ball of the over. Vaas finishes with 2-36.

Wicket falls
18.5 overs - WICKET - Pietersen b Vaas 28 - Eng 76-5
Vaas is going to bowl his 10th over straight off the real. Despite Pietersen's fireworks in the last over, Jayawardene has still posted himself at reasonably short mid-off - and is vindicated when Pietersen hits one straight back to him. Pietersen drives but gets a thick edge to third man, where a fumble by the Slinger begets a second run. The wily Vaas then picks up the big wicket of the innings when Pietersen steps across his stumps early, and Vaas knocks his leg stump over.

Alison Mitchell
"I don't think I know many batsmen who stand as still as Shah does when he's waiting for the ball to be bowled. His eyeline is dead straight - if he had a spirit level on his head, it would be absolutely level"
Alison Mitchell on TMS

18th over - Eng 74-4
New batsman Owais Shah has to duck a high bouncer from Fernando - surely that was a wide, Rudi? Shah's off the mark with a single.

Dougie Brown
"The wicket of Collingwood puts a bit more pressure on Pietersen, but Owais Shah has a good opportunity here to try to get in the Test squad"
Dougie Brown on TMS

Wicket falls
17.2 overs - WICKET - Collingwood lbw b Fernando 2 - Eng 72-4
Fernando traps Colly in front, and "slow death" Rudi/Kenny Rogers sends him back to the pavilion.

17th over - Eng 72-3
Fernando is handed a towel to rub the sweat out of his hair, but Vaas is a bit of an "iron man" here, bowling his ninth over straight through. After Colly takes a single, Wayne Rooney nets his first competitive goal since Euro 2004 and a comedy own goal puts England 3-0 up, KP whips Vaas through midwicket for four, just beating Silva's despairing dive. KP then gets another streaky outside edge, like in Vaas's last over, and four runs result again. He then attempts an unorthodox heave towards cow corner, and that's three fours in three balls. He aims the next one towards the same area, but Loku keeps it down to two. Vaas's figures are somewhat dented by the 15 runs off that over.

"Just to let everyone know, I went with the rugby shirt over the football shirt. It was just too tempting... what better way to say 'we're in the semi-finals and you're not'?! I subsequently chickened out in the pub at the sight of some burly Welshmen, kept my coat on and boiled. Great work by England though - three out of three wins still on course!"
Kathryn, safely back home, now multi-tasking with a TV, computer and beer, Cardiff, in the TMS inbox

16th over - Eng 57-3
It's time for Captain Colly. He's off the mark with a single through midwicket.

Dougie Brown
"If you speak to the England batsmen, they'll tell you that it's virtually impossible to spot Fernando's slower ball"
Dougie Brown (who will be sorry to hear Ukraine have pulled one back - Scotland now lead 2-1) on TMS

Wicket falls
15.4 overs - WICKET - Cook c Sangakkara b Fernando 28 - Eng 56-3
Umpire Rudi Koertzen signals the third powerplay, before raising his middle, ring and little fingers to indicate that three fielders can stand outside the circle - palm out, unlike his signal in the Sri Lanka innings. Rudi's white goatee gives him an increasingly close resemblance to country singer Kenny Rogers (whose song "The Gambler" has been inspiring the England rugby team). Pietersen hits one straight back which falls agonisingly wide of Fernando's outstretched hand as he attempts a return catch as they take three runs. Then, it's all over for Cook as he chases a wide one and keeper Sanga takes another excellent one-handed diving catch.

15th over - Eng 52-2
This is a long spell from Vaas, who's on for his eighth over. Captain Jayawardene is fielding at a position I can only describe as "reasonably short mid-off". He's so close to non-striker Cook that he could probably pick Cook's pocket as he backs up. Pietersen gets an outside edge to a slower ball which fortunately sails just past the gloves of keeper Sanga (who's standing up), and goes for four. Another slower ball from Vaas, and they think they've got KP out as Sanga runs forward to pouch the catch - but umpire De Silva rightly says "not out" as it flicked off the top of his pad. Vaas has 1-19 from his eight overs.

14th over - Eng 48-3
Pietersen dabs one into the on-side where Malinga fields and dives full-length to throw at the stumps as they run a quick single. The Slinger's sunhat falls off, begging the question why he needs to wear a sunhat at night in a day/night game. Cook picks up two to midwicket as Loku (that's what I'm going to call him) does the fielding. At this stage, Sri Lanka were 74-3.

Dougie Brown
"There's no doubting his ability at Test level, but Alastair Cook has really benefited from being given a prolonged run in the one-day side at the top of the order"
Dougie Brown (also basking in Scotland's resurgence in the football world) on TMS

13th over - Eng 45-2
The office here is abuzz as Shaun Wright-Phillips puts England ahead with a goal which Watford and Estonia keeper Mart Poom won't want to watch too many times. Cook takes his score to 25 with a two to leg, and KP suddenly realises the throw's coming to the bowler's end and has to get his skates on to make his ground. Lee McCulloch doubles Scotland's lead with a superb shot, but that two from Cook is the only scoring shot of the over.

"Seven hours to while away in Paris? Wish I had your problem, Mike"
Michael in Belgium in the TMS inbox

12th over - Eng 43-2
Pietersen tries to clip Fernando off his legs and picks up two leg-byes. Elsewhere in the world, Kenny Miller heads Scotland into the lead against Ukraine. After Fernando sends down a wide, a better shot from Pietersen is on-driven away for four towards cow corner.

"In reply to JP, rearrange your birthday. I'm 42 today and no one has spoilt it so far"
Dave Nunn, via text [Happy birthday, Dave - MM]

"Does anyone else think that Caroline Cheese is the best name ever?"
Steve, Rochdale, in the TMS inbox[She's sat just behind me, and says she disagrees wholeheartedly - MM]

11th over - Eng 36-2
As Kevin Pietersen joins Cook, umpire De Silva signals the second powerplay - before holding two fingers up to indicate that it will be two fielders outside the circle in this five-over powerplay. (Unlike Rudi in the Sri Lanka innings, he holds the two fingers up palm outwards, so not to unintentionally offend anyone who may be looking directly at him). Cook works Vaas through midwicket for four, while Alison on TMS reveals that Sri Lanka have never lost four one-day internationals in a row. Cook defends the rest of the over.

Wicket falls
10th over - WICKET - Bell c Malinga b Fernando 11 - Eng 32-2
Cook guides Fernando off his legs to backward square leg, and they eventually run three. Fernando gets a bit of bounce as Bell has to defend one off the back foot. Bell then tries to guide one through the covers but gets a lucky inside edge which squirts away behind square on the leh-side, and they run two. Rudi's penknife is put to work again as he is called upon to snip a little bit of tape off the edge of Bell's bat. But it obviously doesn't help Bell, as he misjudges a slower ball from Fernando and chips one to the sunhat-wearing Slinger at mid-on.

"I hope Dougie Brown's wrong about Vaas. I get more pleasure than perhaps I should from observing every time I hear his name that Vaas has more initials (five - WPUJC) than letters in his surname. Can any other cricketer match that impressive claim?"
AM Spartan in the TMS inbox

Russell Arnold
"Spin will be crucial later on for Sri Lanka, but the fast bowlers need to get a stranglehold on the game and not give much away"
Russell Arnold on TMS

9th over - Eng 27-1
As Alison and Dougie on TMS discuss how much players sweat when batting in the middle, Vaas's over yields just another two fairly inoffensive singles. Well-known Sri Lanka fan "Percy" is walking around the ground carrying flags, accompanied as ever by a female England spectator.

"I'm always fascinated when one of these debates on grammar happens during a match. It's like looking into another world with its secret and mystifying language; participles, declensions, infinitives, all completely unknown by laymen such as myself, very educational. Is there a large body of English graduates among the live text staff? Must help to fend off accusations of only posting childish debates I suppose (I'm in favour of both kinds)"
Kieran in Leicester in the TMS inbox
[Not me - for what it's worth, I did Law and French - MM]

8th over - Eng 25-1
The Slinger is off after three overs, and Dilhara Fernando enters the attack. As Alison Mitchell spots yet another crow swooping past the TMS box, Cook gropes at one outside off-stump and it flies wide of the only slip fielder for four. But the rest of the over is tight and that's the only scoring stroke.

"The 'Colonel' hasn't quite been able to cut the condiment in this series!"
HNS in the TMS inbox

"A word of advice about peaking too soon - it was my leaving drinks at work last night, supposedly a few cheeky ones and nibbles at 5.30pm. Several rather large ones and almost 12 hours later I crash at my mate's house decidedly the worse for wear (with one of my mate's shoes on for some reason!?), and get up this morning ready to slope off home for a day of sofa-loafing in front of the sport, only to be greeted by gargantuan grief from 'er indoors. Currently hiding at work keeping up with the cricket on the PC before contemplating getting back down the boozer for the footie/rugby double bill ahead of facing the marital wrath once more. Anyone any useful damage limitation tips?"
JP, somewhere in the northern hemisphere, in the TMS inbox

7th over - Eng 21-1
Bell and Cook exchange singles, but it's a tidy over from Vaas as he keeps Bell relatively tied down.

"Does anyone else find Rudi keeping a random penknife in his pocket slightly sinister? Not sure I'll sleep tonight!"
Rich, Aylesbury, in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"Ian Bell made his Warwickshire debut in 1999 - he was only 16 or 17 and had to come out of school to play. He spent three days fielding before getting out second ball, then had to go back to his classes. But he's a phantom sock-snipper in the dressing-room"
Dougie Brown on TMS

6th over - Eng 19-1
It's England's first boundary as Malinga strays outside off-stump and Cook punches it firmly through point for four. The next one is cover-driven by Cook but a combination of Dilshan and Mubarak keeps the score down to three rather than four. Another one from Malinga is short and wide, and Bell flays him for four through the covers. The next ball is even wider - if Bell had left it, it would have been called a wide, but he toe-ends it for a single.

"I'm following your coverage while sitting in my hotel room in Paris - just been for a wander around and there are already loads of English rugby shirts on view - many more than last night it seems. After rather a heavy night, I'm just wondering when to start again - I could do with a hair of the dog but I don't want to be seeing three Jonny Wilkinsons as he kicks the winning penalty tonight - seven hours to fill in though, what to do?"
Mike in the TMS inbox

5th over - Eng 7-1
Cook nudges Vaas for a single, and Bell's still stepping across his crease to the experienced left-arm swinger, but again it's just the Cook single from the over.

4th over - Eng 6-1
Cook dabs a single, and Bell is unable to pierce the infield from the remainder of the over. He's now 15 short of David Gower's record for the most ODI runs by an England batsman in a calendar year from 1983. Some of those games Gower played in may have been 60-over games - but mind you, he reached that total in 13 fewer games than Bell's taken.

"I'm about to come up against a very serious problem. The footie starts in an hour. The 2nd TV and the PC are in different rooms. WHAT SHALL I DO? (And before anybody mentions it, I know it was stupid to leave the laptop in the office). My Spanish wife likes neither footie nor the art of the willow, so no help from that quarter, I'm afraid"
Graham in summery Barcelona, foregoing the beach for England, in the TMS inbox

Graham, would you consider me biased if I suggest you stick with your PC, flick between coverage of all the different sports here on the BBC Sport website, and then if you see a goal's gone in, run into the room with the TV where they're bound to be showing a replay of it from the 16th different camera angle?

3rd over - Eng 5-1
New batsman Ian Bell steps across his stumps and flicks one through midwicket for two. Dougie Brown on TMS points out that he's stepping across to try to negate the threat of falling LBW to Vaas's inswing.

Dougie Brown
"With no slip in, Sangakkara had to throw everything at that catch. I went out for dinner with him last night to a sushi restaurant, and he wasn't as good at keeping everything in his chopsticks as he was keeping that catch in his glove"
Sangakkara's erstwhile Warwickshire team-mate Dougie Brown on TMS

Wicket falls
2.3 overs - WICKET - Mustard c Sangakkara b Vaas 1 - Eng 3-1
Mustard slashes at the third ball of the over, gets a faint edge and keeper Sanga takes a brilliant one-handed diving catch. The Colonel departs.

2nd over - Eng 3-0
Lasith Malinga marks out his run-up for the second over, and slings his first ball towards Mustard's legs, where the Durham stumper nudges him away for a leg-bye. Umpire Rudi Koertzen takes out a penknife to snip something off the ball - possibly a stray part of the seam. Cook takes no chances with the rest of the over. With the only run being a leg-bye, that's a maiden.

"Nitpicking Nitpickers of the world unite! Somewhere in the bible of these things (Fowler's Modern English Usage), forget exactly where, there is an escape clause stating that it doesn't really matter if you infringe the rules of grammar, as long as what you come up with is clear, flows, is lucid and not liable to misunderstanding... I am enjoying an enjoyable commentary, by the way (pun very much intended)"
Michael (waiting for a great game in Paris) in Belgium in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"Chaminda Vaas has been the spearhead of the Sri Lankan attack for so long, but I think he's under pressure for his place"
Dougie Brown on TMS

1st over - Eng 2-0
Cook gets England off the mark by turning left-armer Vaas off his legs to deep backward square leg for a single. Mustard pushes his first ball into the on-side for a single.

"Can I just pay tribute to Inzamam upon his retirement from international cricket? No-one who saw it will ever forget the hilarious occasion when he was out hit wicket to Monty at Headingley. Inzy, we salute you"
Dave, Warrington, in the TMS inbox

"To nitpick the nitpicker, I think you mean to say "infinitive" not "gerundive". The latter does not strictly appear in English"
Casper, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

1414: We're back - Chaminda Vaas opening up to Cook and Mustard.

"Interesting how England have been set the same target in two consecutive one day internationals. Has this ever happened before? We should be told..."
Jonathan in the TMS inbox

"In reference to 'animal of the series' it has got to be Dog #2 if only for the fact that no one could be bothered to get a photo of his efforts - he should have some recognition at least instead of Dog #1 getting additional photos that he didn't deserve"
Annabel in the TMS inbox

SRI LANKA INNINGS

Wicket falls
48.1 overs - WICKET - Fernando b Broad 12 - SL 211 all out
Fernando misses a straight one and Broad wraps up the innings by taking his third wicket.

"Just to nitpick Rob Miles' nervous nitpicking, last time I looked 'enjoying' was not techncally a verb in itself but a present participle or gerund(ive)"
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

48th over - SL 211-9
Sidey's last over. Fernando swings and misses, then the second ball is a cleverly-disguised slower ball which Fernando prods at, and it's another dot ball. He can't get the third ball away, and then has to block the fourth as Sidey runs in to field off his own bowling. Finally he takes a single off the fifth, leaving Malinga on strike. The last ball is fast and straight, and Malinga defends his stumps. A peach of an over from Sidey, yielding just one run - he figures with 10-2-41-2.

"I was just thinking what excellent comments Dougie Brown has contributed over the five matches - and then he tries to defend the selection of Ashley Giles in Australia and lets himself down"
Andy Jones in the TMS inbox
[A touch of Warwickshire loyalty to Gilo perhaps? - MM]

Russell Arnold
"Dilhara Fernando has shown throughout the series that he can do a job with the bat - every run could be vital here"
Russell Arnold on TMS

47th ball - SL 210-9
"Slinger" Malinga is Sri Lanka's last man, and he strides out for the last ball of the 47th over, with his mane of bleached-blond hair poking out of the back of his helmet. It's outside off-stump, and Malinga leaves it alone.

Wicket falls
46.5 overs - WICKET - Silva c Anderson b Broad 72 - SL 210-9
Some smart running brings Fernando a single off Broad's first ball, before Silva is completely deceived by a shorter ball he was trying to play a back-foot prod to. Broad tries a slower ball but Silva plays with soft hands, tickling a delicate single to third man. Fernando rotates the strike again, before Silva tries to cut the fifth ball and it sails straight to Jimmy A at third man.

46th over - SL 207-8
Sidey continues for his peultimate over, and Colly brings a slip in, with a ring of fielders on the off-side with a view to keeping Fernando on strike. Fernando pokes one to backward point where Colly's diving stop only succeeds in accidentally parrying the ball towards the vacant third man area, and they take three runs where only one had been thought possible. Silva clearly trusts Fernando, taking a single to the next ball. Mustard (and belatedly Sidey) appeal for LBW against Fernando when he gets a big inside edge, and the number 10 has nine runs from five balls. Silva then pushes one into the on-side, and they decide against a run as Fernando rushes back to make his ground at the bowler's end. With mid-on up in the circle, Silva then hoists Sidey down the ground, and it bounces three times before going for four.

"Dear Rob, don't you mean "THE last time I checked"? It's bad grammar to leave that out. See, I can nit pick too"
Evan, via text

45th over - SL 198-8
Having seen a cockroach in the TMS box earlier today, Simon Mann spots a lizard in the back of the box and tries to reassure producer Caroline Short. New batsman is Dilhara Fernando, who justifies his promotion to number 10 ahead of Malinga with a lovely cover-drive for four. Considering Fernando's dogged resistance at number 11 earlier in the series, a good knock here could see him permanently installed ahead of the Slinger. He takes a single to keep the strike.

Wicket falls
44.2 overs - WICKET - Vaas b Broad 15 - SL 193-8
Broad returns to the attack, and it's a swing-and-a-miss by Vaas. Strike one. But then Vaas strikes out as he tries to force Broad into the off-side and drags one from well outside off-stump onto his wicket.

"I was at the gym when the wicket fell in the 23rd over and saw it on TV there. It's clear that there was doubt in the batsman's mind if the keeper had taken the bails off before the ball got there and he rightly stood his ground until the replays cleared it up. The ball did hit the off stump first, but the batsman could be forgiven for doubt as it did start very wide and turned a good deal too"
John Starbuck, Yorkshire, in the TMS inbox

44th over - SL 193-7
Sidey returns - he's got three overs available to him. Vaas prods at one which just evades the diving Mustard, but Monty P cuts off the boundary and they run two. Sidey then strays with a legside wide, the seventh of the innings. Vaas, who is impressing TMS's Russell Arnold with the supporting role he has played to Silva, takes a single which brings the latter back on strike. He tickles a single, then Vaas has to dig one out from the blockhole. Another yorker-length ball is worked away for a single to complete the over.

"If Maharoof is injured, he is the Freddie Flintoff of Sri Lanka"
Michael in the TMS inbox

"England's slow over rate is not going to matter because Sri Lanka are not going to last their full allotment of 50 overs! And En-ger-land are on for three wins today!"
Susan in the TMS inbox

43rd over - SL 187-7
Bopara continues for the eighth over of his fairly tidy spell (which means either Anderson, Sidebottom or Broad will not bowl their full allocation). After a couple of singles, Vaas tries to hit Bopara down the ground but it falls safely into the wide mid-off area where Sidey, back on the field after that bout of cramp earlier on, does the fielding. A delicate leg-glance from Silva brings another boundary and takes his score to 66.

Dougie Brown
"Panesar has done exactly the job which was asked of him - Sri Lanka haven't got any more recognised batsmen left, so they can't afford to lose any more wickets"
Dougie Brown on TMS

42nd over - SL 180-7
After seven overs of the second "new" (used) white ball, the umpires decide to change the ball again. It's Monty's final over, and a sharp Vaas off-drive yields a single. Two more singles complete the Montster's spell - he finishes with figures of 10-0-31-1.

"Right, back from the football [see 0957 entry] with my team winning and only suffered from some cramp and a moderately sized blister. It appears the cricket is going OK which is to my liking... especially good to see Bopara bowling (I'm an Essex boy by birth)"
Dan (Played averagely and is still alive) in Southampton in the TMS inbox

41st over - SL 177-7
Vaas (wearing a red bandana under his blue helmet) gets a lucky edge off Bopara and it shoots through the vacant skip cordon for four. He and Silva shuffle through for a couple of singles apiece, before Silva chops one that just evades Colly at backward point and it goes for four. An expensive over by contrast to the last one.

"Simon (18th over), if you think you've got a stamina conundrum spare a thought for me. It's 8pm now, I've just started drinking soju, by full-time in Paris the sun will be coming up again and my eyes will be blue from staring at this laptop"
Richard, South Korea, in the TMS inbox

40th over - SL 166-7
Monty fizzes one in outside the left-handed Vaas's off-stump and it turns well to beat his outside edge. The veteran is finally off the mark with a single off the last ball, but that's a good over for Monty and England. It's eyes down for the last 10 overs.

"Mark, any chance of you saying something like Silva is playing in god-like fashion and Sri Lanka should be well on for 300+ no probs?"
TV, Cambridge in the TMS inbox
[It doesn't work if you try to do it deliberately! MM]

39th over - SL 165-7
Silva slashes off the back foot, Cook misjudges a sprawling stop on the boundary and the ball trickles on to the rope. The next ball is a wide which Mustard does well to stop. But good fielding from Bell and Colly means there are no other scoring strokes from the over.

"Dear Danny from Aberystwyth, who is reading a difficult but 'enjoying' book about International Relations Theory - it might be better brushing up on your basic grammar before reading difficult books - last time I checked, enjoying was a verb, not an adjective! Or maybe I'm just nitpicking because I'm reading about EU Law and becoming progressively more nervous about the upcoming rugby game"
Rob Miles in the TMS inbox

38th over - SL 160-7
A half-hearted LBW appeal from Monty against Silva fails to impress umpire De Silva (presumably no relation). The Northants left-armer has Silva tied down for much of the over, and only a single is possible.

"Pietersen at scrum-half? Are you mad? The man would drop his ears if they weren't attached to his head"
Daniel Saunders in the TMS inbox

37th over - SL 159-7
New batsman Chaminda Vaas sees off the final two deliveries of the over.

Out for a duck
36.4 overs - WICKET - Lokuarachchi lbw b Bopara 0 - SL 159-7
Silva nudges Bopara for a single where Pietersen, back on the field, does the fielding. Loku's stay at the crease is thankfully short (nothing personal, I just hate trying to spell his name without cutting'n'pasting) as he misses a straight one and Bopara traps him LBW. Bopara crouches down to appeal, with both fingers pointing towards the umpire like someone striking a disco-dancing pose, and is rewarded with the slow finger of death from Rudi Koertzen.

36th over - SL 158-6
It's the moment I really wasn't looking forward to - the jolly-difficult-to-type-in-a-hurry Kaushal Lokuarachchi (hereafter referred to as Loku) is the new batsman. He defends his first ball.

Wicket falls
That's 50
35.5 overs - WICKET - Mubarak c Bopara b Panesar 6 - SL 158-6
Silva and Mubarak both sweep Monty for singles, while Simon Mann fears that England's slow over-rate will mean a shortened interval - and I can tell you that's not much fun for those of us sat here for 100 overs with only a short break in the middle! Silva turns one to leg to reach his 50 - but then Monty claims his first wicket when Mubarak fences at a wide one and Bopara sinks to his knees at point to take the catch.

Simon Mann
"Phil Mustard has played four very similar innings on the tour so far - he's hit a few boundaries and then got out, although it hasn't helped that he's had to bat under lights four times"
Simon Mann on TMS

35th over - SL 155-5
As per the new ODI rules, with 34 overs gone, umpire Rudi hands Bopara the "new" (used) ball with which to bowl. The first delivery with the new sphere hits Silva on the pad, but the appeal is in vain as it was going down leg. Silva then hoists Bopara over the infield, Broad tries to use his "Boundary Fox" skills but his tumbling roll can't quite stop the boundary. A single takes his score to 48 but Mubarak can't get the last two balls away.

"What has happened to Maharoof? Is he the Monty Panesar of Sri Lanka?"
RH in the TMS inbox [He's injured - MM]

34th over - SL 150-5
Broad takes another rest and Monty P returns. Silva turns him to midwicket and they jog through for a single. With Sidey still off the field (and Luke Wright sub-fielding for him), Pietersen is also off the field and is replaced by his Hampshire team-mate Chris Tremlett. Silva and Mubarak don't seem to be in much trouble against Panesar, and a succession of singles bring up Sri Lanka's 150.

33rd over - SL 146-5A drinks break is taken, before Bopara resumes with his third over, and he's keeping it pretty tight with what Simon Mann on TMS describes as a "Sunday League run-up" of about 15 yards. Silva twice tries to work him away to third man, but Captain Colly makes a superb stop-and-rocket-throw-in-to-the-stumps at backward point both times. A maiden for Essex's Bopara.

"Anyone got any suggestion on how to recover quickly from a day spent in Blackpool and a hair raising ride on the Pepsi Max [I'm assuming that's a roller-coaster - MM] - does anyone in Blackpool watch cricket?"
Chrissy, north Notts, in the TMS inbox

"For Simon, London - try to stay out of the pub for as long as possible. The last time I went on a sporting all-dayer it made me very ill. I woke up in the night covered in an icy sweat, from the waist down"
Woodzeebeck, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox

"I don't think we can give the cockroach 'Animal of the Series' without a picture. How big is Simon Mann? If he's quite small, maybe the cockroach isn't as big as we thought and is actually the size of a medium-sized bunny rabbit, the sort that wouldn't do harm to anyone and just likes to eat carrots?"
Danny, Amersham, in the TMS inbox

32nd over - SL 146-5
Broad and Mustard appeal for a catch behind as Silva fences at one which is called a wide. The next ball is a high bouncer, leading ump De Silva to signal to Broad "that's your one for the over". Another bouncer is signalled as a no-ball, and De Silva signals to Colly his reasons for doing so. Silva responds with another high-quality cover-driven four, before they scamper a quick single. Bell's underarm throw just misses the stumps - Silva would have been out if it had hit. England bowling consultant Ottis Gibson is sitting next to non-playing squad members Mascarenhas and Tremlett - given the Durham man's role as Hampshire's nemesis on several occasions during the summer, what will they talk about?

Dougie Brown
"It's really good to see England hunting as a pack - they're backing each other up, as it was really poor from Silva to take that second run"
Dougie Brown on TMS

31st over - SL 139-5
Bopara continues for his second over, while England physio Kirk Russell (not to be confused with the similarly-named star of action movies such as Escape from LA) continues to treat Sidey's cramp just outside the boundary rope. Silva and Mubarak take a couple of singles each.

30th over - SL 135-5
The Montster's off after five wicketless overs for 19 runs, and Stuart Broad returns. Silva and Mubarak take a single each, before Sidebottom tries to make a diving stop and appears to collapse to the turf with cramp. Silva calls for a second run while Sidey writhes in agony, and several England fielders converge on Silva to express the view that to take that second run was somewhat unsporting. As Sidey leaves the field for treatment, Broad fires in a bouncer at Silva by way of revenge.

Alison Mitchell
"Graeme Swann told me Ryan Sidebottom is very superstitious - he has to sit in the same seat on the team bus when he's played well. But Swann writes a little F inside his shirt so he uses the same shirt for fielding, rather than batting, in every game"
Alison Mitchell on TMS

Dougie Brown
"Everything Paul Collingwood is doing as captain is turning to gold at the moment - bringing on Shah, and then Bopara"
Dougie Brown on TMS

29th over - SL
Radio 4 LW listeners return, having missed that wicket during the Shipping Forecast, and new batsman Jehan Mubarak sees off the last ball. A great first over from Bopara.

Wicket falls
28.5 overs - WICKET - Dilshan run out (Bell/Mustard) 9 - SL 131-5
Despite haviing made that vital breakthrough, Shah's off after three overs (that lousy wide in the last over may have had something to do with it), and Ravi Bopara takes up the attack. If anything, he's been under-bowled in this series, but Colly's shoulder injury means he's effectively England's fourth seamer today. Silva opens the face to guide one down to third man for a single, and then Dilshan tries to take a suicidal single to Ian Bell at cover, is rightly sent back by Silva and Dilshan is run out by yards. Dilshan is absolutely furious with Silva, but that's the end of him.

28th over - SL 130-4
Dilshan off-drives Monty again, taking two to long-off, before another attempted sweep sees him miss the ball as it spins more than he thought. Dilshan tries to use his feet but Monty keeps him tied down as Radio 4 LW listeners have the Shipping Forecast inflicted on them.

"Shame our sporting governing bodies could not get together. An over from Rooney and one from Andrew Sheridan would rock the Sri Lankans. That coupled with Sidebottom rising like a tin of John West at the far post to get on the end of a Gerrard cross and KP playing scrum-half would be a dream. Feeling patriotic again for the first time in ages"
Bernie, in work in Liverpool, but not for long, in the TMS inbox

27th over - SL 128-4
I hate to say this to the army of Montster fans, but Shah is looking the more comfortable of England's two spinners at the moment. He's getting a lot of turn, although Dilshan and Silva are continuing to tickle the singles with some aplomb. The commentator's curse then strikes again as Shah sends down a very poor legside wide - the batsmen run three but it's so slow that the ball can't reach the fine leg boundary.

Russell Arnold
"250 is still on the cards for Sri Lanka, but they need a partnership here"
Russell Arnold on TMS

26th over - SL 120-4
Dilshan off-drives Monty for a single to long-off, while Silva works him away to fine leg again for two. Colly adjusts the field to try to nullify the threat of the sweep. Monty tosses one up which Silva sends straight to backward point.

"Not a good day for me as I didn't think when accepting to help another store at work today how big this sporting day was. I start working at 12 and finish at seven so miss the cricket and football. A cricket club dinner and awards is this evening so I even miss the rugby as well!"
Edges Wedges in the TMS inbox

25th over - SL 117-4
Shah continues, Dilshan takes a single before Silva tries to guide a wide one down to fine leg for two. Shah tosses one up which Silva carves to backward point for two.

24th over - SL 112-4
Silva takes a single, while the new batsman is Tillakaratne Dilshan, who follows Silva and Sanga's lead from the previous over by sweeping Panesar for a two and then a single. I'm still trying to recover from the sight of Rudi signalling a wide in the last over when Sanga was bowled! You might think the man has it in for England, I couldn't possibly comment.

Wicket falls
23rd over - WICKET - Sangakkara b Shah 26 - SL 108-4
Is this a gamble by Colly? Owais Shah's occasional off-spin is introduced into the attack - although Colly's shoulder injury could see Shah, Bopara and even conceivably Pietersen making up the fifth bowler's allocation. Silva takes a sharp single, while Sangakkara pushes one to Broad, who is at deep cover in two senses of the word, fielding underneath the shadow of the large grandstand. Silva then chops one down to third man for one. The final ball bowls Sanga around his legs as he sweeps and misses at one that turns prodigiously. But Sanga stands his ground while Rudi Koertzen astonishingly signals a wide! After TV replays are consulted, Sanga has to go. Owais, I take back what I said about it being a gamble...

22nd over - SL 103-3
Silva slog-sweeps Monty from outside off-stump for four to bring up the Sri Lanka hundred, while a more orthodox sweep yields a single. A fan on the boundary holds up a "Where's Our Dimi?" banner - a long-distance Hampshire fan, or a Mascarenhas relative? Sanga and Silva take a single each - seven off the over.

"In reply to Dave, Warrington and Al, Bristol - I am that charming lady to accompany their day of sporting fun. But only if I can sit on the sofa, and they fetch my beers! I am a Cardiff Uni student - my two projects lay abandoned at feet - I'm still trying to work whether to wear my England cricket, football or rugby shirts out in Welsh capital's city centre... which would get me the least abuse?!"
Kathryn, pondering, (and wishing to apologise to her project co-workers), Cardiff, in the TMS inbox
[I went to Cardiff Uni from 1993-97 and would recommend you do not wear an England rugby shirt in such circumstances! - MM]

21st over - SL 96-3
As Alison Mitchell on TMS reveals that this stadium was built on swamp land which had been used by Buddhist monks on their way to a temple, Sanga takes a single off Broad which prompts Colly to shuffle his field again. Silva has to dig out a good yorker, but then pulls a looser one past mid-on for four, before guiding a single to third man. Alison notices more enormous black crows which are swooping past the window of the TMS box.

Dougie Brown
"Panesar's been working on bowling a little slower, as sometimes he can bowl too fast in ODIs, where you need to take pace off the ball at times"
Dougie Brown on TMS

20th over - SL 90-3
It's time for the Montster, as Mr Panesar gets his first bowl of the series, looking to improve on his ODI bowling average of 41. Monty bowls over the wicket to the left-handed Sanga who takes two and then works him away for a single. Monty then goes around the wicket to the right-handed Silva, and keeps him tied down for the rest of the over. That's it for the fielding restrictions.

Dougie Brown
"Stuart Broad has saved a number of runs by flinging himself around the boundary in this series - you can save 20 to 30 runs per game in the field"
Dougie Brown on TMS

19th over - SL 87-3
Broad runs in for his fourth over, and Sanga nudges another single from the first ball. He and Silva work away another couple of singles, so it's just three runs from the over.

"I can honestly thank God that I'm able to follow all of today's sport. I had been pencilled in for the 12-9 shift at work but managed to use the old 'it's a religious holiday - honest' excuse to get the day off"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

18th over - SL 84-3
Dougie and Alison on TMS explore England's wicket-keeping options, mentioning Mustard, Matt Prior, Steven Davies, Tim Ambrose, James Foster and Chris Read. Sanga takes a single but England keep it tight in the field.

"Can anyone give any hints on how to manage my boozing throughout this sports intensive day? Initially, I thought I'd start at 10am (cricket), then thinking that wasn't wise, I though 2pm (football), and again realising that my stamina wasn't that huge I'm now going for 6pm (rugby). I'm a pub sleeper, so any advice would be appreciated"
Simon, London, in the TMS inbox
[BBC Sport advises that such drinking should be in moderation]

Dougie Brown
"I'd have thought England would bring two specialist wicket-keepers to Sri Lanka - as if the wicket-keeper is injured on the morning of the match, you need to bring someone in immediately. It's no good if they have to fly someone in from the development squad in India"
Dougie Brown on TMS

17th over - SL 83-3
Silva mistimes one from Broad and fences it just short of Colly at backward point, while Sidey returns to the field in place of Wright. Another good shot from Silva is restricted to a single as Cook makes a good stop at short cover. Sanga tips and runs for another single.

Simon Mann
"I really hope they don't think that Swann, who has done well in this series, should play ahead of Panesar in the Tests"
Simon Mann on TMS

16th over - SL 81-3
The third powerplay is taken, and ump De Silva holds his middle finger, ring finger and little finger into the air to signify that for this five-over powerplay, England can have three fielders outside the circle. Anderson replaces Sidey, and after Sanga glances one off his legs for a single, an amusing incident ensues when the ball flies out of hAnderson's hand during his delivery stride and it trickles away behind him. De Silva calls "dead ball". Silva then gets off the mark with a glorious textbook cover-drive for four. The MCC could do worse than video that one for their famed coaching manual. A single completes the over.

"Oh how marvellous to see the commentator's curse working against Sri Lanka too - poor Mr Perera! Well done Mark, keep it up!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

15th over - SL 75-3
Sidey leaves the field to be replaced by sub fielder Luke Wright - presumably that's his spell over. Broad has Sanga playing and missing. Sidey is then spotted in the dressing-room, necking a bottle of water. Sanga square-drives to third man for a single, to finally get Sri Lanka off the score of 74 at which they lost two wickets. Silva has to go up onto his toes to fend off one from Broad, and that's it for the second powerplay.

"I'm at work so relying on this feed until 2pm when I knock off and sprint home in time for some of the cricket and the football - can't wait"
Nic Charlton, Bristol, in the TMS inbox

14th over - SL 74-3
With the fall of two wickets, an impromptu mid-over drinks break is taken. New batsman is Chamara Silva, and he sees off the rest of the over - it's a double-wicket maiden for Sidey. His figures are 7-2-25-2.

Out for a duck
13.4 overs - WICKET - Jayawardene c Broad b Sidebottom 0 - SL 74-3
While a band in the stadium belts out that old Boney M classic "Rivers of Babylon", Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene walks to the wicket, while Simon Mann on TMS spots a giant crow on the sightscreen and reveals that a cockroach "the size of a cat" was spotted by producer Caroline Short in the TMS box earlier today. Simon took on the Sir Lancelot role (so he says) to get rid of it. But is it too late for the crow or the cockroach to win "animal of the series"? Back on the pich, Jayawardene spoons his third ball up in the air and Broad runs forward to take the catch at mid-on.

Wicket falls
13.1 overs - WICKET - Perera c Mustard b Sidebottom 30 - SL 74-2
Another wicket for Sidey as he finds Perera's outside edge (having had a couple whistle past it in earlier overs) and the Colonel takes a regulation catch.

13th over - SL 74-1
It's the first change of bowling as Stuart Broad brushes his fair hair out of his eyes before replacing Anderson. Hampshire duo Chris Tremlett and Dimi Mascarenhas are chatting away on the boundary, neither of them having been selected for any of these five ODIs. Sanga takes a single off Broad, who then hits Perera on the pad, but again umpire Rudi Koertzen is unmoved. Will Rudi expand his white goatee to a full beard in time for the festive season? Perera then benefits from some comedy fielding from Sidey, who lets a ball he should have stopped sail straight through him for two. I think he should be made to practise the Long Barrier position if they take a drinks break. His Notts team-mate Broad then sends down a legside wide.

"Andy in Leek: all three international sides were playing on the same day on Saturday, 8 September this year - England beat India in the deciding one-dayer, England beat USA in the opening World Cup game, and England beat Israel in the football... three more wins today, fingers crossed!"
Steve in Norwich in the TMS inbox

12th over - SL 69-1
More good running between the wickets sees Perera run two to long leg off Sidey, before they trot through for a leg-bye. Perera now has 27 off 36 balls - not bad for your debut. Sanga carefully steers the last ball to third man to pinch the strike.

"On hearing the news that Andrew Flintoff is now out for around seven months, I have one message for the selectors and coaches: DON'T RUSH HIM BACK!! I have a feeling this is the last chance saloon for Freddie's ankle and if it fails to recover properly this time then we will be deprived of the best cricketer of his generation. The emphasis must be on recovery and rehabilitation rather than on when he will next play for England"
Steve, Rochdale, in the TMS inbox [Hear, hear - MM]

"Paul in Lancs, I'm currently pondering whether to be immensely flattered at the bestowal of such a prestigious award, or outraged at the suggestion I might have a drink problem... unfortunately my brain is a little woolly this morning so I'll have to get back to you on that one..... *hiccoughs*"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

11th over - SL 65-1
Umpire Rudi Koertzen signals the second powerplay by moving his arm in a circle, then aims a two-fingered salute back down the wicket. It looks ruder than it is - he's signalling that this is the powerplay where two fielders will be allowed outside the fielding circle. Anderson continues to bowl too short, and Perera flays him for successive fours through point. He appeals for LBW when the next ball hits Perera on the pad, but Rudi is so unimpressed that he doesn't even signal a leg-bye. Sanga guides one away to square leg for a comfortable two. Another leg-glance trickles down to fine leg, and they take two more runs which brings Sanga to 6,000 ODI runs. A much better over from Sri Lanka.

10th over - SL 52-1
Perera gets the scoreboard going again with a single, while Broad is back on the field. Sanga is off the mark with a streaky waft outside off-stump which sails past second slip for four. Not the first streaky shot played today, by a long chalk. Captain Colly makes a smart stop in his familiar postition of backward point to deny Sanga a single, but yet again Colly feels his injured shoulder after making the stop. Sanga then nudges one off his his legs for two, where Monty does the fielding at long leg. That's it for the first powerplay.

Dog #1, the first dog who invaded the pitch in Dambulla
"I nominate both Dog #1 and Dog #2 for 'animal of the series' as both of them were hillarious and made me laugh and laugh whilst doing some tough uni reading"
Danny (reading a difficult but enjoying book about International Relations Theory), Aberystwyth, in the TMS inbox

9th over - SL 45-1
Alison Mitchell on TMS notices that Luke Wright is on as a sub fielder for Stuart Broad. Anderson continues to new batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who's happy to defend his first six balls. That's two maidens on the trot.

8th over - SL 45-1
Perera finally cuts loose, trying to take the attack to Sidey but gets a wild top-edge. Mustard charges up from behind the stumps but can't quite get there in time. A mixture of line and length and well-disguised slower balls from Sidey keep Perera tied down - and it's the first maiden over of the day.

"Morning Mark, a great day of English sport today. Just sat down to watch the cricket, will catch the football at 3pm, then to top it off, we have reserved a seating area in the Engine Room Public House for 12 of us to watch the Rugby World Cup semi-final. Cannot remember when all three international sides were playing on the same day. And a bonus it's a Saturday. If you want to join us tonight, you're more than welcome, mine is a pint of Stella and the missus will have a large white wine! Come on England!"
Andy Morgan, Leek, in the TMS inbox [Nice thought, but even if this game were to finish early, I'd need a Tardis to make it to Leek in time for kick-off - MM]

Russell Arnold
"Come on the French!"
Russell Arnold on TMS nails his colours to the mast for today's Rugby World Cup semi-final

Wicket falls
7th over - WICKET - Jayasuriya c Pietersen b Anderson 26 - SL 45-1
Anderson drops one in short again, and Jayasuriya clubs his second six of the innings over midwicket. He then works one off his legs, and a wild throw from Bopara as they take the second run is not backed up. They run a third off the overthrow, and think seriously about running a fourth. Monty P then makes his first significant contribution, hitting the stmps at the bowler's end but Perera is easily through for a single. A flashing drive from Jayasuriya ends his entertaining cameo (26 runs off 18 balls) as he hits it straight to KP at wide mid-off.

"In reply to Dave (Warrington), he is quite quite wrong. A charming lady would be an ideal accompaniment to his day on the sofa. She can wait patiently by his feet and fetch the beers when he needs them"
Al from Bristol in the TMS inbox

Russell Arnold
"Perera is a very useful player - he's a good fielder, he can bowl off-spin and he can be very exciting to watch as a batsman"
Former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold on TMS

6th over - SL 35-0
Sidey beats Perera's outside edge again - Dougie Brown on TMS thinks it's like watching two different games at the moment, with Jayasuriya aggressive and Perera becalmed. The latter takes a single, while Sidey then yells another LBW appeal when it looks like it hits Jayasuriya a smidgen outside off-stump. A leg-bye ensues.

"Re today's sporting extravaganza, I have instructions to meet the wife from work at 8:15 tonight, and go to a party where, 'we will only be staying an hour or so!' Am I being paranoid or is this the eqivalent of Dave's military precision working against me? At least I have the cricket and footie beforehand"
Tim, East London, in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"This has been a good, aggressive start from Sri Lanka - the first time in the series we've seen them start like this. Jayasuriya in particular has thrown caution to the wind"
Dougie Brown on TMS

5th over - SL 33-0
Dougie Brown on TMS notices that Ravi Bopara is standing 10 yards inside the rope on the square leg boundary - possibly a puzzling decision considering Jayasuriya has already comfortably cleared that boundary. Jayasuriya off-drives for two before taking a single, while Captain Colly is clearly rubbing his injured shoulder following that collision with Jayasuriya in the last over. Perera then gives Anderson a sharp caught-and-bowled chance when he punches one straight back, but Jimmy can't get his left hand down quickly enough and they trot through for a single.

4th over - SL 29-0
A textbook defensive stroke from Perera - it looks like Jayasuriya's heroics may allow him to play himself in. He then nudges another one to long leg, and some frankly excellent running between the wickets stretches it to two runs. Sidey then raps Perera on the pad and raises both arms in exhortation to ump De Silva, but it clearly pitched outside leg. Perera then pushes one into the infield, they run a quick single and althought Collingwood's underarm throw misses the stumps at the striker's end, Colly collides with Jayasuriya as he runs his bat in and Jayasuriya is forced to hurdle the stumps, dislodging the bails in the manner of the Ian Botham "leg over" incident which provoked the most famous TMS radio clip of all time (featuring Aggers and the late Brian Johnston). Jayasuriya takes a single, and Sidey beats Perera's outside edge with the final delivery.

"I feel that we have seen the last of Freddie, with the ball anyway. I really can't see him bowling again and he must now become a special specialist batsman!"
Gary, Liskeard in the TMS inbox

3rd over - SL 25-0
Perera gets another edge, this time an outside edge which bounces just in front of Cook at second slip. He then chops one to third man for a single. Jimmy drops one in short which Jayasuriya pulls to the square-leg boundary, and two runs are taken. The last ball of the over is also short of a length, and Jayasuriya takes a step down the wicket and pulverises the ball, sending it sailing over midwicket for six.

"Come on England, let's start the day off the way we want it to end, with a win. What a day for English sport this could be!"
Chris, bored at work in Southampton, in the TMS inbox

"I think live text email-er of the series award must go to Sarah in Canterbury - good consistent performance under almost constant hangover pressure, as far as I can work out"
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

2nd over - SL 16-0
Ryan Sidebottom's had an impressive series, and he takes the second over. His nose and lips are covered in white sun cream - which together with his long hair, gives a vague suggestion of resemblance to Andrew Symonds. Jayasuriya, who looks like a man in a hurry today, fences at Sidey's first ball outside off-stump and it is called a wide. He dabs a single before Perera turns one off his hip for a quickly-scampered two. The debutant then gets lucky, getting an inside edge which flies away past keeper Phil Mustard for four. Another wide, and maybe I've given Sidey the commentator's curse even within the space of one over! That's 10 off the over.

"In reply to Dan, Southampton, when I used to play five-a-side at Wiltshire Police, I was nicknamed 'blackberry' because of the nice purple colour I used to go after five minutes. I also used to stay this colour for about two hours after"
Martin in dull miserable and grey Doncaster

"Actually a 4-1 victory could be the only highlight! (That's not the score from England v Estonia by the way)"
Justin Talbot in the TMS inbox

1st over - SL 6-0
James Anderson takes the first over, and debutant Perera takes strike, angling the third ball of the game down to third man for his first run in international cricket. He's right-handed, meaning we have a left-hand/right-hand combo with fellow opener Jayasuriya, and he clubs his first ball over long-on for four. Monty P is at mid-on, but he'd have needed to be the Road Runner to stop that going for four. Jayasuriya then hooks his second ball where it bounces just in front of Broad at long leg. They take a single.

1000: And the news is... Andrew Flintoff is out of the Sri Lanka Test series, and is "unlikely to participate" in the New Zealand Test series in March. Bad times.

0957: About to get under way here - stand by for some big news at 1000. I can't tell you what it is for another three minutes because of a strict ECB embargo.

"I'm playing football for the first time in years at 10.30. If I manage to crawl back to my computer by then, we'd better be in a winning position or else I'll have nothing to dull my physical pain!! Well, apart from the football and the rugby!"
Dan (soon to be hurtung lots) in Southampton in the TMS inbox

"Wotcha Mark, just about to embark on a 12-hour residency on my sofa. The only time I plan to get up is for pit stops to the loo. With almost military precision, I have tactically pencilled those in during the innings break in the cricket, and the half times in the two rugby games and the footy. Few bets, live sport, couple of cheeky beers - who needs women on a day like today?"
Dave, Warrington, in the TMS inbox

0953: A stat from my colleague Oliver Brett - James Anderson is two wickets away from becoming the first person in 2007 to take 40 ODI wickets this year. (However, he will have played more games than any other bowler except India's Zaheer Khan).

"A 4-1 series victory may be buried in (tomorrow's) papers, but it still matters to some of us"
Marco in the TMS inbox

Dougie Brown
"England have put a lot of onus on winning this game, as they will go fourth in the ODI rankings if they win, but stay down in seventh if they lose. It will also give them a confidence boost for the next World Cup here in the subcontinent"
Warwickshire and Scotland all-rounder Dougie Brown on TMS

0947: Right then, the series may already be decided, but I want your nominations for the entire series. Who would be your player of the series? Best batsmen/bowlers? Best catch? Champagne moment? Best comedy moment?

And most importantly of all, who would be your animal of the series? Contenders could include Dog #1 and Dog #2 in Dambullah for their multiple pitch invasions (Dog #3 from the third ODI didn't make enough appearances to qualify), the frog that TMS commentator Simon Mann found in his toilet, the cobra that Paul Collingwood and some of the other players saw by the nets, and the monkeys in the England team hotel.

0940: Here are the teams:

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya, Dilruwan Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando.

England: Alastair Cook, Phil Mustard (wk), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (capt), Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, James Anderson.

Umpires: Rudi Koertzen and Asoka De Silva, third ump on TV replays is Gamini Silva.

TOSS NEWS: Colly calls incorrectly, so Sri Lanka win the toss and will bat first. They make one change - Dilruwan Perera, an opener who can also bowl off-spin, replaces Upul Tharanga at the top of the order. It's his international debut.

0930: Morning, everyone - how many people would have expected England to have an unassailable 3-1 lead by the time they arrived for this fifth and final ODI in Colombo?

As you may have read in the preview, England are forced into their first team change of the series - off-spinner Graeme Swann is out with a torn hamstring, giving Monty Panesar the chance for his first game of the series.

The Montster is England's only change, though - so Luke Wright, Chris Tremlett and Dimitri Mascarenhas (who let's not forget, was born in London to Sri Lankan parents) are carrying the drinks for the fifth successive game. Sri Lanka team news as we get it.

SEE ALSO
England seal historic series win
10 Oct 07 |  England
England battle to tense victory
07 Oct 07 |  England
Shah innings sets up England win
04 Oct 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
28 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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