Rainfall Plays Spoilsport in 3rd Match between England and Sri Lanka

June 27 16:47 2016

rainNew Delhi, Monday, June 27 – After witnessing intermittent rainfall during third match between England and Sri Lanka on June 26 at County Ground in Bristol, it seemed as if nature has its own plan when teams are planning to gain ground. When Sri Lankan cricketers performed to an extent which might have made them taste victory, rainfall played spoilsport, ruining all possibility of resuming the match.

Viewers wished for rain to stop but the thing that exit post this washout was the travellers’ hopes of getting back in this tournament as England lead by 1-0 in the 5-match ODI series. Not to forget that the opening One Day International ended in a tie after English cricketers also totalled 286 runs in 50 overs at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The score of 248 a day ago actually did not seem enough, especially after knowing the fact that England defeated Sri Lanka in the 2nd ODI by chasing down 256 runs with ease in 34.1 overs, losing no wicket. But being familiar with the sport of the most unpredictable game, seeing any team on the winning side is always high. Could Sri Lankan cricketers have pulled off a stunner yesterday, the audience would never know.

The English players certainly did a good job by restricting Sri Lanka to a total they would have fancied attaining with confidence after winning the toss and inviting the tourists to bat first. Being led by skipper Eoin Morgan, England squad included Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Joe Root. Those to sit on bench were Moeen Ali and Steven Finn. Sri Lanka  team that looked forward to winning comprised Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal – the wicket keeper, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Farveez Maharoof, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. At the same time, Suraj Randiv, Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva were the players in extra.

England got early breakthroughs as a result of Kusal Perera’s wicket to Plunkett at 9 runs and Danushka Gunathilaka to Willey at 1 run. Kusal Mendis and  Dinesh Chandimal helped the team get required stability by hitting the ball hard and place it into the gaps so that running for ones and twos could be made easy. Plunkett broke the ‘building’ partnership between the two cricketers, sending Mendis back to the pavilion at a score of 53 (4 x 5 and 6 x 1). But his dismissal did not affect team’s performance since Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan skipper, arrived with confidence and looked determined to not let pressure rise. Mathews and the Sri Lankan wicket-keeper for next 14 overs pocketed runs without letting the team get quick jolts. Chandimal’s wicket was earned by Woakes at a stage when he was doing good, pocketing 62 runs off 77 balls, inclusive of five boundaries.

Seekkuge Prasanna could not manage to stay for long on the crease and threw his wicket to Plunkett post scoring 2 runs off 5 balls. Jordan dismissed Mathews, who beautifully scored 56 runs facing 67 balls, together with three fours and a six.  Next two wickets fell early in view of the fact that Dasun Shanaka was run out at two runs due to Root and Buttler’s efforts to let Sri Lanka suffer another dismissal. Farveez Maharoof was out by Woakes at 9 runs. Upul Tharanga faced 33 balls to get b 40 runs (4 x 2 and 6 x 1) before Woakes finished his knock. Suranga Lakmal was not out at 3 runs and Nuwan Pradeep at 2 runs. Sri Lanka felt the stress and this got proved by the fact that only 34 runs were attained during mandatory powerplay.

When it came to defending the target, the tourists managed to remove Alex Hales, the centurion of the previous game, on a naught. The opener Roy, who also imparted major role in England’s win during 2nd ODI, was not out at 5 runs. Root was unbeaten at 11 runs (4 x 1). Only 4 overs were bowled when England came to bat. Rain was in the game, ending all hopes of those who thought it to stop and let the match resume. The series is still up for grabs but Sri Lanka would have to win the 4th OD I for sure to keep hopes alive in the tournament and level it 1-1.  It would be fascinating to watch how and what turns and twists follow as players move from Bristol to London. The decisive match between the two nations is to be held on Wednesday, June 29 at Kennington Oval. England will look forward to clinching series against Sri Lanka then and there while the opponents will try to put best foot forward to bounce back and do their bit to at least not lose ODI series.

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