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Sri Lanka vs England - 1st ODI

Series: England tour of Sri Lanka, 2018
Venue: Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla
Date: 10 October 2018

England 92/2 (15 Ovs) RR: 6.13 | No result


Well, such a shame that we had more updates on weather than cricket. The number of timestamps tell you a story. The last ball was bowled four and half hours back. The covers were brought on few minutes before it started to pelt down heavily. The ground staff did remove the covers once the rain stopped, but few areas were too damp and were deemed unfit by the umpires. So, there are four more ODIs left, with two of them (second and fifth) having reserve days. Let's hope that the weather doesn't play spoilsport in the remaining fixtures. Until next time, it's goodbye from all of us down here.

20:18 Local Time, 14:48 GMT, 20:18 IST: The captains shake hands and the first ODI between Sri Lanka and England has been called off. The groundsmen tried their best, but alas, all their efforts have gone in vain.

20:15 Local Time, 14:45 GMT, 20:15 IST: The umpires are out in the middle. And, they don't seem to be happy with the conditions.

19:38 Local Time, 14:08 GMT, 19:38 IST: We are hearing that the pitch inspection has been postponed to 20.15 local.

There will be an inspection at 20.00 local once the covers are peeled off.

18:40 Local Time, 13:10 GMT, 18:40 IST: Good news, folks! "The ground staff are beginning to remove the covers, and the crowd - who've waited so patiently - roar their approval .. but the word is it'll take about 90 minutes to get the surface into a playable condition," is the latest tweet from Test Match Special

18:05 Local Time, 12:35 GMT, 18:05 IST: The live pictures don't seem to be promising. Chances of any further play look bleak.

17:45 Local Time, 12:15 GMT, 17:45 IST: No optimistic update as yet. "Rain a touch heavier again and a little gloomier. But it is getting dark anyway," tweets John Etheridge.

Australia: 87/0 --> 87/1 --> 87/2 --> 87/3. Mohammad Abbas picking all the three wickets. Switch tabs to follow the Dubai Test.

17:05 Local Time, 11:35 GMT, 17:05 IST: The rain has eased out a bit; still drizzling.

16:45 Local Time, 11:15 GMT, 16:45 IST: It is still raining heavily in Dambulla and we'll start to lose overs now.

16:15 Local Time, 10:45 GMT, 16:15 IST: There you go, it has started to rain now. Perhaps, the news we are getting in is that it's absolutely pelting down.

16:05 Local Time, 10:35 GMT, 16:05 IST: The entire ground has been covered and it has gotten further dark. We might be in for a long delay.

15:44 Local Time, 10:14 GMT, 15:44 IST: The groundsmen bring in the covers as a precautionary measure and the players walk off the fielders. It isn't actually raining at the moment, but the wind has picked up. The entire playing area is being covered. We'll keep you updated.

Drinks! After a quick start, England lost both their openers in quick succession. Dananjaya has kept it tight after conceding 11 off his opening over. However, England's Test captain has tackled spin with rather ease. The dark clouds are threatening to make a statement here. Let's hope that weather doesn't play spoilsport. The match is nicely poised at this stage..

Dananjaya to Root, 1 run, goes straight with the arm and Root nurdles it behind square leg
Dananjaya to Root, no run, another turning leg-break, Root reads it off the pitch and defends off the back foot
Dananjaya to Root, no run, leggie, blocked solidly
Dananjaya to Root, no run, in-turner, punched to short mid-wicket
Dananjaya to Morgan, 1 run, quicker delivery at 91kph, Morgan stays leg-side of the ball and pats it to long-off
Dananjaya to Morgan, no run, Morgan presses forward in defence
Malinga to Root, FOUR, that spoils the over for Malinga. Short ball angled down leg and Root has ample time to pull it behind square leg. Placed it square of the fine leg fielder. Root was in total control of his shot
Malinga to Root, no run, attacks the stumps does Malinga with an in-slanter and Root bunts it to mid-wicket
Malinga to Root, no run, skiddy short of length ball around off, tapped into the off-side towards point
Malinga to Root, wide, pacy bouncer, slightly too short and Root sways away from it. Wided for height by the square leg umpire
Malinga to Root, no run, slower ball, dips and Root taps this low full toss towards cover
Malinga to Root, 2 runs, full on leg, whipped away behind square leg. Akila, who just completed an over, sprints to his right, puts in the dive and saves a couple of runs for his team
Malinga to Root, no run, defends this short of length delivery on the off-side

The groundsmen are readily seated outside the boundary circumference.

Dananjaya to Morgan, SIX, just over the man at deep backward square leg. Morgan would have had his heart in his mouth for a while. Fullish ball on middle and leg, Morgan gets down on a knee and plays his pet shot - the slog sweep. Makes good contact and gets sufficient elevation to clear the only fielder in the deep behind square
Dananjaya to Root, 1 run, milks a single by easing the drive to long-on
Dananjaya to Morgan, 1 run, loopy ball from round the wicket, Morgan plonks his bat in front of his pad. The ball grips away and trims the outside edge before rolling towards point
Dananjaya to Root, 1 run, push-driven to long-on
Dananjaya to Root, no run, full off-break, clipped towards mid-wicket
Dananjaya to Root, FOUR, in-turner from a short of length, Root treks back and punches it firmly off the back foot. In the gap through the cover region. The extra cover fielder gave a chase, but in vain
Malinga to Morgan, FOUR, eleven off over! Another off-line delivery from Malinga, drifting onto the pads and all Morgan had to do was put bat on ball. Glanced away very fine
Malinga to Root, 1 run, bouncer, helped on its way to fine leg

Dark clouds hovering over the ground!

Malinga to Morgan, 1 run, reaches out to this full ball and dinks the drive to sweeper cover
Malinga to Root, 1 run, hint of away curl outside off and Root outside-edges the drive to third man
Malinga to Root, FOUR, poor ball. In-slanter from Malinga, ends up on the pads and Root walks across to tickle it very fine. No chance for long leg to cut it off
Malinga to Root, no run, back of a length delivery on middle and leg, Root blocks from the crease

Lasith Malinga [3.0-0-19-0] is back into the attack

Dananjaya to Morgan, no run, off-break from a short of length, Morgan stands tall on the back foot and pats it back to the bowler
Dananjaya to Root, 1 run, too straight, nurdled around the corner off the back foot
Dananjaya to Root, no run, offie, Root pushes it towards mid-wicket off the front foot
Dananjaya to Root, leg byes, 2 runs, wrong 'un, not sure if Root picked it. He was playing for the leg-break and the ball tolled towards fine leg off his pad

A slip and forward short leg in place for Root.

Dananjaya to Morgan, 1 run, low full toss, eased down to long-off
Dananjaya to Morgan, no run, from round the wicket, Dananjaya bowls a fullish ball on off, blocked
Pradeep to Root, no run, what a ball! After getting the previous balls to shape away from the right-hander, Pradeep cuts this inwards and Root is caught by surprise. He ended up playing outside the line of the ball. Wasn't far away from the inside edge. The keeper went up for a caught-behind appeal, but the umpire wasn't interested. Replays show that it brushed Root's thigh
Pradeep to Root, no run, 142kph, angled to backward point by opening the bat-face
Pradeep to Root, no run, taps this good length ball into the off-side with soft hands and looks for a sharp run, rightly decides against it
Pradeep to Root, no run, 136kph, short ball on off and middle, Root jumps and blocks
Pradeep to Root, FOUR, streaky! Pradeep gets this length ball to shape away from the right-hander and Root chases it with hard hands eyeing the expansive drive. The ball catches the thick outside edge and flies past the wide first slip fielder
Pradeep to Root, no run, pushes this in-angling length ball to mid-off
Dananjaya to Morgan, no run, too full and Morgan keeps it out with a push into the off-side. Good comeback from Dananjaya after conceding 11 runs in his opening over
Dananjaya to Morgan, no run, a peach to Morgan. The ripping off-break which pitches just outside off and grips past the outside edge of Morgan. The England captain was hanging his bat out to block

Eoin Morgan, left handed bat, comes to the crease

Two new batsmen. A slip and forward short leg in place..

Dananjaya to Roy, out Caught by (sub)Samarawickrama!! One brings two. Both openers back into the hut and Dananjaya is jubilant. A poor shot selection from Roy. Goes for the big loft downtown and perishes. It was the off-break from Dananjaya and it might have held onto the pitch a bit. Roy is robbed off timing and the bottom hand comes off the handle after making contact. The bat-face turned and he ended up slicing it to mid-off, where Samarawickrama backtracked to complete the catch. Roy c (sub)Samarawickrama b Dananjaya 24(27) [4s-4]

Dananjaya to Roy, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!

Dananjaya to Roy, no run, leg-break, ends up bowling a full toss and Roy drills it straight to mid-off after backing away
Dananjaya to Root, 1 run, another off-break, too full and Root gets off the mark by flicking it to deep mid-wicket
Dananjaya to Roy, 1 run, off-break, Roy comes forward and works it to deep square leg

Joe Root, right handed bat, comes to the crease

Pradeep to Bairstow, out Caught by Dickwella!! An umpire review for caught-behind. Bairstow had started to walk. Soft signal is OUT. Fair delivery. Definite edge and Dickwella has taken it cleanly. OUT is flashed on the giant screen. Sri Lanka have the breakthrough. Bairstow was looking dangerous and he's been dismissed here. A scrambled seam length ball wide of off and Bairstow drives away from his body. Gets a thin outside edge and Dickwella takes a sharp catch bending forward. Chandimal is pumped up. Bairstow c Dickwella b Pradeep 25(24) [4s-4 6s-1]

Pradeep to Bairstow, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!

Pradeep to Roy, 1 run, clipped away to deep square leg
Pradeep to Roy, no run, punched off the back foot, the backward point fielder makes a diving stop to his right. Saved a certain boundary there
Pradeep to Roy, no run, an appeal for caught-behind! After giving it a thought, Sri Lanka don't review. Decent bumper down leg and Roy missed the pull after shuffling across. No spike on UltraEdge. Good call from umpire Aleem Dar
Pradeep to Roy, no run, full again outside off, driven firmly to mid-off
Pradeep to Roy, no run, in-angler from wide of the crease, Roy offers a straight bat to on-drive. Finds mid-on

Bairstow - Roy becomes the first England pair to put together 1000 partnership runs in a calendar year

Dananjaya to Bairstow, FOUR, good start for England against spin. 11 off the over. Dananjaya pulls his length short and also offers width. Bairstow scythes it away through point
Dananjaya to Bairstow, SIX, Dananjaya overpitches and Bairstow deposits it into the stands. Dananjaya gives a lot of flight on this leg-break, but lands it rights in Bairstow's slot, who gets underneath it and flogs it over wide long-on
Dananjaya to Bairstow, no run, hangs back and pats the googly to cover
Dananjaya to Bairstow, no run, low full toss, Bairstow flicks it straight to mid-wicket. It was the leg-break from Dananjaya
Dananjaya to Bairstow, no run, fullish offie at 94kph, pushed back to the bowler
Dananjaya to Roy, 1 run, starts with an off-break, punched to long-on

Akila Dananjaya, right-arm off break, comes into the attack

There's the bowling change. Spin introduced for the first time. A slip in place

Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, another in-angler from Pradeep and that's been blunted to the left of mid-wicket
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, comes in sharply with the angle and Bairstow doesn't quite account for it. Looked to play straight and ended up inside-edging it towards mid-wicket
Pradeep to Roy, 1 run, too straight and Roy works it through square leg
Pradeep to Bairstow, 1 run, stump-to-stump line and Bairstow taps it down the ground. Pradeep can't get a hand on it despite a jump and the batsmen scamper across for another quick single
Pradeep to Roy, 1 run, clipped to the left of short mid-wicket, who dives and parries to mid-on. The batters collect a sharp single
Pradeep to Roy, FOUR, Roy goes aerial now. Pradeep didn't do much wrong. Roy walked out of his crease and slightly moved off-side to elevate this length ball over mid-on's head. Two bounces and into the fence
Malinga to Bairstow, no run, 137kph, fuller in length, Bairstow shuffles across as he walks forward to knock it towards mid-on
Malinga to Bairstow, no run, opens the bat-face and angles it to backward point. Can't nab a run
Malinga to Bairstow, FOUR, bad ball and put away. Third boundary in seven balls for Bairstow. Short and wide outside off asking to be punished. Bairstow gets on top of it and laces it through point off the back foot
Malinga to Bairstow, no run, 138kph, short of a good length ball on off, Bairstow hops and blocks
Malinga to Roy, 1 run, hint of width outside off and Roy uses Malinga's pace to run it down to third man

No slips..

Malinga to Roy, no run, 131kph, in-decker from a length, turned to mid-wicket
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, slightly too full and Bairstow finds mid-on with his wristy drive
Pradeep to Bairstow, FOUR, second boundary of the over for Bairstow. Scrambled seam length ball outside off, plenty of room and Bairstow takes full toll of it. Crashes it hard and through the cover region
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, short of a good length ball wide of off, a mistimed punch from Bairstow and extra cover mops it up
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, Pradeep attacks the sticks with a short of length delivery, Bairstow respects and blocks from the crease
Pradeep to Bairstow, FOUR, that's exactly what he does on this occasion. Pradeep offers width on this length ball and Bairstow goes after it with a drive. Minimum feet movement, but got it off the meat. Beat the extra cover fielder to his left and the ball sped away
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run,
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, 136kph, fullish ball outside off, Bairstow batters the cover drive, straight to extra cover. Had he placed it a couple of inches either way, that would have raced away to the fence
Malinga to Roy, FOUR, slower in-dipper, ends up bowling a full toss on the pads. Roy didn't pick it initially, but adjusted well and flicked it fine of short fine leg. Raced away to fine leg
Malinga to Roy, FOUR, short ball at a harmless pace - 127kph. No venom in it and Roy has ample time to pick his area. Stands tall, fetches it from outside off and heaves it away with a powerful pull over mid-wicket. Easily put away
Malinga to Roy, no run, slower ball at 120kph, full and dipping around off, Roy spots and defends
Malinga to Roy, wide, 13kph back of a length delivery angled down the leg-side, Roy belatedly pulls out of his attempted flick. Wided
Malinga to Roy, no run, short of length delivery on middle and leg, jabbed to mid-wicket
Malinga to Roy, no run, drifting down leg and Malinga gets away with it. Roy was shuffling across a long way to flick it away. The ball brushes the batter's pad before settling into the mitts of the keeper
Malinga to Bairstow, 1 run, skiddy ball from a good length around off, tapped with soft hands towards point for a quick single
Pradeep to Roy, 2 runs, back of a length delivery, Roy rides the bounce and punches through cover-point for a brace
Pradeep to Roy, no run, walks forward and defends this back of a length delivery into the off-side
Pradeep to Bairstow, 1 run, length ball angled in, Bairstow outside-edges the drive to third man. No feet movement
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, pitches it slightly fuller and Bairstow middles the drive off the front foot, finds cover
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, in-slanter from a back of a length at 139kph, Bairstow gets on top of the bounce and drops it in front of cover
Pradeep to Bairstow, no run, 137kph, short of a good length ball holding its line around the fifth stump line, Bairstow shoulders arms

Nuwan Pradeep, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack

Pace from the other end too. Two slips positioned..

Malinga to Roy, no run, hint of out-seam on this short of length delivery outside off, Roy closes his bat-face and turns it to mid-wicket
Malinga to Roy, no run, back of a length delivery, Roy defends into the leg-side
Malinga to Roy, FOUR, Roy gets off the mark with a boundary. Slower delivery from Malinga and Roy spotted it like a hawk. The cutter and Roy waited for it on the front foot before knocking it to the right of mid-on. Didn't over-hit and relied on timing
Malinga to Roy, no run, pulls his length back by a fraction does Malinga and Roy is happy to tap it into the off-side
Malinga to Roy, no run, similar ball, Roy walks forward and across to bunt the length ball towards mid-on
Malinga to Roy, no run, starts from over the wicket and bowls a length ball at 134kph on the stumps, Roy covers the line and offers a straight bat in defence towards mid-on

Roy and Bairstow are at the crease. Roy is on strike. Malinga will open the attack

The players are out for the National Anthems. Sri Lanka Matha follows England's God Save the Queen. The formality is done. Final words from skipper Dinesh Chandimal to his team-mates in the huddle. Off they disperse and in walk the dangerous England openers. Slinga Malinga will start proceedings. The countdown is done. Two slips in place and here we go..

England have fielded three specialist spinners in their playing XI as opposed to Sri Lanka's two.

Pitch Report: "It's a dry wicket, few cracks - will not come into play. The pitch will be on the slower side. 258 is the average score and you need that score here to be competitive," reckons Russel Arnold

Morgan: I wanted to do the same, the pitch looks fine. Should be the same for 100 overs. We have gone with 2 spinners, 2 fast bowlers and 2 all-rounders in Moeen and Ben Stokes. He (Olly Stone) has been impressive the last week. The extra pace he offers is very exciting. He is young and has a lot of potential. You have to turn up everyday hoping to play the best cricket.

Chandimal: We will have a bowl first. Bit of moisture in the wicket and that's why we chose to bowl. We are playing 7-4. We were really disappointing in the last series. We are working hard on our fielding. That's one area we have to improve. England are the number one side in the world and it won't be easy to beat them,. We have the game-plan and when the situation comes we can step up. We are playing two mystery spinners and two fast bowlers. It is really special (to lead the side) and the guys can turn things around and if we can win the series that will be a turning point for us.


Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella(w), Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal(c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan

England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Olly Stone

Sri Lanka have won the toss and have opted to field

Sri Lanka, unlike their opponents, have more than one issue to address. Their record has been poor in the 50-over format ever since the 2015 WC. Yes, they recalled the veteran Lasith Malinga for the Asia Cup. But, that hardly made any difference as they bowed out of the tournament without registering a single win. Post that, Angelo Mathews has been sacked and now Chandimal has to carry the burden. Despite the home advantage, the odds are stacked against the home team. Their spinners will have to play a big role if they are to stop the English juggernaut.

13.45 Local Time: Warwickshire pacer Olly Stone has been handed his ODI cap. Beware of his pace, Sri Lanka.

The last time England toured Sri Lanka, the visitors were thrashed 5-2 in the seven-match ODI series which led to the then skipper Alastair Cook's sacking - a couple of months prior to the 2015 WC. Post the WC debacle, the Englishmen under Eoin Morgan's captaincy have hardly put a foot wrong. Four years later, here they are, as the number one side in the world and coming into the series as firm favourites. Heading into the 2019 WC, England will look to seal a few vacant spots in the squad.

13.30 Local Time: First things first, the skies have cleared and the sun is out at Dambulla. With that good news, I welcome you to our live coverage of the first ODI between Sri Lanka and England. It's the start of a long tour for England who have come to the Island nation for 5 ODIs, a lone T20I and three Tests.


Preview by Vithushan Ehantharajah

Sweaty work. That's what England are preparing themselves for over the next two months. While the Tests might last five days - in principle, at least - it is the one-dayers that players say really saps your reserves. Given the break-neck speed at which Eoin Morgan's men play the game, fitness will truly be tested. Were it not for the conditions, this duel of eighth v first in the world would be no tough call.

Preparing for a WC at home with a series in Sri Lanka seems a bit hare-brained. But cricket tends to throw up these weird little situations. Case in point: the qualifiers for the upcoming Women's T20 WC in the Caribbean were held in the Netherlands. Even boards tie themselves up in these knots. Remember when England prepared for the 2014 T20 WC in Bangladesh with an ODI tour of West Indies?

Anyway, a slick, more attuned white-ball focus means no stone are left unturned. This tour, along with that of the Caribbean in the new year, is less about tactics and more about individuals' will and decision-making.

Marginal calls have already been made by the selection committee, such as the decision to leave Sam Billings and James Vince at home: two players who in this WC cycle have had opportunities as top and middle-order alternates. Their times are not over, but they're certainly not right now.

Those on tour, though, have opportunities to stake claims. Liam Plunkett's impending nuptials opens the door for Warwickshire's Olly Stone to crank it up. David Willey's unfortunate back injury has opened the door for Sam Curran, who isn't just a left-arm allrounder but also swings the new ball. Willey's six-hitting ability is the main card he has over the Boy Wonder.

Perhaps the biggest plus England could take out of this month is the return of fitness, form and confidence to "senior pros" Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. Despite being the white-ball pack leader, Woakes did not feature in any of the ODIs this summer, while the Durham quick only managed seven wickets from the eight he played. Being at ease with a longer run up, more oomph and less strain on the joints are the key notes for him to hit.

Gone are the days of touring England sides coming to the sub-continent and refusing to take cues from their opponents. Sri Lanka's four spin options are healthier in number but not necessarily experience. But there are two players going into this series that you feel need to fire to affect uncertainty in the touring party.

After the way India's Kuldeep Yadav turned England over, one imagines Lakshan Sandakan, quicker through the air, will feature all the way through this tour. With the bat, Niroshan Dickwella has the aggression and unorthodoxy to knock even the most measured bowler off his rhythm. The left-hander is not approaching this series with any semblance of form, but given how under-cooked England are after just one warm-up, he might just turn it all around.

Of course, this could all be moot if Mother Nature has her way.

When: Sri Lanka vs England, 1st ODI, October 10, 2:30pm local time

Where: Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla

What to expect: Sri Lanka have not won at this ground in eight previous attempts. South Africa's two performances earlier this year - chasing down 194 with five wickets and 19 overs to spare before getting a target of 245 with four wickets and 43 balls still in the chamber - suggests 350 in 50 overs is doable on this pitch should stars align. But the forecast will have an influence on the length and rhythm of this match. Remember - only the second (also at Dambulla) and fifth ODI (Colombo) have reserve days scheduled.

Team News


Eoin Morgan will wait to the very last moment to name his XI, given the likelihood of a reduced game here - heck, maybe even a 20-over affair. Perhaps the only certainty is that he'll go in with three spinners. And a Curran, though reckon Sam's left arm option wins out.

Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Sri Lanka

Beyond maybe five definites, the rest of the spots in this side are up for grabs. There is also a chance that Sadeera Samarawickrama might make the final cut in a bit to enhance the batting.

Probable XI: Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep

Did you know:

- Sri Lanka's last bilateral series win against a higher-ranked ODI side came against England in 2014 at home when they won by a 5-2 margin.

- Sri Lanka have lost seven of their last eight ODIs in Dambulla with one no-result. Their last win here coming in 2014 against Pakistan.

- Johnny Bairstow in 38 runs away from 2000 ODI runs. If he gets there in his next innings, he will be the joint sixth-fastest to do so - in 48 innings.


Sri Lanka (From): Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal(w/c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Amila Aponso, Dushmantha Chameera, Sadeera Samarawickrama

England (From): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Alex Hales, Olly Stone