That's a wrap to the coverage of this game. The caravan moves to Pallekele now and the weather as well as the ground conditions are better there. Hopefully we won't have many rain interruptions. For the sake of the series and the home crowd, let's hope the Lankans put up a bigger fight over the course of the next three ODIs. Won't be easy against a hungry and dominant English limited-overs outfit. Until next time, this is Hariprasad Sadanandan signing off on behalf of my mates Varun Dixit, MS Ramakrishnan and our scorer Mukesh Gowda.
Morgan, Man of the Match: It was not a bad start to the series. Was a halted start, right from the training days due to the rain. I wouldn't say it's been our best game. Batting first, we ended up scrapping up to what was just about a par-score. Not a bad outing for us. Myself and Joe found a way to score on these pitches. Lasith came back really well at the death and that's a good moment for the series. He obviously has a lot to offer for them. I was extremely scratchy earlier on which isn't surprising as I am not a great starter but having someone like Joe at the other end really helps. We really enjoy batting together and when we do, we bat long. Should have got above 300 but Sri Lanka came back beautifully at the end. We still got an above-par total. Both the Warwickshire boys set the tone upfront. Woakes has been a great performer over the years and Ollie showed what he is capable of. Obviously a great start to the series for him (Stone) and hopefully, he can build up on it. We have a few more gears than what we showed today. Ultimately we did win but not all that satisfied. (Whether bringing spin early was with an eye on DLS) Yes, it was. We had the option of Stokes as the third seamer but with rain around, it was vital to get past the 20th over quickly.
Chandimal: First of all, credit to England. They played some outstanding cricket, firstly with the bat and particularly with the ball. We competed well with the ball, started well but couldn't capitalize after that. Apart from the first 7-8 overs with the bat, we've done really well. We all can make mistakes but the energy and attitude on the field was good to see. It's a plus point for us and then after the four wickets, Dhananjaya and Thisara batted well which gave us a lot of confidence. But the first three to four batsmen have to do their job. Of course, at the end of the game also when you look at it, we lost four wickets early but still had a chance to chase it down. Most of the times when we are batting, we are losing too many wickets upfront. That's one area that we need to improve on.
Full credit to the English unit. They showed why they're ranked number one in ODIs with a fairly commendable effort. Put enough runs on the board on a pitch that wasn't really straightforward. Then, the bowlers put in an energetic performance to rip off the Lankan top order very early in the chase. Since then, the home side were always playing catch up and the rains put the final nail on the coffin. England have taken the lead then and with three games left, the heat is on the Sri Lankans who have a lot on their plate. Whether they can find the answers, we'll have to see. For England, they will hope to iron out the minor chinks that are there in their armory as they aim to become a largely flawless side heading into the WC next year.
So, another rain-marred day at Dambulla although we got close to 80 overs in today. England posted a above-par total on the back of brilliant knocks from Eoin Morgan and Joe Root. They were actually primed for 300-plus at one stage before Lasith Malinga rolled back the years with a sensational spell, ending with a 5-fer, to keep the total inside the 280-run mark. It was still a competitive total and Sri Lanka lost the plot against the new ball, unable to handle Chris Woakes' movement and Olly Stone's raw pace. Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera were in the midst of a promising partnership when the rains arrived. Of course, it would still have been a tough task for the hosts if the weather had cleared but they'll be disappointed. Only have themselves to blame though, a couple of wickets lesser and maybe they could have even edged past the DLS.
16:43 Local Time: The inevitable has happened. The game has been called off with the rain not relenting. England win by 31 runs via DLS method.
16:20 Local Time: Nothing much to update as the rain continues to come down heavily. Don't see this resuming to be honest, bar a miracle. We've started to lose overs now.
15:46 Local Time: The umpires have had enough. It had been drizzling for a while now and with the intensity going up in the past few overs, they've decided to halt play. Groundstaff are out there with the covers and they cover the entire ground here in Sri Lanka. The boys are at work. Extremely heavy rain now. Another 25-odd minutes left before we start losing overs. Remember, the reserve day isn't needed now and in case we have no more play from here, England will be awarded the game according to the DLS method.
Getting really dark now.
Adil Rashid, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Finally, time for the leg spinner.
The rain continues but the umpires feel it's alright for now. Back comes Mo.
Olly Stone [4.0-0-7-1] is back into the attack
Drizzle is getting heavier now.
So, now we officially have a game and won't need the reserve day tomorrow. DLS will decide things if rain stops play at any point.
Just one over away from getting the DLS into play and Sri Lanka are so far behind that England can make anyone bowl this over really.
Slip moves to short fine leg.
Drinks are on the field now. England wouldn't have wanted this break with just two overs left for the DLS method to come into play. It is getting dark out there and a mild drizzle has also started. Probably, only the weather can save the Lankans today from a defeat.
Has started to drizzle now.
Thisara Perera, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Dawson to Kusal Perera, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
LBW Review time: de Silva was long way down the pitch and that can save him. The impact is over 3 meter and de Silva survives. England won't lose the review.
Moeen Ali, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Groundsmen can be seen doing some activity outside the boundary ropes.
Slip comes in now.
Liam Dawson, left-arm orthodox, comes into the attack
Dhananjaya de Silva, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Woakes to Shanaka, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
The floodlights are on now.
Dasun Shanaka, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Woakes to Chandimal, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Kusal Perera, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Olly Stone to Dickwella, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Dinesh Chandimal, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Olly Stone, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Woakes to Tharanga, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Dickwella and Tharanga are at the crease. Dickwella is on strike. Woakes will open the attack