Chris Woakes stars as England bowlers dominate against weakened Sri Lanka
Chris Woakes starred with the ball as England rolled a weakened Sri Lanka side for 185 in the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street.
Woakes, playing only his third international in over nine months, came to the fore with immaculate figures of four for 18 to leave his batsmen a straightforward chase.
The tourists’ travails were not a complete surprise, Sri Lanka having arrived at Emirates Riverside in apparent disarray, fresh from a 3-0 whitewash in the Twenty20 series and with three senior players dismissed from the camp for a late-night breach of team rules.
With Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka all sent packing following their trip out in Durham, the Sri Lankan XI had a mix-and-match feel, with three debutants and an ad-hoc look to the batting order.
They were reliant on captain Kusal Perera, who opened the batting and kept his side afloat with a hard-fought 73. He shared a stand of 99 with the enterprising Wanindu Hasaranga, who responded to his promotion to number five with an entertaining 54.
That aside there was no real resistance as England bullied their way through the line-up.
Perera was playing a different game to his team-mates in the 10-over powerplay, racing to 32 not out from just 16 balls while England took three for 15 at the other end.
Woakes got things moving in his initial burst, foxing Pathum Nissanka with a slow bouncer that flew straight up off the toe of the bat then taking the edge of Dasun Shanaka, a conspicuous outlier at number five.
In between his strikes David Willey made it a debut to forget for Charith Asalanka, who nicked to slip for a duck.
England’s hopes of running through the order were held up for more than 20 overs by Perera and Hasaranga. The skipper’s was a conventionally classy innings, while his young team-mate went after his fellow leg-spinner, taking 22 in boundaries off Adil Rashid.
Woakes’ return was enough to disrupt their work, Hasaranga taking on a bumper but flapping to Liam Livingstone in the deep.
That was the start of a collapse worth seven wickets for 40 runs, as Sri Lanka were rounded up in 43.5 overs, Woakes completing his haul thanks to Dhananjaya Lakshan’s edge.
The big wicket of Perera went to Willey, who finished with three for 44, when an attempted pull fell foul of the long square boundaries and nestled in Sam Billings’ hands.
Moeen Ali popped up with one wicket and the innings ended with a direct hit run out for Billings.
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