Essex upstage World Twenty20 champions

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Sri Lanka suffered a shock 22-run defeat to Essex in Tuesday's rain-affected tour fixture at the County Ground in Chelmsford.

Sri Lanka suffered a shock 22-run defeat to Essex in Tuesday's rain-affected tour fixture at the County Ground in Chelmsford.

A modest county unit, missing a handful of first-choice bowlers, were relatively clinical in outdoing the 2014 World Twenty20 champions.

The result did not bode well for a visiting team eager to garner momentum ahead of this month's five-match ODI series against England.

Plenty of inclement weather reduced the fixture to a mere 21 over per side, ensuring the hosts wasted little time in romping to a respectable total of 161 for five.

England captain Alastair Cook struck a quickfire 71, which spanned a mere 49 deliveries and featured a quartet of fours and duo of sixes. The innings was a welcome stint of insight for the left-hander, against an opposition attack that will prove considerably tougher later this month.

Fellow international batsman Ravi Bopara, meanwhile, perished for a duck. Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes was left to pick up the pieces, screaming to a cavalier 51 off 31 balls.

"When we saw the game reduced to 20 overs, we were a bit nervous, with them being world champions. To get a win against any nation, especially one who is holding the world title at the moment, is brilliant. Cook is obviously a good person to bat with, he has got a lot of experience and he was giving me a bit of advice out there. To have a guy like that out there, talking about options and that sort of stuff was brilliant for me," said Foakes.

The Sri Lankans deployed seven bowlers. The use of part-timers Ashan Priyanjan and Lahiru Thirimanne proved expensive – and incorrect in hindsight. Seamers Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal, each snared a confidence-building brace.

Messrs Duckworth and Lewis insisted on a revised target of 169. The chase was hampered by the early departures of opener Kusal Perera, former captain Mahela Jayawardene and the talented Thirimanne.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal, captain Angelo Mathews and all-rounder Thisara Perera would have wanted at least on of the three promising starts converted into an innings of Cook- or Foakes-esque substance. This did not materialise.

The tail-enders were never really going to challenge – and ultimately 146 for nine proved severely insufficient. Fast bowler Oliver Newby was the pick of the triumphant bowlers, fetching fine figures of three for 36, while Test spinner Monty Panesar and 21-year-old List A debutant Matt Salisbury complemented Newby well.

Sri Lanka's opportunity for redemption will knock against Kent in Canterbury and Sussex at Hove on Friday and Sunday respectively, before the first of the six limited-overs encounters with England gets underway in London 48 hours later.

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