England 'Mankaded' in series defeat

England

A fifth ODI soured by England batsman Jos Buttler's controversial run-out ended in a relatively comfortable six-wicket victory – and three-two series triumph – for Sri Lanka at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday.

A fifth ODI soured by England batsman Jos Buttler's controversial run-out ended in a relatively comfortable six-wicket victory – and three-two series triumph – for Sri Lanka at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Buttler was the victim of the so-called 'Mankad' dismissal during the 44th over of the hosts' innings, which amounted to a weak 219 all out in 48.1 overs.

The Sri Lankans' pursuit was reasonably straightforward, concluded with 10 deliveries to spare on the back of fine half-centuries from batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne.

The contentious incident saw Buttler run out at the non-striker's end by bowler Sachithra Senanayake. Umpires Chris Gaffaney and Michael Gough conferred before ruling the right-hander out for a stifled 21.

The talented Buttler had been warned prior to the previous delivery – but the opposition's insistence that the appeal be upheld was arguably contrary to the spirit of the game.

The English had, earlier, promised so much more than an admittedly poor final total. Half-centurion Alastair Cook and fellow opener Ian Bell's fruitful work, however, was laid to waste by the collective insufficiency of the middle order.

Batsmen three through seven, in fact, gathered a mere 75 runs. Outgunned by fast bowler Lasith Malinga's pace and undone by spinner Ajantha Mendis' turn and bounce, there was no denying the dominance of the opposition bowling unit.

The Sri Lankan's chase was clinical, hardly hampered by the early fall of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and former captain Kumar Sangakkara. Jayawardene scored a cool, calm and collected 53 to Thirimanne's patient 60 not out, while skipper Angelo Mathews was ultimately at hand for a fitting, unbeaten 42.

Thirimanne was named Man of the Match – and Malinga Player of the Series in the wake of seven wickets in five matches at an impressive average of 29.00 and 5.94 economy rate.

The result pushed the sub-continent team to second position in the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings, flanked by Australia and India, who occupy first and third spot respectively. England have remained fourth.

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