Roy pounds Sri Lanka as England claim series


A brilliant 162 from Jason Roy helped England to six wicket victory over Sri Lanka with England taking a decisive 2-0 lead in the five match series with one ODI left to play.

Earlier Sri Lanka were perhaps helped by a rain interruption, as thus far in the series, with the exception of the tied opener, they have struggled to make full use of their fifty overs, losing wickets regularly and often stuttering to average totals.

Sri Lanka smashed 305 for the loss of five wickets, to post what looked like a decent total off of their 42 overs.

The Sri Lankan innings seemed to have fallen into a familiar pattern, with three of the top four batsman getting past fifty before giving it away.

Kusal Perera was the only one of the top order to fail, he was run out in the second over having only faced one ball after some sharp work by Jonny Bairstow.

Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka would then put on 128 for the second wicket, with Mendis taking on the role of aggressor and ultimately falling victim to his own aggression, shortly after the rain delay when he miscued an Adil Rashid delivery and Liam Plunkett ran in off of the long off boundary to take a good catch.

When Gunathilaka holed to Rashid for 62, just a few overs later Sri Lanka looked to have fallen into the same old routine as in the previous ODIs, but Dinesh Chandimal and captain Angelo Mathews would steady the ship putting on 87 for the fourth wicket and taking Sri Lanka to the 37th over with 245 runs on the board, before Chandimal was bowled around his legs by David Willey for a well played 63.

Despite losing Seekkuge Prasanna for just nine Sri Lanka would score freely in the final overs, aided by some wayward death bowling by England who struggled to consistently find the block hole, and Mathews would finish unbeaten on 67 while Dasun Shanaka added a useful 19 off 16 balls.

The pick of the England bowlers were Rashid who picked up 2 for 57, and David Willey who managed 2 for 58 from his eight overs.

England were asked to chase an adjusted 308 under the DLS method, as Sri Lanka began their innings before rain hit.

England would be forced to use Moeen Ali as an opener, after Alex Hales picked up a niggle in the field, but Ali would fall early when a loose drive off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep could only find the gloves of keeper Chandimal.

Joe Root and Roy took to the Sri Lankan bowling like a duck to water, the pair smashed a partnership of 149 at 8.35 runs per over, Root would hole out off of Gunathilaka, just after a drinks break to give Sri Lanka a glimmer of hope with England 167 for 2.

Roy and his captain Eoin Morgan kept up the tempo though until Morgan played a loose shot to fall to Suranga Lakmal, with England on 221.

England Opener Roy took England to the brink of victory, but he was castled with the finishing line in sight having hit an incredible 162 off 118 balls including three sixes and thirteen fours.

Bairstow and Jos Buttler were left with the task of getting 27 runs off 25 balls. The two wicketkeepers would guide England over the line with eleven balls to spare to help England take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.