The Josephs pull one back for England


England's middle order stars, Jos Buttler and Joe Root, combined in a vital partnership to lead their side to a five-wicket win in the third ODI against Sri Lanka, thus pulling the series back to two-one.

Despite rain interrupting the game, and some poor death bowling by England, they won the match with eight balls to spare, chasing the 236 required thanks to the Josephs' 84-run stand.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first, but they were only on the field for two overs before the rain arrived. In that time though, Kusal Perera managed to get himself out, falling to Chris Woakes for a duck.
After a two-hour delay, in which the overs were reduced to 35 per side, Sri Lanka came out and promptly lost two more wickets. Tillakaratne Dilshan edged Steve Finn behind, while Thilina Kandamby gave Woakes another scalp.
This tasked Angelo Mathews and Kumar Sangakkara with rescuing the knock, and given they are two of the top run-getters in all formats this year, they answered the call. They added 87 runs together over the next 14 overs.
Mathews was out for 37 though, falling to Chris Jordan, and Sangakkara departed five overs later, for 63, to the same bowler. As such, Lahiru Thirimanne had to take over the innings' rescuing.
While wickets fell at the other end, Thirimanne made his way to a half century off 39 balls, while the death bowling, particularly from Ben Stokes, left much to be desired. Dhammika Prasad's 21 off eight balls pushed the score to 242.
With the target marginally reduced to 236, England needed to get off to a good start with both batsmen firing. They achieved this, as a rare good start saw Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali put on 84 for the opening stand.

Cook made 34 off 42 balls, falling in the 12th over, while Moeen pushed the score past 100 with another half century added to his tally. He was run out by Alex Hales though, with the latter failing to respond to an easy single.

Hales atoned somewhat for his error but he could only add 27 runs, and when he fell with the score on 144, a mini-collapse followed. Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan were both out within the next two overs.

As such, the Josephs of Root and Buttler had to get the remaining 80-odd runs. Root got a massive let-off in the 32nd over, caught at cover but Dhammika Prasad had overstepped. At that stage, England needed 32 runs off 24 balls.

Butter passed his half century in the 33rd over, and with two overs to go England needed eight runs to win. Root smacked Ajantha Mndis for six, and the next ball saw the win with a single.