Alastair Cook's century in vain as Sri Lanka beat England

By Oliver BrettBBC Sport
Third one-day international, Lord's
Sri Lanka 249-4 (48.2 overs) beat England 246-7 (50 overs) by six wickets
Match scorecard
Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook watches on as England crash to defeat Lord's

Sri Lanka dominated England for the second time in three days to win by six wickets at Lord's and establish a 2-1 lead in the one-day series.

Captain Alastair Cook hit 119 but his side were otherwise disappointing with the bat in in a total of 246-7.

On a blameless wicket, in-form Mahela Jayawardene followed his hundred at Headingley with 79 from 77 balls.

Dinesh Chandimal finished the job with 105 not out as Sri Lanka won with 10 balls to spare.

A day that began in beautiful summer sunshine had clouded over long before the finish - reflecting the mood of many at England's premier ground in what was mostly a flat, unedifying spectacle.

England had resisted calls to tweak either their batting order or the personnel in the top six after Friday's 69-run defeat in Leeds.

But with only two games to play, Samit Patel and Ravi Bopara will have to warrant consideration for the must-win day-nighter at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Having seen Sri Lanka rack up 309-5 on Friday after putting them in, Cook tried the other approach when he won the toss - electing to set the tourists a target.

England were never comfortable. Craig Kieswetter and Jonathan Trott produced a combined five runs from 26 balls faced, putting Cook and Kevin Pietersen in an awkward situation.

They did add 49, but it took 66 balls and Pietersen was guilty of an indiscretion when an attempted slog-sweep off the leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis was comfortably caught by Suraj Randiv well inside the ropes.

As another rebuilding operation got under way, it was left to Cook and Ian Bell - neither noted as an aggressor - to attempt to use the elective batting powerplay in a bid to inject some acceleration.

But the five-over segment, taken at the start of the 35th over, produced just 24 runs and included the wicket of Bell. The right-hander, attempting to fashion a cut shot over point's head, was deceived by Suranga Lakmal's bouncer and easily caught at third-man.

Cook battled on to his century - he faced 143 balls in all after being dropped at slip on 15 - and Graeme Swann hit the last two balls of the innings from Lasith Malinga for six and four, but England's total still looked inadequate.

From the very start of the Sri Lanka chase, Jayawardene, who is relishing his new position opening the batting, looked assured and quietly determined.

Even though Tillakaratne Dilshan was an early casualty, playing down the wrong line to Tim Bresnan and bowled off-stump, Jayawardene dominated a 112-run stand with Chandimal.

Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews
Chandimal (left) celebrates after reaching his century for Sri Lanka

Jayawardene's silky shot-making, a contrast to his partner's more brutal approach, was cut off in its prime when he reached out to guide a poor delivery from Jade Dernbach - a probable wide if he had left it - to the catcher at backward point.

Cook went on the attack, putting slips in place with Dernbach and James Anderson finding reverse swing, but with no pressure on them to score their runs quickly, Sri Lanka could afford to bat in whatever way they pleased.

Swann persevered to pick up two wickets, but Chandimal, though he never achieved the fluency of Jayawardene, was on hand to guide the tourists home.

He and Angelo Mathews engineered the final part of the chase somewhat unnervingly to ensure Chandimal, 21, could hit his second ODI century - which he achieved with a big six off Bresnan over long-on.

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