England v Sri Lanka: Third ODI at Bristol abandoned after rain

By Bibhash DashBBC Sport
Third one-day international, Bristol
Sri Lanka 248-9 (50 overs): Chandimal 62, Mathews 56, Plunkett 3-46
England 16-1 (4 overs)
No result

England and Sri Lanka were thwarted in the third one-day international at Bristol as rain allowed just four overs of the hosts' run chase.

Sri Lanka made 248-9 after half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (53), Dinesh Chandimal (62) and captain Angelo Mathews (56), as Liam Plunkett took 3-46.

Rain delayed the start of the run chase and England were 16-1 as the weather forced the abandonment at 17:30 BST.

England lead the five-match series 1-0.

Alex Hales, who scored 133 not out in the second ODI, was out for a golden duck to the third ball of the run chase, leaving fellow opener Jason Roy and Joe Root at the crease when play ended.

Plunkett took control at Bristol with the key wickets of Kusal Perera, Mendis and Seekkuge Prasanna after David Willey had removed Danushka Gunathilaka in the first over.

Chandimal top scored for the visitors and held partnerships of 56 and 80 with Mendis and Mathews respectively.

Chris Woakes (3-34) helped stifle Sri Lanka's innings towards the end, and finished with wickets in successive 49th-over deliveries.

The next ODI takes place at The Oval on Wednesday.

The re-rise of Liam Plunkett

Liam Plunkett
The first of Liam Plunkett's three wickets was his 50th in ODIs

Plunkett appears to be getting into his groove against the Sri Lankans, having only returned to ODI cricket in June 2015 after more than four years out.

The Yorkshire bowler has seven wickets so far in the series, although the highlight to date came with the bat when he smashed a six off the final ball of the opener at Trent Bridge to earn England a tie.

At Bristol, Plunkett showed his ability across spells, dismissing Perera in his first over, before accounting for half-centurion Mendis just when Sri Lanka looked set for a productive recovery.

He followed it up by removing the dangerous Prasanna for two in his third spell, leaving Woakes the task of helping to mop up the tail.

Plunkett's wickets took his ODI tally to 52, and ensured Sri Lanka could not mount a serious challenge with the bat.

Sri Lanka's walking wounded

Farveez Maharoof
Farveez Maharoof scored nine while batting with a fractured finger in his left hand

The visitors, already reeling from Friday's 10-wicket defeat, were dealt an injury blow on Sunday when Lahiru Thirimanne was being flown back home with a lower back strain and replaced by Niroshan Dikwella.

Captain Mathews and vice-captain Chandimal are also nursing hamstring niggles but played on.

And Farveez Maharoof batted with a fractured finger on his left hand, becoming one of Woakes' victims late on.

Overall, it paints a worrying picture for Sri Lanka, who are yet to win a game on their England tour, though Mathews and Chandimal making half-centuries would have been a positive.

The stats you need to know

  • Alex Hales suffered his second golden duck as opener in ODIs - he is joint second on the England list, behind Alec Stewart, who has three.
  • Chris Jordan has the best record against Angelo Mathews in ODI cricket, dismissing the Sri Lankan five times.
  • Liam Plunkett reached 52 ODI wickets with his haul of 3-46, Perera being his 50th victim.
  • The Super Series between the two teams now stands at 14-4 to England with two ODIs and a Twenty20 left to play.

What they said

England captain Eoin Morgan on Sky Sports: "We're building a lot of momentum towards where we want to be. We are being harsh on ourselves and want to be the best.

"I think the bowlers have coped well so far. I haven't felt light, and it is very useful to have Joe Root as well. He is more than a part-time bowler.

"I thought our disciplines were a lot better today and reducing them to 248 was a good achievement."

England bowler Liam Plunkett told BBC Sport: "We felt like we bowled well and kept them to a gettable target so we are disappointed we didn't finish the game off because we were in a strong position. But we go to The Oval with spirits high.

"I feel in a good place, I'm confident in all aspects and if I get the nod in Test cricket I'll back myself to do well.

"I just enjoy it now, to have a chance to win a game for England is what every kid wants and I think it took me a while to realise that you can actually do that. When I was younger, I was pleased to make up the numbers but now I want to be the match winner."