England’s ODI captain Eoin Morgan and Test captain Joe Root put a strong Sri Lanka Board XI to the sword as they led their team to an emphatic 43-run victory on the DLS method.
England romped to victory thanks to unbeaten 90s from both Morgan and Root after their bowlers had restricted Sri Lanka to 287-9 in the first innings of a rain- and light-interrupted encounter.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Sri Lankans had Dimuth Karunaratne (25 off 23 balls, two fours) and Lahiru Thirimanne (23 off 36 balls, three fours) opening the batting with a 53-run partnership to get the home country off to a good start. It was Moeen Ali (10-0-42-3) who silenced the crowd as he dismissed both openers in the space of three balls with two stellar deliveries that beat both of their defenses.
Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper and ODI captain, Dinesh Chandimal, was in at three and suffered through Ali’s destructive spell, including watching the spinner dismissing Kusal Mendis with another straight delivery that trapped the number four batsman dead in front. Chandimal was the pick of the batsmen, his 77 coming off 85 balls (seven fours, one six).
He would have been disappointed to have fallen to part-time bowler Root after having built a half-century partnership with the young Kamindu Mendis, who went on to score 61 off 72 balls (five fours) before becoming the only wicket to fall at the hands of England’s second spinner, Adil Rashid.
The island nation made a promising start in their defense of a 288-run target with quick dismissals of English openers Jonny Bairstow for three and Jason Roy for 27 (29 balls, five fours) inside the first powerplay to reduce England to 41-2 of 8.1 overs. It was Root (90 not out off 82 balls, eight fours) and Morgan (91 not out off 84 balls, nine fours, three sixes) batting at three and four respectively, that took England over the line after rain and then bad light brought proceedings to a premature end.
England will play their second warm-up match against Sri Lanka Board XI in the space of two days on Saturday at the same venue in Colombo.
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA/ Backpagepix