England strolled to a seven-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the third ODI thanks to captain Eoin Morgan’s half-century in a rain-affected encounter.
England once again romped to victory against Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Kandy to go 2-0 up in the five-match series. The encounter was reduced to 21 overs per side after rain had initially delayed the start of the day/night fixture. Sri Lanka got off to a flying start as they raced to 50-0 in 4.4 overs as Niroshan Dickwella and Sadeera Samarawickrama put the English opening bowlers to the sword.
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella blasted a quickfire 36 off 20 balls (including eight fours) at a strike rate of 180.00 as he and Samarawickrama (35 off 34 balls, four fours) posted a 57-run stand for the opening partnership.
England’s first-change bowler Tom Curran – older brother of recent Test sensation Sam Curran – made the breakthrough in the sixth over as he dismissed Dickwella caught at mid-off. England captain Eoin Morgan then introduced Adil Rashid into the attack and the bowler quickly got rid of Sri Lanka’s number three batsman Kusal Mendis for a golden duck.
Curran and Rashid went on a rampage through the Sri Lankan batsmen as they shared seven wickets between them (alongside two run outs) to limit the home team to 150-9 in their allotted 21 overs. The only other notable contributions for the Islanders came from wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal (34 off 42 balls, two fours) and a cameo from Dasun Shanaka (21 off 10 balls, one four and two sixes) as the home team crawled to their total.
Sri Lanka got off to a bad start in defense of their low target as Jason Roy hit local legend Lasith Malinga all over the park. The opening bowler went for 17 runs in the first over of the England innings, before captain Chandimal introduced spin into the attack to slow proceedings down.
The spinners led the Sri Lankan counter-attack, with Amila Aponso getting rid of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in quick succession at the top of the innings before finishing with figures of 2-27 off 3.3 overs. Akila Dananjaya then dismissed the destructive Roy for 41 off 26 balls, including three fours and two sixes, as England raced to 80-3 off nine overs.
It was the unbeaten 73-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Morgan (58 not out off 49 balls, seven fours) and Ben Stokes (35 not out off 24 balls, one four, two sixes) that took the visitors over the line in the 19th over to lead Sri Lanka 2-0 in the series with two matches to go.
The fourth ODI between the two sides will take place at the same ground in Kandy on Saturday.
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