Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara shared an unbroken stand of 149 as Sri Lanka stormed into a 2-0 series lead over hapless England with a crushing eight-wicket victory in the second one-day international, in Colombo.
The veteran pair made light work of overhauling England’s under-par total of 185 in a match restricted to 45-overs-a-side by early morning rain on Saturday.
Ravi Bopara struck his second consecutive fifty and Joe Root contributed 42 but England’s top-order failed to fire and Sri Lanka, who lost the toss, reached their target off just 34.2 overs with Jayawardene (77no) and Sangakkara (67no) in cruise control.
Both teams took to the field wearing black armbands following the death of Phillip Hughes two days ago and observed a minute’s silence before the match began, Cricket Australia subsequently confirming that next week’s first Test against India has been postponed with no new date set.
Hughes' funeral will be held in his home town of Macksville on Wednesday.
When play began England barely got going, losing Moeen Ali in the second over. After his magnificent century in the first ODI defeat, the Worcestershire all-rounder again looked to play in positive fashion but was bowled for two by Tillakaratne Dilshan (2-45), the ball cannoning into the stumps via his pad.
The wicket brought in Ian Bell on the occasion of his 150th ODI but he, like Alastair Cook, struggled to settle and had just 11 to his name when he advanced to hit Rangana Herath high to long-off.
Dilshan – who bowled his nine overs on the spin – reduced England to 37-2 when the England skipper mistimed a sweep and picked out Kusal Perera via a top edge. Cook has now gone 55 international innings (Test and ODI) without scoring a century.
The onus was very much on Root and Eoin Morgan to rebuild and the pair added 38 in 10.1 overs, using their feet well, before the left-hander played with hard hands at Thisara Presara and poked the ball to Lahiru Thirimanne, who easily snaffled the chance at extra cover to make it 75-4.
England collected only their fifth four in the 22nd over – and their first in 68 balls – when Bopara drove T Perera elegantly through the off-side. For once the Essex all-rounder, who struck a brisk 65 on Wednesday, had overs to bat but was again required to get his side out of a fix.
He and Root bedded in nicely, adding 42 in 7.4 overs, but their promising partnership came to a sudden end at the start of the 28th over when Mathews struck with his first ball back, trapping Root lbw.
A score of 117-5 became 132-6 when Jos Buttler was beaten by a Dhammika Prasad nip-backer and bowled off his inside edge. Chris Woakes (17) provided Bopara with sturdy support but was stumped by a distance going on the offensive against Mendis - replays showing the bowler had come perilously close to over-stepping.
Bopara attempted to push on after reaching his fifty but only succeeded in picking out Mathews at midwicket, Ajantha Mendis (3-35) claiming his second wicket in the over when Steven Finn edged into his stumps. Prasad, with two overs remaining, wrapped up the innings with two overs left by bowling Harry Gurney.
Sri Lanka’s reply began with a flurry of fours, Dilshan scoring three off the first over of the innings bowled by Finn, recalled to the side after a groin injury at the expense of Ben Stokes - the only change to England’s side.
The Middlesex seamer changed to around the wicket in his third over and enjoyed immediate success, cramping Kusal Perera (nine) on the pull - Bopara claiming a simple catch at square leg.
Dilshan added two more boundaries to move to 26 before he advanced to hit Moeen Ali over the top but miscued a steepling catch to Chris Woakes, making it 37-2.
Chasing such a modest target, Sangakkara and Jayawardene accumulated steadily, Jayawardene posting his eighth ODI fifty against England and 76th overall off 66 balls.
Sangakkara brought up the pair’s 15th 100-plus ODI stand with a sweet on-drive off Tredwell - the milestone coming in 134 balls - before posting his 88th ODI fifty and eighth against England from 81 deliveries.
The 37-year-old finished the match in emphatic style by striking Gurney straight down the ground for four with 8.4 overs left unused.
Watch the third one-day international between England and Sri Lanka live on Sky Sports 2 from 8.30am on Wednesday.