Sri Lanka v England: 'Mankading', Kumar Sangakkara and Liam Plunkett make classic ODIs list
Last Updated: 08/10/18 7:23am
As England prepare to take on Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series, we look back at some classic moments from clashes in years gone by…
Tie at Trent Bridge - 2016
Having been outplayed in the Test series, Sri Lanka looked set to start the ODIs with a win as they blitzed England's top order to leave the hosts 30-4 and then 82-6 in reply to the tourists' 286-9. Jos Buttler (93) and Chris Woakes (95no) got England back in contention but a fine start to the final over from Nuwan Pradeep left them needing 10 from two balls.
Woakes and Liam Plunkett, with the help of some Sri Lankan fielding that can generously be described as lax, were able to scramble three from the penultimate delivery to leave six needed for a tie. Plunkett duly dispatched the ball over Pradeep's head and into the stands as the spoils were shared.
That was the closest Sri Lanka got to an ever-improving England side. Eoin Morgan's went on to win three of the remaining four games in the series and the other was washed out.
'Mankad' madness - 2014
After crashing 121 off 74 balls in the fourth ODI at Lord’s, Buttler was back in the thick of it in the final game of the series at Edgbaston for rather different reasons as Sri Lanka’s series-clinching victory was overshadowed by the debate around his dismissal, run out by bowler Sachithra Senanayake as he was backing up (emulating Mulvantrai Mankad in 1947).
Buttler had stabilised England’s faltering innings and seemed to be bedding in for another big ‘un before being sent on his way, having failed to heed at least one warning.
Sympathy was thus in short supply in the Sky Sports studio but Alastair Cook (56) was none-too-amused, whetting the appetite for a potentially fractious first Test. In the final analysis, though, England’s batting simply was not quite good enough and Mahela Jayawardene (53) and man-of-the-match Lahiru Thirimanne (60 not out) sealed the series.
Sangakkara so cool - 2013
It had to come eventually and Kumar Sangakkara’s first ODI hundred against England was definitely worth the wait, a majestic, unbeaten 134 timed to perfection to smooth Sri Lanka’s Champions Trophy Group A passage.
Coming in after the early loss of Kusal Perera, Sangakkara set about chasing down England’s imposing 293-7 in unflappable fashion and ultimately mastered the match situation so successfully that Sri Lanka won with some seven wickets and 17 balls in the locker.
When it appeared Nuwan Kulasekara’s promotion up to five to dish out some treatment might backfire, Sangakkara stayed patient but proactive. Eventually the fuse lit and he was able to watch from the non-striker’s end as the tail-ender climbed into Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.
Cook on the charge – 2011
With his one-day batting credentials under intense scrutiny, skipper Cook made what he hoped would be a permanent statement of intent by crunching 16 fours in a match-winning innings of 95 not out off 75 balls as England secured a thumping 10-wicket over Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge to level the five-match series at 2-2.
Craig Kieswetter enjoyed a slice of the cake with 72no off 68 balls – hitting three sixes to Cook’s zero as the home side made light work of chasing down a revised target of 171 in just 23.5 overs of the 48 available.
Basic arithmetic confirms that – in terms of run-rate required, at least – the pressure was off and Sri Lanka, who crumbled to 20-4 earlier in the day, looked to have rather given up the ghost but credit to Cook nonetheless for striving to quieten the chattering masses.
Nixon so near – 2007
Beware the Badger! Paul Nixon was at his irrepressible best as he and Ravi Bopara took England to the brink of victory in the Super Eights of the World Cup – but no further, in a match they probably should have won.
Instead Dilhara Fernando had the final say, denying England the 12 runs required off the final over and bowling Bopara (52) with the final ball of the match to complete a thrilling two-run victory.
That Michael Vaughan’s side got so close to their rather modest target of 236 owed much to Nixon’s 87-run stand with Bopara, the irrepressible wicketkeeper mixing nurdling with the sweetest of attacking shots, one reverse-sweep for six off Muttiah Muralitharan living long in the memory.
Defeat though, proved costly for England, who missed out on the semi-finals where Sri Lanka saw off New Zealand before going down to the might of Australia in the final.
Harmison humbled - 2006
Our good friend Harmy won’t thank us for singling him out in a series where England’s attack took stick all round (Sajid Mahmood consistently going at eight-an-over) but his figures of 0-97 off 10 overs did constitute an unwanted English record as Sri Lanka completed the task of pulverising England into the dirt.
Already 4-0 down in the series, England’s hopes of a consolation victory at Headingley were raised by Marcus Trescothick’s even-paced hundred but their prospects of defending 321 quickly subsided as Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga blitzed 286 runs for the first wicket off just 32 overs – a then-record opening stand in ODIs, in case you hadn’t guessed.
The tone was set early as Jayasuriya plundered four boundaries off the second over of the innings, bowled by Tim Bresnan, while Harmison’s first six balls cost only four runs. Take that out of the equation and you get the rough idea…
Watch the first ODI between Sri Lanka and England live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.30am on Wednesday.