Cricket

Jordan inspires 81 run victory for England

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England beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method at the Oval in the opening ODI of the Royal London series.

A superb team performance was typified by the all-round quality of Sussex’s Chris Jordan as he returned the best bowling figures of the match and started the momentum shift towards England with a breath-taking 38 runs off just 13 balls.

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance added centuries to set the platform for Jordan to show his power hitting in the final few overs which set Sri Lanka a target of 259 from 29 overs as rain interrupted the match twice.

Jordan and Tredwell took three wickets-a-piece while Harry Gurney finished with figures of 2-20 in another economic performance on just his third appearance for England.

Angelo Mathews won the toss and inserted his opposite number to bat and it didn’t take long until Alastair Cook was removed for just 11 off 23 balls which brought Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance to the crease to join Bell.

They both steadied the ship under cloudy skies in south east London before starting to increase the run-rate by consistently finding the boundary which was highlighted by a beautiful six straight back over the bowlers head.

Ballance brought up the 100 in the 20th over and two balls later Bell reached his second consecutive half-century in ODI cricket.

However, the partnership was soon to end and after the Warwickshire batsman survived a close lbw shout which was referred by Sri Lanka but his luck was soon to run out after he pulled the ball straight to Lasith Malinga and lost his wicket for 50 for the second time in two games.

With that dismissal which left England on 101-2 the heavens opened which led to a rain break of two and a half hours before play resumed at 5pm with Ballance going along nicely on 37 not out off 45 balls faced.

The match was reduced to 39-overs per side and Eoin Morgan was the man to join Ballance in the middle after being promoted above Joe Root. His innings only lasted three balls as he tried to accelerate the innings and he was gone for just three which meant it was a Yorkshire double act with Ballance and Root taking on the Sri Lankans.

The left-hander reached his 50 off 62 balls before smashing a six but he was out not long after for 64 as the hosts found it difficult to build a partnership. Ravi Bopara could only match Morgan’s score but he did well to even play after dislocating a finger in the warm-up.

Root then upped the tempo which included hitting Malinga for a six over cow corner before he was out for a well-made 45 off just 41 balls which also included a brace of boundaries.

Jordan then gave England the momentum going into the 20 minute break after a blistering innings of 38 off just 13 balls while Jos Buttler also ended not out on 26 off 20 balls to end the 39 overs on 247-6.

The hosts always seemed in control with the ball and that was started after James Anderson trapped Lahiru Thirimanne in front of the wicket for a five ball duck and from then on wickets tumbled at regular intervals.

Sri Lanka’s three key men followed as Gurney bowled Kumar Sangakkara for just eight before Gurney showed his skills in the field by catching out Tillakaratne Dilshan off the bowling of man of the match Jordan before the rain arrived once again.

The players then returned with the visitors chasing another revised target, this time chasing 226 off 32 overs. Mahela Jayawardene was the next to depart thanks to a catch from Morgan off the bowling of Tredwell Sri Lanka were struggling at 88-4 in their run chase.

The star of the show Jordan then showed his pedigree with the ball as Buttler helped dismiss both Dinesh Chandimal and Nuwan Kulasekara.

Tredwell took two further wickets while Gurney picked up the dismissal of Sachithra Senanayake which left Bopara the honour of winning the game for England after bowling Malinga for 10 after he had a horror show with the ball finishing his bowling performance with no wickets from his eight overs and conceding 71 runs.

That meant the hosts won by 81 runs as they head up to Durham for the second ODI in the series which starts on Sunday morning.

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Topics:
Sri Lanka cricket
ODI
Cricket
England cricket

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