England were humbled by Sri Lanka by 157 runs in the second ODI of the series, and only narrowly avoided recording their lowest ever ODI score as their batting worryingly crumbled.
England had started the second ODI against Sri Lanka at The Riverside with renewed optimism, after their convincing 81-run Duckworth/Lewis victory in their last outing, and were hoping to go further ahead in the five match series under the guidance of Peter Moores and Alastair Cook.
However, pre-match preparations for England were hampered by captain Alastair Cook failing a fitness test on a groin, which left Eoin Morgan in charge of the side and Michael Carberry taking Cook's place in the batting line-up, having been selected ahead of Nottinghamshire's Alex Hales.
England won the toss and decided to field first, a seemingly logical decision given the inclement weather recently and the threat of possible interruptions during the day.
Sri Lanka though made a solid start to the game, despite losing opener Thirimanne (10) with the score on 33, as experienced players Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara gave the visitors the foundation they required. The pair added 96 for the second wicket before Sangakkara (40) was dismissed by Tredwell and this sparked a mini-slump as Sri Lanka were reduced to 159-4.
Amongst the wickets to fall was that of Dilshan who was dismissed by Chris Jordan to a fantastic delivery for a well made 88 runs. This gave England the chance to gain some control in the match as a player like Dilshan could have taken the game away from them.
Useful contributions followed from middle order players Angelo Mathews (30) and Ashan Priyanjan (43) which further boosted Sri Lanka's total and, despite a late flurry of wickets, they will have been reasonably happy with their final total of 256-8. Harry Gurney was the most successful bowler with figures of 3-59 but England will have been unhappy with their discipline in the field as they dropped catches and bowled far too many wides.
Jimmy Anderson was the most economical bowler as he ended with figures of 2-38 and in the process captured his 250th ODI wicket.
In reply England required 5.14 runs per over to go 2-0 up in the series and, for opener Michael Carberry, this was an opportunity to try and establish himself in the side and prove the doubters wrong.
Carberry and Ian Bell began the reply in positive fashion as they took 17 from the first two overs but in the third over Carberry (6) was dismissed by Nuwan Kulasekera with the score on 19 and then Bell was dismissed by the same bowler for 12 with the score on 26 as Sri Lanka regained control after their wayward start.
Yorkshire pair Gary Ballance and Joe Root were tasked with rebuilding England's reply. However, Root was comprehensively bowled by Lasith Malinga for a three ball duck and Ballance was given out LBW to Kulasekara to leave England in disarray on 29-4.
Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan needed to find a substantial partnership from England's remaining batsmen but Bopara, Buttler and Jordan could not make any impact as England slumped again to 63-7.
Only Morgan (40) could muster a score of note for England as they were eventually dismissed for just 99 runs in what was a tentative batting display littered with mistakes.
Sri Lanka were impressive with the ball with Kulasekara (3-15) and spinner Sachithra Senanayake (4-13) the pick of the attack.
The sides head into the third ODI in the series, a day/night game at Old Trafford on Wednesday, now all square. England will be looking to regroup and make amends after a dreadful performance that highlighted some real worrying issues that Moores and Cook will need to address quickly.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms