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Sri Lanka v England - third ODI

Over-by-over commentary from the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

    Eng 236-5 off 33.4 ovs
    Buttler (55no) & Root (48no) put on 84
    Sri Lanka 242-8 off 35 ovs
    Sangakkara passes 13,000 career ODI runs

    12/2/2014 7:53:53 PM
    A pitch inspection is expected in Hambantota at 11.30am, just over 15 minutes from now. Bumble is confident of witnessing some action.
    12/3/2014 11:13:44 AM
    Think we will get cricket ... Ground almost clear ... Could be 30 ish overs each

    This was the moment earlier this morning when Eoin Morgan showed safe hands to catch Kusal Perera off the bowling of Chris Woakes.

    12/3/2014 11:30:50 AM

    Work continues apace in Hambantota as the umpires stroll out for their inspection. Fingers crossed, everybody, fingers crossed.
    12/3/2014 11:37:52 AM
    Loving the use of 'sponges' to mop up the heavy rains - reminds me of @PrestwichSport 3rd XI v Rochdale Catholic Club 2nds in 2003! #gameoff
    [davidlloyd] I am right up in the rafters. It’s full of pigeons and I’m going to be lucky to get away with this…"
    12/3/2014 11:41:05 AM
    [davidlloyd] The talk in the press centre is that if we get a T20 game Hales might open and Cook may come in at eight!”
    12/3/2014 11:42:59 AM
    The umpires have not yet reached a conclusion on when - or if - play can recommence. They'll have a gander again in 30 minutes or so.
    12/3/2014 11:47:34 AM
    Do you remember May 31, 2014? You should do. It was the day Jos Buttler produced pyrotechnics against Sri Lanka at Lord's to score England's fastest ODI century. Buttler's ton came off a mere 61 balls and you can relive that pulsating knock on Sky Sports 2 now.
    12/3/2014 11:56:24 AM

    Here's what England's talented wicketkeeper-batsman had to say prior to the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka.

    12/3/2014 11:56:54 AM

    Umpires Palliyaguruge and Fry are surveying the scene once more.
    12/3/2014 12:11:00 PM
    Hooray! Play is due to start at 12.45pm, with the game now a 35-over per side contest. Who does that favour? @SkyCricket
    12/3/2014 12:22:32 PM

    Here are the revised playing conditions.
    12/3/2014 12:23:53 PM
    On Alastair Cook:
    If I was in charge of this side, I would put Hales up to open with Moeen and Cook down to perhaps eight or nine. But the selectors might say a shortened game will give Cook the chance to free his arms, find the middle of the bat and get a score, so I’d be surprised to see him drop down the order.

    On the IPL:
    If there’s a chance for Stokes, Buttler and good young English players to be exposed to the IPL [they should take it]. It demystifies the international game and to share a dressing room with top players rubs away the fear factor you have of them. Playing is front of packed houses is also a great experience.
    12/3/2014 12:34:37 PM
    [wicket] Sangakkara c Moeen b Jordan 63 – SL 150-5
    After clocking Jordan for fours off the first two balls, Sangakkara falls victim to the slower one. Moeen is the grateful fielder.

    12/3/2014 2:34:01 PM
    Over 26 – SL 152-5 (Thirimanne 18, J Mendis 1)
    Stand and deliver! Sangakkara heaves into the leg-side for four. The ante is being upped. What have you got, Jordan? Another boundary ball, that’s what. Stokes does well to cut off what would have been a third score of four in a row, however, but two brings up the 150 regardless. Jordan dismisses the Sri Lanka veteran next up, though. Good comeback, Chris. Jeevan Mendis is in and scores one. Thirimanne follows suit.

    12/3/2014 2:36:22 PM
    [nickknight] I thought that was very clever from Chris Jordan – he had to be very tight on his line because Sangakkara was looking for width but he was cramped for room. Jordan has had a good day with the ball so far.

    12/3/2014 2:36:58 PM
    Over 27 – SL 160-5 (Thirimanne 23, J Mendis 4)
    Nick Knight has his wish. Finn’s potent pace is thrown into the mix by Cook but Thirimanne reads Finn’s first and picks up three. Mendis gets Thirimanne back on strike, who, without middling it, hits towards Bopara to accrue one more. Mendis is happy to play the support role.

    12/3/2014 2:41:07 PM
    Over 28 – SL 168-5 (Thirimanne 27, J Mendis 7)
    The trusty Woakes perseveres. He has put on a few miles per hour which should serve him well in the international arena. Woakes is mixing up his methods but can’t quite stymie the singles and chucks in a disappointing wide, too. 

    12/3/2014 2:46:09 PM
    [wicket] J Mendis c Finn b Root 12 - SL 175-6
    Mendis hits Root towards the lofty frame of Finn, who gets down well to pouch.

    12/3/2014 2:50:33 PM
    Over 30 – SL 180-6 (Thirimanne 32, T Perera 1)
    Thirimanne is going to be the glue here, you would imagine. He is content with a single from Finn’s opening ball of the 30th over.  Finn is finding a bit of bounce and fizz. Oh, how great it would be if he could relocate the form from his first foray into the international game. This is decent stuff, mind you. Five overs to go but Finn is bowled out.

    12/3/2014 2:56:33 PM
    Over 31 – SL 196-6 (Thirimanne 47, T Perera 2)
    Stokes is back and praised by Sir Ian Botham. Keep faith with him, says Beefy. A sedate start – two singles – but the boundary is cracked soon enough, from Thirimanne’s willow. Thirimanne cuts four more, just out of the despairing reach of Woakes. A third man is deployed – so Thirimanne drives through mid-off and to the fence. Sumptuous. A mis-field from Hales adds to the damage.

    12/3/2014 3:01:52 PM

    Would you give Stokes a third over?

    12/3/2014 3:03:51 PM
    [ianbotham] You’ve got to have a game-plan. Stokes has got to try and imagine he’s the batsman. Where don’t I want him? That’s a way to start. But he just looks very nervous. It’s as if he’s lost all of his confidence. We saw this guy in Australia and he had confidence oozing out of him. But that’s been knocked one way or another.

    12/3/2014 3:04:11 PM
    Very good innings from Sri Lanka
    [wicket] T Perera c Moeen b Woakes 8 – Sri Lanka 202-7
    Perera’s eyes were bulging after clocking a six. He was sucked in by Woakes and knocks to Moeen, who, after a bit of juggling, holds on.

    12/3/2014 3:06:05 PM
    Over 32 – SL 207-7 (Thirimanne 52, Prasad 0)
    Woakes, who has impressed here, is giving little to Perera – until a quite monumental six. Crikey, that was a hit and a half. Woakes gets revenge the next ball, though, with Perera looking for another maximum. The batsmen crossed, however, and Thirimanne collects his fifty with a leg-side boundary.

    12/3/2014 3:08:33 PM
    @sandunpaaris : @BumbleCricket still 20-30 short” bet they aren't !!!
    Over 2 – Eng 5-0 (Cook 2, Moeen Ali 3)
    Moeen Ali’s away first ball with a helpful couple through square leg as Dilshan, who dismissed him cheaply on Saturday, opts to protect cow and long on. Mendis is around quickly at deep midwicket as the opener targets that area and there’s only a single available as Cook sends his partner back.
    12/3/2014 3:45:52 PM
    Over 3 – Eng 16-0 (Cook 12, Moeen Ali 4)
    Cracking stuff from Cook, who holds his follow-through fractionally as he drives Mathews for four through cover with authority and then repeats the dose, all be it somewhat straighter meeting the ball with the full face of the bat. A grand 11 runs off the over.
    12/3/2014 3:49:51 PM
    Over 4 – Eng 24-0 (Cook 13, Moeen Ali 11)
    Dilshan offers a touch of width and Ali doesn’t miss out, opening the face to go up and over extra cover for four. Ali punches another couple in that direction off the back foot and then advances and rather mows a single out to deep midwicket. Cook calls for assistance from the dressing room, pointing to his dodgy back, and Bell brings out the necessary pills and water.
    12/3/2014 3:54:18 PM
    Over 5 – Eng 33-0 (Cook 16, Moeen Ali 17)
    A clear grimace from Cook as he picks up a couple on the leg-side – his back clearly troubling him now – and the batsmen meet in the middle presumably to rule out any quick singles. That seems the last thing on Ali’s mind as he throws his hands at a wider ball from Mathews and spanks it high over cover for six. That was an extraordinary shot.
    12/3/2014 3:57:56 PM
    [ianbotham] This is a good start from England. Alastair Cook has been impressive on the drive and that was an extraordinary shot from Moeen Ali in the last over.

    12/3/2014 4:00:34 PM

    Cook's back is giving him a bit of gyp - he's knocked back a tablet for that - but he is middling a few, too. 
    12/3/2014 4:01:14 PM
    Over 6 – ENG 41-0 (Cook 22, Moeen Ali 18)
    Ajantha Mendis comes into the attack for Sri Lanka, but Cook dispatches him to the boundary second ball with a beautiful late cut. The left-handed pair then milk Mendis for singles the rest of the over. The kind of over that’s needed throughout if they’re to chase this down.
    12/3/2014 4:02:31 PM
    12/3/2014 4:03:02 PM
    Over 7 – ENG 45-0 (Cook 26, Moeen Ali 18)
    Another cut from Cook goes to the boundary. Less pretty and a bit more fortuitous this one, but four runs all the same. Dilshan has dismissed the captain in both games this series and looks to be more threatening than Mendis at the other end again.
    12/3/2014 4:05:32 PM
    Over 8 – ENG 55-0 (Cook 27, Moeen Ali 27)
    Ali launches one high and hansome over cow corner for six. Becoming a bit of a trademark shot for him that one. 10 from the over.
    12/3/2014 4:09:37 PM
    [wicket] Hales c A Mendis b Mathews 27 – Eng 144-3
    After being dropped and battering a six, Hales holes out to Ajantha Mendis at mid-on.

    12/3/2014 5:18:39 PM

    Hales hangs his head as he trudges off, replaced by Bopara

    12/3/2014 5:19:52 PM
    Over 22 – ENG 144-3 (Root 19, Bopara 0)
    Hales is given a life after his clip towards Thisara Perera’s paws is spilled. He makes something of that reprieve, too, by clubbing a six on the leg side – but departs shortly after. Bopara leaps above Morgan to enter the fray at No 5.

    12/3/2014 5:20:42 PM
    [wicket] Bopara c Sangakkara b Herath 6 – ENG 151-4
    Great work from Sangakkara, who reads Bopara’s sweep to catch the Essex star out. A first failure of the series for Ravi.

    12/3/2014 5:24:11 PM
    Over 23 – ENG 152-4 (Root 20, Morgan 1)
    England require less than 100 and they’ll get there quickly if Bopara wallops sixes like the one he has just pummeled down the ground. Damn! There goes that plan thanks to the pesky Sangakkara. Morgan’s next in and plays out Herath’s over sensibly.

    12/3/2014 5:26:22 PM
    [wicket] Morgan c T Perera b Mathews 1 – ENG 152-5
    Morgan rolls out the hook shot – to poor effect. He skies Mathew’s slowie up into the gods and Perera snares the ball upon its descent. 

    12/3/2014 5:28:40 PM
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