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Sri Lanka v England - third ODI

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

    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
    Eoin Morgan's last 15 ODI innings - 279 runs, HS 40, avge 18.60
    [nickknight] The dangerous Eoin Morgan was out-thought there. I say dangerous, he hasn’t been dangerous for quite some time. In the last 15 ODIs he’s averaged 18.6.

    12/3/2014 5:31:01 PM
    Over 24 – ENG 154-5 (Root 21, Buttler 1)
    Sri Lanka are gaining traction here, more so after the exit of the once-lethal Morgan. What has happened to his end-of-innings onslaughts? Buttler is more than capable of them, though, as Sri Lanka know all too well. Lord’s last May, anybody? An absolute beaut from Mathews closes out the over, whistling past Root’s edge.

    12/3/2014 5:32:35 PM
    Over 25 – ENG 158-5 (Root 23, Buttler 3)
    England aren’t looking to go big following Morgan’s departure. There are merely taking the singles on offer, of which there are four from Herath’s latest over.

    12/3/2014 5:35:11 PM
    Over 26 – ENG 162-5 (Root 25, Buttler 5)
    With England needing 70-odd, Ian Ward and Russel Arnold are debating the state of the game and who’s on top. Just England? The lengthy batting line-up would suggest so and Buttler and Root’s singles will help their cause no end.
    12/3/2014 5:38:46 PM
    Over 27 – ENG 166-5 (Root 26, Buttler 8)
    Buttler miscues one. Thank goodness, as his shot falls short of the fielder. Peril for Root but he manages to dig his bat down before a straight one from Herath can shoot through and clatter his stumps.

    12/3/2014 5:41:27 PM
    England 166-5. Requre 70 runs from 48 balls. SS2 now.#SLvENG

    Eng take the batting powerplay with Root & Buttler in. Just 8 overs left, have they left it too late? #SLvENG

    Over 28 – ENG 171-5 (Root 31, Buttler 8)
    England have taken the batting powerplay and begin with a Root boundary. Bowler and skipper Mathews re-jigs his field and Buttler thinks better of taking a single. He tries a new-fangled scoop next up but cannot connect. Mathews is a shrewd operator, it must be said.

    12/3/2014 5:45:56 PM

    A fantastic 82 run partnership between Root & Buttler sees England to victory & secures a vital win #SLvENG

    9 sixes in the England innings - equal third highest tally for England in ODIs (12 v SA at Centurion - Sept 2009 is the highest of all)
    So what did you all make of that?

    12/3/2014 6:29:10 PM
    Here's what the losing captain, ANGELO MATHEWS, had to say:
    I thought we were short by about 10-15 runs and then we were pretty poor in the field, dropped catches and no-balls. But we don’t need to panic, it’s just one game.

    12/3/2014 6:36:20 PM
    Now over to ALASTAIR COOK and his thoughts on his side's win:
    It’s great to get over the line. We obviously made it a little harder for ourselves than we should have done. We got a great start from Moeen and then terrific knocks by Joe and Jos to get us over the line. 2-1 in the series now means it’s all to play for.

    12/3/2014 6:38:14 PM

    Joe Root has joined the guys after the game and his unbeaten 48 to see England home

    12/3/2014 6:41:47 PM
    Here’s what JOE ROOT had to say on his reprieve after holing out on a no-ball:
    I was absolutely livid with myself. It’s a good job I saw the umpire and got told to wait there as I thought I’d botched it and left it to Jos.

    12/3/2014 6:44:19 PM
    More from JOE ROOT:
    We've had a couple of games, and a few series recently that haven’t gone our way so it was really pleasing to go into the dressing room with the win and we look forward to the next game now”

    12/3/2014 6:46:45 PM

    Here's how the schedule looks following England's first win of the tour.
    12/3/2014 6:49:18 PM
    Some final thoughts from Bob on Moeen Ali’s knock in the studio…
    [bobwillis] Moeen has learnt how to play international cricket so quickly. The batting form he’s shown in this game and the one before-last really does bode well for England."

    12/3/2014 6:51:33 PM
    So without further ado, let's grab a word with one of England's finishers, JOE ROOT...
    12/3/2014 7:09:55 PM
    12/3/2014 7:22:33 PM
    Thanks for following the blog. What do you know? It's game on in this series with England - who at one point looked like they would return to Colombo 3-0 down - only staring at a 2-1 deficit. Make sure you join us on Sunday from 4.15am for the fourth ODI to see if Alastair Cook's side can get back on level terms! Until then, goodbye!
    12/3/2014 7:24:06 PM
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