A new-look England unexpectedly gave Sri Lanka its first defeat in a one-day international this year, an impressive 81-run thrashing in a rain-interrupted match at The Oval on Thursday.
Chris Jordan, in his ninth ODI, starred for England, first with 38 runs off 13 balls to put pressure on Sri Lanka’s chase, which he undermined with three wickets for 25 runs.
Thanks to Jordan and Jos Buttler plundering 54 off the last four overs, England posted a challenging 247-6 off 39 overs. Set 259 to win on the Duckworth/Lewis method, Sri Lanka started badly and slowly, and another rain delay put the winning target well out of reach. The visitors were all out in 28 overs for 144.
The second match of five is on Sunday.
Sri Lanka’s chase began poorly. The recalled James Anderson caught Lahiru Thirimanne plumb with an inswinger off the fifth ball, and a video review confirmed it. Kumar Sangakkara came in and lasted only 13 balls, out for 8, after dragging a Harry Gurney delivery onto his middle stump.
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Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan fashioned a recovery, but without haste. Another rain delay cut the target to 226 off 32 overs, but Sri Lanka was 60-2 after 13, and needing more than nine runs an over.
Four balls after the restart, Dilshan was out for 33, trying to heave Jordan but edging to Gurney at third man. Jayawardene gave Tredwell his first wicket, on 35, and Sri Lanka was 88-4, needing nearly 10 an over.
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal picked up the pace, but Jordan delivered the fateful blows when he dismissed Chandimal (8) and Nuwan Kulasekara (0) in the same over, both caught by Jos Buttler.
At 108-6, the run rate required at nearly 11 an over, the end was inevitable.
Tredwell finished with 3-38, and Gurney 2-20.
England lost captain Alastair Cook early for 11, but Gary Ballance and Ian Bell scored half centuries.
Bell’s departure on 50 marked the start of a heavy shower which stalled the match for 2 1/2 hours.
Ballance returned to score 64, Joe Root hit 45, but Jordan and Buttler gave England a huge boost as they smashed death bowlers Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga for 27 runs each in the last four overs.
Sachithra Senanayake was the pick of the bowlers with 3-30.