Joe Root led England to a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street. Chasing just 186, the hosts wobbled at 80-4 in the 12th over but Joe Root unbeaten 79 from 87 balls saw them win with 15.1 overs to spare.
He and Moeen Ali calmed any nerves with a stand of 91 and when the latter was out for 28 the win was all-but assured. Sri Lanka dropped Moeen first ball and put in another dismal batting effort – bowled out for 185 in 42.3 overs.
Captain Kusal Perera made 73 from 81 balls and Wanindu Hasaranga a 65-ball 54 but only one other batter made double figures.
Chris Woakes returned an impeccable 4-18 and David Willey 3-44, while there were also two run-outs and a raft of soft dismissals in a Sri Lanka batting effort weakened by three players being sent home for breaching Covid-19 protocols on Monday.
England, comprehensive winners in last week’s Twenty20 series, now lead the three-match one-day series 1-0. The sides meet again in the second ODI on Thursday at The Oval before the final match in Bristol on Sunday.
England too good again
England began their chase with Jonny Bairstow racing to 43 from 21 balls, at which point it looked as though a win could be completed in quick time.
After seeing his opening partner Liam Livingstone miscue to long-on, Bairstow then played on and, when captain Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings followed within six overs, Sri Lanka had an outside chance of an unlikely win.
Had wicketkeeper Perera clung on low to his left to dismiss Moeen for a duck things may have been different. Ultimately Root – who was reprieved on 36 when a far harder chance at fine leg was put down by Dushmantha Chameera – astutely nudged England to an easy victory.
Woakes stars as Sri Lanka batting woes continue
Sri Lanka were dismissed for their fourth-lowest total in the third T20 on Saturday and this batting effort was little better. The stand of 99 between Perera and Hasaranga saved them from similar embarrassment.
Woakes recorded five maidens in his 10 overs of exemplary line and length, and bowled a brilliant away-swinger to have Dasun Shanaka caught behind.
But he was also helped by more loose batting – opener Pathum Nissanka one of those culpable, caught at mid-wicket toe-ending a pull shot.
Debutants Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya Lakshan made zero and two respectively and, after Hasaranga was caught top-edging a pull to deep square-leg off Woakes, Sri Lanka lost their next four wickets for seven runs, with Perera also caught in the deep.
There was still time for a comical run out, with Chameera dismissed after ending up at the same end as Binura Fernando. The final wicket, a brilliant direct-hit run out by Billings from the edge of the 30-yard circle, summed up the difference between the two sides.