England easily defeated Sri Lanka in the second one-day international at The Oval to win the series with one game to spare. As the hosts limited Sri Lanka to 241-9 from 50 overs, Sam Curran took 5-48, his first five-wicket haul for England.
Curran took three wickets in his first two overs, and Sri Lanka were in danger of being dismissed before many of the 14,000-strong Oval crowd had arrived.
Despite Dhananjaya de Silva’s run-a-ball 91, England cruised to their target with seven overs and eight wickets to spare on a flat pitch. Jason Roy, back in action after a hamstring injury, hit 60 off 52 balls, contributing to a 76-run opening stand with Jonny Bairstow.
In the 18th over, the Surrey right-hander clubbed Chamika Karunaratne to mid-wicket, but England were well ahead of the required rate, and Joe Root (75*) and Eoin Morgan (68*) eased them to victory with a chanceless unbroken stand of 140.
It was Sri Lanka’s fifth heavy defeat in five matches on this white-ball tour, with the ODIs following England’s dominant 3-0 win in the Twenty20 series. On Sunday, the final One-Day International (ODI) will be played in Bristol.
Landmark moment for Curran on home ground
Curran has become such a fixture in England’s squads across all formats that it’s surprising his first five-wicket haul didn’t come until his 47th international.
In the absence of the injured Jofra Archer and the rested Chris Woakes, he found swing targeted the stumps and had Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando lbw within his first four balls, for 0 and two, respectively, and bowled Pathum Nissanka through the gate an over later.
Later in the innings, the 23-year-old returned and bowled short, claiming the wickets of Wanindu Hasaranga and Karunaratne with bouncers.
When Karunaratne edged a pull through to Bairstow for Curran’s fifth, the left-armer celebrated with his arms spread wide. He appeared relieved and was greeted with hugs from his brother Tom and other teammates.
“As he walked off, he said ‘welcome to the club,’ so it was quite a cool feeling from the big brother to get that tap on the back,” Curran said of Tom, who took 5-35 against Australia in 2018.
Some of the crowd, which had been increased to 50% capacity as part of the government’s pilot program, were bowing as Surrey’s Curran accepted the applause on his home turf.