Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England's Attack in Tatters as Sri Lanka Cut Loose

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England's Attack in Tatters as Sri Lanka Cut Loose

Article excerpt


ENGLAND'S threadbare bowling attack was slaughtered at The Oval today as Sajid Mahmood recorded the fourth most expensive figures in their one-day history.

The home side were left staring down the barrel of another one-day defeat when openers Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss were dismissed cheaply in reply to Sri Lanka's mammoth 319 for eight.

The inform Trescothick fell to Lasith Malinga in the second over of the innings for nine and stand-in captain Andrew Strauss slogged to mid-on for 18 to leave all hopes riding on Kevin Pietersen.

Earlier, Sanath Jayasuriya took merciless advantage of good batting conditions and some woefully inadequate backup pace bowling to smack his 20th one-day international century in the second of the five one-dayers.

The destructive opener put on 160 runs in just 140 balls with skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who creamed a classy 66, while Kumar Sangakarra weighed in with a breezy 51.

Steve Harmison, who bowled with hostility and menace to grab three for 31 off his 10 overs, was the only bowler to emerge unscathed from the wreckage on a typically hard and bouncy Oval track.

England's spearhead had Upal Tharanga caught at slip by Trescothick for 17 in the ninth over with the score on 34 but, once he was taken out of the attack, any control England may have had rapidly evaporated.

The home side suffered another embarrassing-bout of the wide disease that afflicted them in their 20-run defeat at Lord's on Saturday, when a staggering 23 wides contributed to an England record 42 extras. It took them nearly 10 overs to bowl their first today and yet they still managed to send down 21.

On the ground where he scored a Test double century in 1998, Jayasuriya was kept on a tight leash by Harmison early on. But the 36-year-old lefthander seized gleefully on the plentiful supply of short deliveries sent down by inexperienced trio Liam Plunkett, Tim Bresnan and Mahmood to record his 50 off 68 balls before putting his foot down and taking 17 off Mahmood's fifth over, including an effortless six over midwicket. …

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