Winning the toss, Sri-Lanka asked England to bat first with a hope that they would be able to restrict the hosts at a modest total, but it turned out disastrous for them. Rain delayed the innings for a few minutes in the start of the play but it couldn’t dampen the spirit of the English cricketers.
What followed later was a true carnage by English batsmen with raining boundaries and sixes. Opener Jason Roy (34) and James Vince (51) gave a good start to the team, adding 67 runs for the 1st wicket before Lakmal dismissed Roy caught at the hands of K Perera.
Joe Root came in next and gave two golden dismissing opportunities to Sri-Lanka but they failed to capitalize on that in the 20th and 48th over of the match. He made most out of those opportunities with a crafty knock of 93 (106b, 4s x 6) before getting bowled out by N Pradeep in the 49.1 over.
What came as a blinder was Jos Buttler’s blitzkrieg knock of 70 (45b, 4s X 7, 6s X 1). His 109-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Root was absolutely fantastic while helping England put a big total on scoreboard. Sri Lanka tried to put some break on their free-flow scoring with spins from both ends but every effort failed as England kept scoring easily all around the stadium without any trouble.
After 50 overs, England gave Sri-Lanka a huge target of 324 runs to win which seemed too difficult from the very start. Losing Perera (6) cheaply in the 4th over was the beginning of Sri Lanka’s troubles. They kept losing wickets frequently courtesy fantastic bowling by English side especially David Willey (8.4-0-34-4) and Liam Plunkett (8-0-44-3) who shared 7 wickets between them in just 16.4 overs.
Danushka Gunathilaka’s 48-run knock off 45 balls with 6 boundaries and Dinesh Chandimal’s 53 off 66 balls with 2 fours and 1 six were only some positive elements of Sri Lanka’s batting. Otherwise they played very miserably and in fact, surrendered before English team without trying much. As the entire team got bowled out with 202 runs on board.
In the post match conference, Captain Angelo Mathews admitted the lapses within the Sri Lankan squad for the past few weeks together. He also said that the team failed in each department of the game. On the other hand, England Captain Eoin Morgan sounded very ecstatic with this 3-0 series victory over Sri-Lanka and said that the entire team played as a unit and contributed well.
Man of the Match : Jos Buttler
Man of the Series: Jason Roy