LONDON: Sam Curran starred with five wickets before England captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root both hit unbeaten fifties as the 50-over world champions cruised to a series-clinching win over Sri Lanka in the second One-day International at The Oval on Thursday (partly reported in Friday’s edition).
England finished on 244-2 with exactly seven overs to spare for an eight-wicket success that put then 2-0 up in a three-match campaign ahead of Sunday’s finale in Bristol.
Morgan was 75 not out — only his second fifty in last 17 international innings — whereas Test skipper Root’s unbeaten 68 followed his 79 not out during Tuesday’s five-wicket win in the series opener at Chester-le-Street.
The third-wicket pair shared an unbroken stand of 140.
Player-of-the-match Curran, starring on his Surrey home ground, set up the victory with an ODI best 5-48 — his first five-wicket haul in all international cricket.
Fellow left-arm paceman David Willey (4-64) was the only other bowler to take wickets in Sri Lanka’s 241-9.
It looked like a Covid-reduced crowd of 14,000 for this day/night match would leave before the floodlights were switched on in south London when Sri Lanka slumped to 21-4 inside seven overs after losing the toss.
But Dhananjaya de Silva’s run-a-ball 91 kept them in the match and he received good support from Dasun Shanaka (47) in a sixth-wicket stand of 78.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy ensured England made a brisk start to their chase before the former chopped-on to leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga for 29.
Roy pressed on to 60 before he was well caught by a diving de Silva at midwicket off Chamika Karunaratne.
England, however, remained in command, with Morgan making a run-a-ball fifty.
P. Nissanka b S. Curran 5
M.D.K.J. Perera lbw b S. Curran 0
W.I.A. Fernando lbw b S. Curran 2
D.M. de Silva c Root b Willey 91
K.I.C. Asalanka c sub b Willey 3
W. Hasaranga c Billings b S. Curran 26
M.D. Shanaka c S. Curran b Willey 47
C. Karunaratne c Bairstow b S. Curran 21
B. Fernando c Rashid b Willey 17
P.V.D. Chameera not out 14
A.M. Fernando not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-13) 14
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 50 overs) 241
FALL OF WKTS: 1-4, 2-6, 3-12, 4-21, 5-86, 6-164, 7-206, 8-217, 9-229.
BOWLING: Willey 10-1-64-4 (6w); S.M. Curran 10-1-48-5 (2w); T.K. Curran 10-0-43-0 (2w); Wood 10-1-35-0 (1w); Adil Rashid 10-0-50-0 (2w).
J.J. Roy c de Silva b Karunaratne 60
J.M. Bairstow b Hasaranga 29
J.E. Root not out 68
E.J.G. Morgan not out 75
EXTRAS (B-1, W-11) 12
TOTAL (for two wkts, 43 overs) 244
FALL OF WKTS: 1-76, 2-104.
DID NOT BAT: S.W. Billings, Moeen Ali, S.M. Curran, T.K. Curran, D.J. Willey, M.A. Wood, Adil Rashid.
BOWLING: Chameera 9-0-46-0; B Fernando 9-0-53-0 (3w); A.M. Fernando 10-0-54-0; Hasaranga 7-0-46-1; Karunaratne 6-0-34-1 (2w); de Silva 2-0-10-0 (1w).
RESULT: England won by eight wickets to lead three-match series 2-0.
UMPIRES: R.A. Kettleborough (England) and R.J. Bailey (England).
TV UMPIRE: M.A. Gough (England).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Sam Curran.
FIRST MATCH: Chester-le-Street, England won by five wickets.
THIRD MATCH: Bristol (3:00pm PST).
Published in Dawn, EOS, July 4th, 2021