About the Match
The loss in the 3rd game was sheer recklessness, as Sri Lanka lost it miserably but it was a dramatic performance in the true sense to bounce back and level the series 2-2 against England before the last game and decider is played at Edgbaston, Birmingham on 3rd June. Dilshan and Sangakkara’s partnership helped the team get to a score of 300 on board and Bopara and Buttler made a good effort to get there, but missed it by a whisker. A grand recovery for both the teams and it will be the contest of the season in the 5th ODI, on Tuesday.
England preferred to chase with Cook winning the toss in the 4th ODI, without making any change in the winning combination; it paid off as the opening pair with Dilshan and Perera were separated early on in the 5th over, Perera getting out for Gurney. But the home team did not have an answer for the old horses Dilshan and Sangakkara, the pair adding 172 runs for the 2nd wicket, the latter dominating the proceedings. It was Anderson who bowled a measured delivery to dismiss the well-set Dilshan. Sangakkara made 112 from 156 balls, with 14 fours, getting stumped for a turning ball from Tredwell, the wickets started falling regularly and the England bowlers did good job in controlling the run flow, and restricting the visitors to 300. Gurney was the most successful bowler with Anderson, Jordan and Tredwell lending good support. Losing two early wickets, with just 10 runs on board, did not deter the efforts of the middle order, with Bopara and Buttler helping the side recover from 111 for 5 to 244 for 6 by the 45th over. But the run out of Buttler closed the door for the home team, losing by 7 runs; however, the side has the confidence and talent to withstand pressure and make the Lankans sweat to get better of them.
The side has recovered from their slumber after the drubbing in the 3rd ODI; they made one change in the team by replacing Chandimal with Perera who replaced Thirimanne at the top. The move paid off as the shine didn’t stay for long on the ball; after the departure of Perera, Sangakkara joined Dilshan in the middle and the two played merry adding 176 runs to the 2nd wicket, with Sangakkara facing most of the balls. They took the Lankans to safety, which in turn helped the others build a healthy total of 300. When they were defending a decent score, Malinga bowled economically clasping 3 victims, with other bowlers supporting well, though the line and length were not accurate, giving away 20 extras, dominated by 16 wides. Sri Lanka will do well to retain this combination for the decider and try to take the series.
Levelling the series 2-2 was a good achievement by both the teams, who were not consistent in their performances. England definitely has the home advantage; however, Sri Lanka seems to be in a better position and mindset to win the 5th ODI and take the series.
Sri Lanka, 1.90 @ Bet365