England bounce back for 10-wicket demolition
A Revitalised England has chased down a paltry target of 68 in just 12.1 overs to ease to a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Old Trafford, moving 2-1 ahead in an oscillating five-match ODI series.
Bouncing back impressively from its embarrassing 157-run loss in the second ODI at Durham, England skittled out the tourists overnight for 67 in 24 overs as paceman Chris Jordan took 5-29 under threatening skies. It was Sri Lanka's third-lowest total in ODIs.
Fit-again captain Alastair Cook (30 not out) and Ian Bell (41 not out) needed only 52 minutes to wrap up the victory, Bell taking the score to 73-0 by hitting a six down the ground for the match-clinching runs.
''At Durham, we had a real good chat as a team - we were hurting,'' said Jordan, who claimed career-best ODI figures with some intimidating bowling for a second man-of-the-match of the series.
''We really wanted to put it right today and that we did.''
England would win the series with a victory at Lord's in the fourth ODI this weekend. The fifth match was at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
The result completed a stunning turnaround by England, which was humiliated three days ago in Durham by being bowled out for 99 for its sixth-lowest ODI total. They were also sloppy in the field.
This time round it was Sri Lanka which imploded to score the lowest total by a top-tier cricketing nation on English soil.
''There was no intention of hanging in there, of toughing it out,'' Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said. ''We weren't complacent - we just couldn't cope with them. They outplayed us.''
Kumar Sangakkara top-scored with just 13, with the final six wickets of the innings going for nine runs in six overs - Jordan taking three of them.
The match began 20 minutes later than scheduled after incessant overnight and morning rain and it threatened to return toward the end of England's reply, potentially scuppering what was an easy chase.
Sachithra Senanayake dropped Cook when the batsman was on 12, but otherwise there was no danger for England, which had a massive 37.5 overs in reserve. The match only lasted 36.1 overs.
''Cricket's a funny game, isn't it?'' added Jordan, who boosted his hopes of being included in England's squad for the two tests against Sri Lanka next month.
Sri Lanka's innings got off to a dreadful start when Tillakaratne Dilshan (2) - top scorer in Durham with 88 - nicked an inside edge to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler off James Anderson, who then enticed a slash from Lahiru Thirmanne to go for 7 and leave the tourists on 13-2.
Sri Lanka made just 28 off its first 10 overs and when Sangakkara took a swipe at a Jordan delivery and edged behind for Buttler's third catch, the batting quickly collapsed. Mahela Jayawardene fell for 13, lbw to James Tredwell off the spinner's first ball, before Jordan took charge.
''I just can't explain how we were all out for 67,'' said Mathews, whose departure for 11 sparked the late meltdown as England claimed four wickets for five runs off 19 balls.
Cook was pronounced fit after a right groin injury and was included in an unchanged squad for this weekend's match.