England beat Sri Lanka by 31 runs on DLS method as rains hits Dambulla
Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Chris Woakes impressed as England won a rain-affected second one-day international against Sri Lanka in Dambulla.
Morgan (92) and Root (71) were the only batsmen to pass 30 in England’s 278-9, Lasith Malinga taking 5-44.
Sri Lanka were unlikely to overhaul that target after falling to 31-4 – Woakes taking three wickets.
Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva rallied, but Sri Lanka were far behind when a storm curtailed play.
After the first game in the five-match series was washed out, England’s 31-run win – on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method – puts them 1-0 up with three to play.
The third ODI takes place in Kandy on Wednesday at 10:00 BST.
That England, who are ranked number one in the world, reached a competitive score was predominantly down to the nous and ingenuity of their senior batsmen.
Both Test skipper Root and white-ball captain Morgan played measured knocks – the former finding the gaps and running hard between the wickets, while the latter kept the scoreboard moving with some more forceful blows.
Root took responsibility after the early loss of Jason Roy for a duck and was particularly dismissive of Malinga, hitting the veteran for three successive fours early in his innings.
The first was steered through backward point, the second pushed into the leg side and the third was a glorious back-foot drive through the covers.
The right-hander was dropped on 48 by De Silva and capitalised to make yet another half-century, the 29th of his ODI career, before he looped a leading edge into the covers for 71 – much to his obvious frustration.
Morgan, in contrast to Root, was able to find the boundary more frequently – striking 11 fours and two sixes in a knock which appeared certain to end with the captain raising his bat to celebrate three figures.
However, Malinga got one to stick in the pitch and Morgan offered a simple return catch to the Sri Lankan, who went on to decimate England’s lower order with his repertoire of slower balls and yorkers.
His dismissal of Moeen Ali – bowled for a first-ball duck – was his 500th in international cricket.