Sri Lanka openers seal England whitewash
by AFP

Ground:Headingley, Leeds
Scorecard:England v Sri Lanka
Player:ST Jayasuriya, WU Tharanga, VS Solanki, ME Trescothick, AN Cook, SL Malinga, JWM Dalrymple
Event:Sri Lanka in England 2006

DateLine: 1st July 2006


Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya's world record opening stand of 286 sent Sri Lanka on their way to a crushing eight-wicket victory in the fifth and final one-day international at Headingley here Saturday.


Sri Lanka's 5-0 series victory was the first time England had lost a head-to-head limited overs campaign by such a margin and was their tenth defeat in their last 12 one-day internationals.


Set a seemingly imposing 322 for victory, Sri Lanka finished on 324 for two with more than 12 overs to spare in a resounding demonstration of their superiority.


Jayasuriya, playing a world record-equalling 362nd one-day international, scored 152 and fellow left-hander Tharanga 109, both men scoring their second centuries of the series.


Their stand, in what was the 2,389th one-day international surpassed the 258 shared by India's Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar against Kenya at Paarl in 2001-02 as the best opening partnership in this form of the game.


Meanwhile spearhead fast bowler Stephen Harmison - whose first five overs cost just 33 runs - saw his 10 wicketless overs go for 97 runs.


That was the most expensive 10-over spell by an England bowler in a one-day international surpassing the 83 runs conceded by Derek Pringle against West Indies at Gujranwala during the 1987 World Cup.


Harmison's performance and England's in the field, was summed up by the fact the Durham quick beat Pringle's mark with a no-ball.


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was 12 not out and Kumar Sangakkara 23 not out.


Sri Lanka made a blistering start with 46 runs coming off the first three overs - at the same stage England had scored just one after two maidens from Chaminda Vaas.


Liam Plunkett, struck for a superb six by Tharanga, saw his first two overs went for 24 runs as stand-in skipper Andrew Strauss as Harmison's introduction was delayed until the fifth over.


But he was powerless to prevent the openers' assault with the 100 up in eight overs. Jayasuriya then lofted Kabir Ali over mid-wicket for four.


The next two balls went for four before Jayasuriya smashed a six over cover point. To make matters worse for Kabir that was off a no-ball. In all his third over cost 25 runs.


Jayasuriya's hundred, his 21st one-day international century, came in 72 balls with two sixes and 13 fours and Tharanga's up in 82 balls with a six and 14 fours.


The home attack albeit without injured bowlers Simon Jones, James Anderson, Ashley Giles and Paul Collingwood, still sent down too many short and wide deliveries to the run hungry openers and after the 10-over mark the only open question was the tourists' margin of victory.


Tharanga fell when he was caught and bowled by off-spinner James Dalrymple, having faced 102 balls in all and then 286 for one became 289 for two when the 37-year-old Jayasuriya was well caught by stand-in captain Andrew Strauss off the part-time spin of Vikram Solanki.


Earlier Marcus Trescothick's hundred was the centrepiece of England's 321 for Seven.


The Somerset left-hander's 121 was the first by an England batsman in a one-day international since he himself made 104 not out at Headingley against Australia nearly a year ago.


Trescothick, whom Sri Lanka thought was twice out caught, completed his hundred in 102 balls with 16 fours before he was bowled by left-arm spinner Jayasuriya.


However, the match was overshadowed by the death of England fast bowling great Fred Trueman, a legendary figure at Headingley where he starred for Yorkshire.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)