Dambulla: Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad shared four big wickets as England ended a 25-year wait with a 65-run win over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international here on Thursday.
The pace duo built on man-of-the-match Owais Shah's superb 82 as England dismissed the World Cup runners-up for 169 after posting 234-8 to win their first one-day international in Sri Lanka since 1982.
The victory also helped England level the five-match series 1-1, having lost the first one-dayer by 119 runs at this venue on Monday. The third game will be played here on Sunday.
Skipper Paul Collingwood (42 and 2-31) and Graeme Swann (34 and 2-27) also caught the eye with their all-round performances.
"It was very disappointing to lose the first game. The boys showed a lot of character to bounce back. We were fantastic in all departments of the game," said Collingwood.
"Owais played a magnificent innings, to get such a score on a pitch like this and play the shots. It was a good toss to win. We then took early wickets and put them under pressure."
Left-arm paceman Sidebottom (2-23) and Broad (2-42) troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen with pace and movement under lights to reduce the hosts to a paltry 38-4 in the opening 15 overs.
The hosts could not recover from these blows despite defiant knocks from Jehan Mubarak (44 not out), Tillakaratne Dilshan (29), skipper Mahela Jayawardene (23) and last-man Dilhara Fernando (20).
Off-spinner Swann, playing only the third one-dayer since making his debut in 2000, got a big wicket when he bowled the well-set Dilshan who had added 52 for the fifth wicket with his captain.
England virtually wrapped up the match when Collingwood had Jayawardene caught by Kevin Pietersen and then completed the job by running Fernando out.
"I thought around 250 was a good score to chase, but losing too many early wickets did not help our cause. England bowled very well. Our fielding was not up to the mark," said Jayawardene.
"It was just another day and we'd like to come back strongly in the next match."
Sidebottom rocked Sri Lanka in his opening three overs when he removed Upul Tharanga (eight) and Sanath Jayasuriya (10), who became the first player to figure in 400 one-day internationals.
Kumar Sangakkara was let off twice, but failed to cash in on the chances as he contributed just nine before being caught behind off Broad.
Chamara Silva fell for a first-ball duck, caught by Collingwood while fending off a rising delivery from Broad.
England were earlier struggling at 61-4 after winning the toss on a slow pitch, but middle-order batsman Shah applied himself remarkably well with his fourth half-century in 28 matches. He struck five fours in his 92-ball knock.
Shah led the recovery when he put on 78 for the fifth wicket with Collingwood and 70 for the seventh with Swann to help his side reach a fighting total.
Seamers Farveez Maharoof (3-30) and Fernando (2-45) did the early damage before Shah played a sensible innings under pressure.