Manchester, July 10: England took the 5-match one-day series against Sri Lanka 3-2 after beating them in a corker of an encounter at Old Trafford. The English won by 16 runs after bowling out the visitors for 252 in 48.2 overs. Earlier in the day, the hosts amassed a total of 268, thanks largely to Jonathan Trott, who scored 72 and Eoin Morgan who put up 57, while Lankan off-break Suraj Randiv came up with a career-best of 5/42. In reply, Lanka were reeling at 29/3 before Kumar Sangakkara (48) and Dinesh Chandimal (54) came to the rescue. Then, Angelo Mathews (62) and Ajantha Mendis (48) took the Lankans to within site of victory, but the latter order fell in a heap.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, England got off to a brisk start. Openers Craig Kieswetter and Alastair Cook blasted the Lankan new-ball pair of Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga to the fence several times as the score raced past 50 in the 7th over and by the 10th over had reached 75/0. But as soon as England took the batting powerplay at the start of the 13th over, Randiv got the breakthrough by getting Cook stumped for 31 off 35 balls, leaving England at 85/1.
Then in the very next over, Kieswetter was sent on his way after Prasad bowled him for 43 off 44 balls. A short while later the same bowler ensnared the prize wicket of Kevin Pietersen for 5 and England were in a spot of distress at 95/3.
But Trott and Eoin Morgan steadied the ship, taking England past 100/3 in the 18th over and onto 150/3 in the 26th over, before crossing 200 in the 35th over. The stand would last 117 runs and was finally broken by Tillakaratne Dilshan when he had Morgan stumped for 57 off 60 balls.
Then Randiv tore through the middle and latter order, picking up the next four wickets and thus reducing England to 243/8 in 45 overs. However, the English tail managed to take their side to competitive total of 268/9 in the 50 overs.
The Lankans reply got off on a very shaky note with Tim Bresnan removing openers Karunaratne and Dilshan cheaply. The visitors were thus reduced to 12/2 in the 4th over. The bowler would have had Mahela Jayawardene out as well if Jade Dernabach hadn't dropped him at fine leg. But James Anderson compensated when he dismissed the same batsman by having him caught at mid-off for 9, as the score read a dismal 29/3.
Then Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal set about the repair work, taking Lanka past 50/3 in the 11th over and over 100/3 in the 23rd over. Eventually, off-break Graeme Swann got the breakthrough when he had Chandimal stumped for 54 off 64 balls. Sri Lanka were still in strong position at 125/4 at that juncture. But Bresnan struck again, removing Sanga for 48 off 75 balls.
New batsmen Angelo Mathews and Ajantha Mendis deftly weathered the storm, pushing the score along to 200/5 in 41 overs. But when 36 runs were required off 24 balls, Samit Patel struck to remove Mendis by having him caught in the deep. The batsman was on his way after sharing in a substantial stand. What followed was a Lankan latter-order collapse with the last four wickets falling in the space of two overs. Dernbach polished off the tail in the 49th over by getting Mathews out for 62 and bowling Malinga for 6, thus handing England victory b 16 runs.