1st ODI: Moeen Ali's ton in vain as Sri Lanka beat England by 25 runs
Sri Lanka overcame a brilliant century by Moeen Ali and a late cameo from Ravi Bopara to defeat England by 25 runs in the first one-day international in Colombo on Wednesday.
Colombo: Sri Lanka overcame a brilliant century by Moeen Ali and a late cameo from Ravi Bopara to defeat England by 25 runs in the first one-day international in Colombo on Wednesday.
Opener Ali smashed 119 off 87 balls with 11 boundaries and five sixes as the tourists made a spirited chase of Sri Lanka`s 317-6 before being bowled out for 292 in the day-night match.
The left-hander`s maiden one-day hundred was followed by Bopara`s 65 off 62 balls in the end overs that left England on the doorstep of victory in the first match of the seven-game series.
But Bopara was last man out off the first ball of the 48th over, caught in the deep off seamer Thisara Perera, who finished with three wickets.
England captain Alastair Cook made only 10 despite being reprieved twice off successive balls in the first over by the TV umpire after being declared leg-before to Angelo Mathews.
Ali put on 51 for the first wicket with Cook and 56 for the second with Ian Bell to lift England to 107-1 in the 16th over.
But three wickets crashed for 17 runs as Thisara Perera dismissed Bell (35) and Joe Root (two) and Ajantha Mendis bowled Eoin Morgan.
Ali was sixth out in the 31st over with the total at 203, offering a tame return catch to spinner Jeevan Mendis.
Sri Lanka`s total after being sent in to bat was built around half-centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kusal Perera.
Dilshan top-scored with 88, Jayawardene hit a fluent 55 and Kusal Perera made 59 as the hosts took advantage of England`s wayward and indisciplined attack that produced 17 wides.
The start of the match at the Premadasa stadium was delayed by an hour due to bad weather, but the umpires decided to play a full 50-overs-a-side game.
England`s decision to field first in overcast conditions did not bear fruit as Dilshan and Kusal Perera put on 120 for the first wicket by the 23rd over to give the hosts a flying start.
Dilshan missed his century when he tapped a slower ball from Chris Woakes back to the bowler in the 38th over, ending a 76-run stand for the third wicket with Jayawardene.
Sri Lanka were cruising at 253-3 in the 43rd over when off-spinner James Tredwell dismissed Mathews and Jayawardene with his last two deliveries in the innings.
Sri Lanka plundered 94 runs in the last 10 overs to set England a tough target at the start of the series which gives both teams a chance to prepare for the World Cup in February-March.
The second match will be played in Colombo on Saturday.