England v Sri Lanka: Chris Jordan fires England to victory in first ODI
London, May 23 (IANS/CMC): Barbadian all-rounder Chris Jordan produced brilliant all-round bursts both with bat and ball to fire England to an 81-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) method in the rain-hit opening ODI of the five-match series against Sri Lanka here.
The 25-year-old, who played First-class cricket for Barbados as recently as last year, smashed a whirlwind unbeaten 38 from just 13 deliveries down the order as England tallied to 247 for six from their allotted 39 overs at the Oval Thursday, reports CMC.
Jordan, adjudged Man-of-the-Match, then returned to take three for 25 from six overs to help restrict Sri Lanka to a paltry 144 all out off 27.5 overs.
Sent in, England got a top score of 64 from rookie Gary Ballance and an even 50 from experienced stroke-maker Ian Bell, the pair adding 79 for the second wicket.
England had reached 101 for two when rain caused a 2-1/2 hour break, but, on resumption, the hosts flourished thanks in part to Jordan's robust hitting.
Joe Root, who hit 45, put on 41 for the sixth wicket with Jos Buttler (26 not out) before falling lbw to seamer Nuwan Kulasekara in the 36th over.
Jordan then took centre stage in an unbroken 54-run, seventh wicket stand with Buttler, crunching five fours and two effortless sixes, as England gathered a whopping 93 runs from the last seven overs.
Jordan was off the mark in streaky fashion, edging the first ball wide off wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara for four, but then confidently drove the last ball of the over from Kulasekara to long off for a boundary.
Jordan followed it up by going after Kulasekara in the bowler's next over, belting two fours and a six in the penultimate over of the innings which leaked 19 runs.
In the final over sent down by speedster Lasith Malinga which also cost 19 runs, Buttler smashed a six off the third delivery before Jordan ended the innings in style.
He got an inside edge for four off the fifth ball of the over but cleared long-off with a superb hit off the final delivery.
Chasing a revised target of 226 from 32 overs, Sri Lanka were in trouble at 19 for two in the sixth over before Mahela Jayawardene (35) and opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) repaired the innings in a 44-run partnership.
Jorda removed Dilshan with the first ball of a new spell, caught by Ballance at third man in the 15th over, and returned in the 21st over to claim two wickets and virtually end Sri Lanka's slim hopes of victory.
He had Dinesh Chandimal (8) caught behind edging and then got Kulasekara (0) to top-edge a short ball, to also fall to a catch at the wicket.
Off-spinner James Tredwell was also among the wickets, picking up three for 38.
Jordan was born in Barbados but qualifies for England through his mother who is British. He has already played eight One Day Internationals (ODIs) and seven T20s for England since making his international debut in September.
England 247 for 6 in 39 overs (Gary Ballance 64, Ian Bell 50, Joe Root 45, Jos Buttler 26 not out, Chris Jordan 38 not out, Sachithra Senanayake 3/30, Nuwan Kulasekera 2/60) beat Sri Lanka 144 in 27.5 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 35, Tilakaratne Dilshan 33, Jordan 3/25, James Tredwell 3/38, Harry Gurney 2/20) by 81 runs (D/L method)