England vs. Sri Lanka: Jonathan Trott propels England to series victory
The encounter between Sri Lanka and England at Manchester in the 5th ODI was to be the culmination of two months of cricket. It was going to define the profit/loss chart for both the teams. England’s victory means that they can proudly showcase a clean-sheet and threaten India for the forthcoming series. If Sri Lanka had won the honors on the day, they could have gone back with their heads high inspite of a disappointing Test series. Unlike the rest of the matches in this series, the final was closely contested and remained alive till the very last. The pitch at Manchester was suited to ODI cricket and played its part.
England began the day on the right note as Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat first. England made an important tactical change and included an extra spinner in Samit Patel ahead of out-of-form Stuart Broad. England got off to a good start with both their openers contributing. Cook continued his good form and scored at a desirable pace. Kieswetter was the more aggressive of the two and smashed Kulasekara all around the park. Dilshan tried to surprise the pair by making use of the ball himself but without any good use. Once the partnership was broken 15 short of a century, Jonathan Trott walked in.
Trott has been England’s mainstay in the middle order and he proved his worth once again in a decisive innings. Trott scored 72 runs and by the time he was dismissed England had put 231 on the board. The lower middle order failed to contribute a great deal but Morgan’s part was valuable to the total of 268. Sri Lanka had an uphill task to face on a wicket that would assist spinners in the second innings.
Bresnan and Anderson justified the captain’s decision to put faith in the duo. They brought Lanka down on its knees within the first ten overs. Once T.Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene were back in the hut, it was only a question of time and completion of formalities. Kumar Sangakkara exhibited his gritty warrior like nature and found some assistance in Chandimal but eventually the pressure got the better of them. Sangakkara’s dismissal marked the end of any realistic possibility of a revival. Sri Lanka continued to show resistance through Angelo Matthews till the very end. Samit Patel and Graeme Swan ensured that the required run rate forced them into committing errors from time to time. Jonathan Trott was deservingly awarded the Man of the Match award.