Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Swann leads England to victory over Sri Lanka

Little-known Graeme Swann put in a superb all-round performance to help England pull off a tense two-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international on Sunday.

The off-spinner grabbed four wickets in a disciplined spell and then made a crucial 25 as England achieved the revised target of 164 in a game reduced to 48 overs a side due to rain to gain a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

England were tottering at 107-7 on a difficult pitch before Swann added 40 for the eighth wicket with Stuart Broad (20 not out) to help his side win with seven balls to spare.

Swann, playing only his fourth one-dayer since making his debut in 2000, was named man of the match.

”Credit goes to all the boys. It was a big challenge batting under lights after losing the toss,” said England captain Paul Collingwood.

”Broad has already scored vital runs for us and Swann showed a cool head. But we haven’t won the series yet,” he added.

Paceman Farveez Maharoof grabbed three early wickets and veteran left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya took two wickets to raise Sri Lanka’s hopes of victory, but Swann held his nerve under pressure on a slow pitch.

Maharoof threatened to upstage fine efforts from Swann (4-34) and left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom (3-19) when he wrecked England’s top order by removing Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Phil Mustard in his lively opening spell.

Jayasuriya then dismissed Collingwood (32) and Owais Shah (19) just when the pair looked like restoring England’s fortunes with a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.

But Swann dashed Sri Lanka’s hopes in a vital stand with Broad, who finished the match with a four and a two off fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Broad had earlier taken two wickets.

”We made a lot of mistakes while batting. We did not even bat our full quota of 48 overs. I am disappointed with the way we batted in the last two matches,” said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene.

”I think a total of 200 to 225 would have been good. Only [Tillakaratne] Dilshan batted really well under pressure. We have to make sure we don’t repeat our mistakes in the remaining two games.”

Dilshan was the only Sri Lankan to defy the England attack as he top-scored with a gutsy 70, just one day after being dropped from the squad for next month’s tour of Australia.

He hit six fours in his 84-ball knock for his first half-century in 15 matches.

Swann earlier built on the efforts of Sidebottom and paceman Broad (2-26) to restrict the hosts to a modest total.

Sidebottom and Broad jolted Sri Lanka with four early wickets before Swann kept pressure in the middle overs.

Sri Lanka struggled to score freely against England’s pace-spin combination after electing to bat. They lost openers Upul Tharanga and Jayasuriya in Sidebottom’s opening spell before Broad struck in quick succession.

Broad took a wicket with his first delivery when he had Jayawardene (two) caught by Collingwood at point and then had Kumar Sangakkara (nine) caught behind.

Sangakkara ”walked” even though wicket-keeper Mustard and the bowler initially had not appealed.

England’s lead could prove to be decisive as rain threatens to play spoilsport at Colombo, venue for the next two matches on Wednesday and Saturday. — AFP



Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

Former spy boss Fraser objects to Zondo’s nomination as chief...

The former director general of intelligence’s character assassination of the deputy chief justice is straight out of the Zuma playbook

Special Investigating Unit to oppose efforts to reject Mkhize report

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize seeks relief to declare the SIU’s conduct against him ‘unlawful and unconstitutional

Bird flu outbreak on Dyer Island causing mass deaths

The island hosts the vulnerable African penguins, endangered bank cormorant and roseate tern

Countries bear cross-border responsibility for harmful effects of climate change,...

The UN committee has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on the children who filed a groundbreaking legal complaint with it against five countries

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…