Thisara Perera scored 49 to power Sri Lanka to 183 while Lasith Malinga picked three for 28 to stifle England's chase © Getty Images
Thisara Perera scored 49 to power Sri Lanka to 183 while Lasith Malinga picked three for 28 to stifle England’s chase © Getty Images

 

by Julian Guyer

 

London: May 20, 2014

 

Thisara Perera starred with both bat and ball as Sri Lanka gained revenge for their ICC World Twenty20 2014 defeat to England with a nine-run win at The Oval on Tuesday. Man-of-the-match Perera made a rapid 49 in World T20 champions Sri Lanka’s 183 for seven and then captured the important wicket of England captain Eoin Morgan under the floodlights.

 

On their way to winning this year’s World T20 in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka suffered a six-wicket loss to England in the group stage in March. That match saw Alex Hales become the first England batsman to score a Twenty20 international hundred. But this time around his 66, albeit off 41 balls with seven fours and two sixes, was not enough to take England to victory.

 

England saw opener Michael Carberry, making his Twenty20 international debut, Ian Bell, playing his first match at this level for three years, Joe Root and Morgan all fall cheaply as Hales looked on from the other end. The big-hitting Nottinghamshire opener kept going until he was clean bowled by Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga, hitting across the line, England were then 139 for six in the 17th over.

 

Malinga, widely regarded as the world’s leading T20 bowler, proved tough to get away in taking three for 28 with his distinctive ‘slingshot’ deliveries. And a target of 24 off the last over, bowled by Suranga Lakmal, proved too much for Ravi Bopara, who finished on 28 not out.

 

Sri Lanka, after losing the toss in overcast conditions, saw both openers depart with the score on 24. Nottinghamshire left-arm paceman Harry Gurney needed just four balls of his T20 International debut to take a wicket. Gurney bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan (14) with a fine delivery that clipped the top of off-stump and went on to lead the attack with impressive figures of two for 26 from four overs.

 

Dilshan’s fellow opener Kusal Perera (10) exited when he clipped Chris Jordan straight to Bopara at short fine leg. Left-handers Kithuruwan Vithanage (38) and Lahiru Thirimanne (40) repaired the damage with a third-wicket stand of 54.Vithanage in particular got Sri Lanka going again with three fours, all behind square on the offside, in as many balls off medium-pacer Bopara.

 

Both of Sri Lanka’s leading batsmen in the innings were reprieved courtesy of dropped catches. Thisara Perera was put down on 20 by Carberry as Morgan also converged on a skyer. Thirimanne had made just 14 when he was missed at point by Jordan, although it was a sharp chance. He eventually fell when he struck a full toss from Gurney to mid-wicket.

 

Thisara Perera’s reprieve proved particularly costly for seamer Jordan, who saw the big-hitting left-hander smash his final four deliveries for 22 runs. He was run out by Gurney off the last ball of the innings, having faced just 20 balls with seven fours and two sixes. England and Sri Lanka return to The Oval on Thursday for the first of five One-Day Internationals (ODIs), with the teams also playing a two-Test series in June.

 

Brief scores:

 

Sri Lanka 183 for 7 in 20 overs (Kithuruwan Vithanage 38, Lahiru Thirimanne 40, Thisara Perera 49; Harry Gurney 2 for 26) beat England 174 for 7 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 66, Ravi Bopara 28; Lasith Malinga 3 for 28) by 9 runs.

 

Man of the Match: Thisara Perera.

 

Full Scorecard