Jos Buttler scored the fastest ever ODI hundred for England © Getty Images
Jos Buttler scored the fastest ever ODI hundred for England, but it was not enough to stave off defeat © Getty Images

 

May 31. 2014

 

Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara led a late charge that nearly helped England chase down a record 300 runs in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) match against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

 

After conceding a massive 300 for nine, England started on a very bad note as Alastair Cook and Ian Bell were both out early to leave England reeling at 10 for two in 3.2 overs. They might have lost a third wicket as well, as Gary Ballance was adjudged out caught behind, but he reviewed the decision and was found not out. Along with Joe Root, Ballance added 84 runs as both batsmen got to 40s before getting out in quick succession.

 

New man Eoin Morgan wasn’t able to last long enough, as he was stumped by Sangakkara off Senanayake for just 12 to leave England reeling at 111 for five. However, that brought Bopara and Buttler together, and they went on to score at a belligerent pace to record a tremendous 133-run stand in just over 15 overs. Bopara was dismissed for 51 off 47 balls with just one boundary.

 

Jos Buttler went on to score the fastest ever century for England in ODIs, off just 61 balls, beating Kevin Pietersen’s record of a hundred off 69 balls. Buttler scored at a tremendous rate, and took England to the brink of victory. However, with 12 runs needed off the last over bowled by Lasith Malinga, Buttler was run out as England fell agonizingly short by just seven runs.

 

Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara led the way for a big total with an innings of 112 runs from 104 balls. It was Sangakkara’s first international century at Lord’s. Sri Lanka started on a positive note, with opener Kusal Perera scoring at a fair clip. However, his fellow opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan struggled to get the ball off the blocks. Perera got to 19 off 14 balls with two boundaries and a six before edging Harry Gurney to Chris Jordan at slip. That brought in Sangakkara and a very productive period of play for Sri Lanka.

 

Initially, both Sangakkara and Dilshan were unable to score runs quickly. At the end of their 10 overs, Sri Lanka had managed only 45 runs for one wicket. Sangakkara took 12 balls to get off the mark, while Dilshan looked out of sorts. However, the pair kept scoring in ones and twos to go to 78 for one in 17 overs.

 

The 18th over, bowled by Joe Root, was the start of an accelerated period of play for Sri Lanka, as Sangakkara broke the shackles with three boundaries in the over. The pair managed to find boundaries regularly after that, as they then raced to 198 for one in the 36th over before Dilshan was bowled by James Anderson trying to play his trademark “Dilscoop.” He was dismissed for 71 off 109 balls with five boundaries.

 

Mahela Jayawardene came in to bat at the loss of Dilshan’s wicket. He looked a little rusty, as he scratched about for 13 balls before holing out to James Anderson off Harry Gurney. Kumar Sangakkara soon followed, stumped by Jos Buttler off James Tredwell for a typically attractive 112 off 104 balls. Sri Lanka lost wickets regularly after that, but Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne scored a few runs at the end to help Sri Lanka reach a challenging total in the end.

 

Earlier, England won the toss and elected to bowl first with an unchanged side. Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews mentioned that they would have liked to bowl first as well. Dinesh Chandimal and Rangana Herath missed out in favour of Kusal Perera and Ajantha Mendis.

 

Brief scores:

 

Sri Lanka 300 for 9 (Tillakaratne Dilshan 71, Kumar Sangakkara 112; Harry Gurney 4 for 55, James Anderson 2 for 60, Chris Jordan 2 for 67) beat England 292 for 8 (Gary Ballance 42, Joe Root 43, Ravi Bopara 51, Jos Buttler 121; Lasith Malinga 3 for 50, Ajantha Mendis 2 for 60) by 7 runs.

 

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