Sri Lanka V England, England in Sri Lanka Series, Match Three, 3rd February 2006 in Katunayake.

Report from

Sri Lank deservedly won the final match by 17 runs to leave England 2-1 winners in the series.

England made several changes giving first caps to Dan Field, who kept wicket, and Hassan Khan. An injury to Andy Powers meant that Dan Field batted in the top six. Sam Murray was entrusted with bowling first change in his first bowl in an international match.

The younger players acquitted themselves well and England took many positives from this match.

For the third time the team winning the toss chose to chase a total. Boundaries were hard to come by due to the long boundary and the rough outfield. This resulted in modest totals compared to the previous games.

Swanepoel and Townley opened the bowling steadily and Sam Murray was not overawed by the occasion, bowling the accomplished Kumara

Jayawardana followed up his 95 and 111 with a modest 39 and vice captain Samarasinge hung around for a long time for 42 before retiring hurt. Tight bowling from Rory Field and Swanepoel restricted Sri Lanka to 34 off the last 5 overs checking their familiar late surge.

Pickup and Seal sustained injuries during a disciplined England fielding performance bringing on reserves Greenhill and Northwood.

When England batted Foy fell in the 11th over after a steady start. With wickets falling regularly and Rory Field retiring hurt after another substantial innings the lower order batsmen faced an uphill task resulting in five run outs. Rory Field returned at the end but England were well short. With only 8 boundaries and the early dismissal of Foy England did well to keep up with the required run rate until late on. The Sri Lankans bowled economically and fielded as impressively as ever.

After the match trophies were presented to the players and officials and a magnificent trophy was presented to Heindrich Swanepoel as the series-winning captain. In his speech he expressed the views of all present that the series had been played in a friendly and competitive manner.

England had been entertained the previous evening by the Sri Lankan team at a magnificent meal and the teams look forward to meeting in the World Cup in December 2006 in South Africa.

Many questions about the composition of the squad were answered and if they can overcome the problems of stepping straight from an English winter into hot humid weather they should fancy their chances in the World Cup.

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