The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Sri Lanka weathers Buttler assault to win 4th ODI by 7 runs vs England, force series decider

  • Print

LONDON - Sri Lanka weathered a brilliant knock of 121 by Jos Buttler to beat England by seven runs in the fourth one-day international and take the five-match series to a decider at 2-2.

Veteran left-hander Kumar Sangakkara struck 112 for his 19th ODI century as Sri Lanka posted 300-9 under sunny skies, setting England a tough target to clinch the series at Lord's.

The big-hitting Buttler came in with his team unraveling on 111-5 but took England to the brink of victory with a 61-ball century, sharing a sixth-wicket partnership of 133 with Ravi Bopara (51).

England required 12 off the last over but wily paceman Lasith Malinga took the wicket of Chris Jordan and then ran out Buttler, a typically masterful over of line and length giving him final figures of 3-52. England finished on 293-8.

"It was one of the best innings I've seen — Jos batted brilliantly," Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said. "But we saved the best till last and it's pretty hard to get (12) runs off Lasith Malinga. He is the man for us."

The fifth ODI at Edgbaston on Tuesday will settle an oscillating, unpredictable series that peaked at the home of cricket thanks to two superb innings from players at the opposite ends of the careers.

The 36-year-old Sangakkara hit some delightful, flourishing shots to the boundary, mainly through the off side, in his 104-ball knock that contained 14 fours.

He came to the middle following Kusal Perera's departure for 19 and shared a second-wicket stand of 172 with Tillakaratne Dilshan (71). They reached their half-centuries in consecutive deliveries before the ever-entertaining Dilshan tried his trademark "Dilscoop" — a paddle shot over his head and behind the wicketkeeper — three times in one over, picking up boundaries from two of them.

Dilshan succumbed to the same shot against James Anderson, however, when he bent down to scoop the ball over his shoulder, missed it and was bowled. Sangakkara's knock ended after advancing down the wicket to smash spinner James Tredwell, but missed the ball and got stumped.

Mahela Jayawardene's miserable series continued when he was dismissed by Harry Gurney (4-55) for 7, helping to slow Sri Lanka's scoring rate. But the tourists averaged 10 per over off the final four overs as they scrambled to the psychologically important 300-run mark.

In the third ODI in Manchester on Wednesday, the tourists had been skittled out for just 67.

Malinga removed Alastair Cook (1) and Ian Bell (7) inside the first 20 balls of England reply, and the hosts were further unstuck by losing Gary Ballance for 42 and Joe Root for 43, exposing the middle order.

Eoin Morgan's departure for 12 brought Buttler to the crease for what was one of the best ODI innings by an Englishman. He kissed his helmet when he reached his maiden ODI century — the fastest ever at Lord's — and went on to make the highest ODI score by an English wicketkeeper.

"That's the best I've ever played," Buttler said. "It's brilliant to play that well but it's disappointing not to get over the line. Me and Ravi just had some fun — we didn't think we could win, but that gave us a licence."

With five overs left, England required 56 but Buttler hit 19 off five balls from Ajantha Mendis in the 46th over to give the hosts renewed hope.

Malinga — arguably the best death bowler in cricket — shot down their chances, though, and kept the series alive.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling flaps his wings after taking a bath in the duck pond at St Vital Park Tuesday morning- - Day 21– June 12, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google