Mon, Oct 15, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Dilhara Fernando seals huge win for Sri Lanka


A devastating career-best spell of 6-27 by Dilhara Fernando propelled Sri Lanka to a massive 107-run win in the fifth and final limited-overs international against England on Saturday.

Sri Lanka still lost the series 3-2 to the visitors, but Saturday's win was enough to salvage some pride for the team.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat first but his batsmen played poorly and were bundled out for 211 in the 49th over.

Chasing a modest score, England soon crumbled in the face of hostile bowling led by Fernando to be dismissed for 104 runs in the 30th over.

"We are disappointed with the performance today, but one can't take any gloss out of what we have achieved," England skipper Paul Collingwood told reporters after the match.

"To win a series here, I am just delighted," he said.

England's limited-overs series win is their first in the island in 25 years.

Sri Lanka's captain Jayawardene said that his team accepted responsibility for loss of the series and thanked fans for their continuing support.

"As a team we showed character today. We did not play well, we accept responsibility but cricket is a sport and we can fail," he said.

Phil Mustard (1) was the first wicket for England with just three runs on the board edging left-arm seam bowler Chaminda Vaas to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.

Paceman Fernando entered the spree dismissing Ian Bell with a deceptive slow ball which the batsman spooned to Lasith Malinga at mid-on.

Alastair Cook made 28 before chasing a Fernando delivery away from the body and edging to Sangakkara.

Kevin Pietersen was the other notable scorer for the visitors with 28 runs scored off 25 balls. He was bowled by a yorker from Vaas.

England lost its last six wickets for 32 runs without much resistance, handing Sri Lanka a comfortable win.

Earlier, Sri Lanka's Chamara Silva waged a lone battle with 73 runs with English bowlers dominating with tight bowling and fielding. Pace bowler Stuart Broad grabbed three wickets for 36 runs to give the tourists the advantage at the break.

Sanath Jayasuriya batted positively and gave his side a brisk start but soon fell to a slow ball from paceman James Anderson, caught by Pietersen at mid-off for 26 runs.

Jayasuriya faced just 18 balls, hit two sixes and a boundary and combined with debutant Dilruwan Perera for a 45-run opening partnership.

Ryan Sidebottom struck twice in the 14th over, dismissing Perera for 30 and Jayawardene without scoring.

Perera edged an outswinger to wicketkeeper Mustard.

Three balls later Sidebottom deceived Jayawardene with a slow ball forcing a mistimed drive that was caught by Broad at mid-on.

Kumar Sangakkara's innings ended at 26 when off break bowler Owais Shah bowled him around his legs for 26. Tillakaratne Dilshan made just nine before falling run out.

Broad accounted for two late order wickets and that of Silva who was out ninth, caught in the deep by Anderson.

Silva faced 109 balls and hit nine fours in his innings as wickets fell regularly at the other end.

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