Fri, Dec 05, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Ali inspires England win over Sri Lanka


England opening batsman Moeen Ali follows through after a shot during their game against Sri Lanka in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Opener Moeen Ali hit a dazzling 58 off 40 deliveries to inspire England to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the rain-affected third one-day international in Hambantota on Wednesday.

The tourists, chasing a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 236 in 35 overs, cruised home with eight deliveries to spare to record their first win in the seven-match series.

Kumar Sangakkara became only the fourth batsman in history to surpass 13,000 one-day runs as Sri Lanka scored 242-8 in a game reduced to 35 overs-a-side when heavy rain interrupted play after just two overs.

The 37-year-old left-hander reached the landmark when he took a single off Chris Woakes to move to 13 and celebrated by top-scoring with 63 in the innings.

Sangakkara now lies behind three retired batsmen in the all-time list led by Sachin Tendulkar of India, who made 18,426 runs in 463 ODI matches.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has 13,704 runs in 375 ODI matches and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka has 13,430 runs in 445 games.

Sangakkara, who made his international debut in 2000, is also just 12 runs short of completing 12,000 Test runs. He has made 11,988 runs in 128 Tests.

Ali smashed five sixes and two boundaries at the top of the order, before Joe Root and Jos Buttler put on a match-winning stand of 84 off 64 deliveries for the unbroken sixth wicket.

Buttler hit 55 off 37 and Root chipped in with a run-a-ball 48 after the tourists had lost half their side by the 24th over for 152 runs.

Skipper Alastair Cook contributed 34 in an opening stand of 84 with Ali before he was dismissed in the 12th over, caught by Sangakkara off seamer Dhammika Prasad.

The run out of Ali in the 15th over following a mix-up with Alex Hales triggered a collapse in which England lost four key wickets for just 49 runs.

However, Root and Buttler stepped in to turn the game around in dramatic fashion as the Sri Lanka bowling wilted under their assault.

Sri Lanka were without senior batsman Mahela Jayawardene, who is not playing due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Thilina Kandamby.

Players wore black armbands to mourn Australia batsman Phil Hughes, whose funeral took place earlier in the day.

Hughes died in Sydney on Thursday last week from injuries sustained after being hit by a rising ball during a domestic match.

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