Home Sports News Curran stars as England beat Sri Lanka again

Curran stars as England beat Sri Lanka again


England comfortably beat Sri Lanka again in the second one-day international at The Oval to clinch the series with a game to spare.

Sam Curran took 5-48 – his first five-wicket haul for England – as the hosts restricted Sri Lanka to 241-9 from 50 overs.

Curran took three wickets in his first two overs and, at 21-4, Sri Lanka were in danger of being dismissed before many of the 14,000-strong Oval crowd had taken their seats.

Dhananjaya de Silva rescued the hosts with a run-a-ball 91 but England still cruised to their target with seven overs and eight wickets to spare on a flat pitch.

Jason Roy, fit again after a hamstring niggle, hit 60 from 52 balls, sharing an opening stand of 76 with Jonny Bairstow.

The Surrey right-hander clubbed seamer Chamika Karunaratne to mid-wicket in the 18th over but England were well ahead of the required rate and Joe Root (75*) and Eoin Morgan (68*) eased them to victory with a chanceless unbroken stand of 140.

It sealed a fifth heavy defeat for Sri Lanka in five matches on this white-ball tour – these ODIs following a dominant 3-0 win for England in the Twenty20 series.

The final ODI takes place in Bristol on Sunday.

  • Reaction from England’s win at The Oval

Landmark moment for Curran on home ground

Curran has become such a regular in England sides across all formats that it is a surprise a first five-wicket haul has taken until his 47th international.

Handed the new ball in the absence of injured Jofra Archer and rested Chris Woakes, he found swing targeted the stumps and had Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando lbw within his first four balls, for 0 and two respectively, and bowled Pathum Nissanka through the gate an over later.

The 23-year-old returned later in the innings and bowled short, claiming the wickets of Wanindu Hasaranga and Karunaratne with bouncers.

When Karunaratne edged a pull through to Bairstow for Curran’s fifth, the left-armer looked to the sky and celebrated with his arms wide. He looked relieved and was soon given hugs by brother Tom and his other team-mates.

“Walking off he said ‘welcome to the club’ so that was quite a cool feeling from the big brother to get that tap on the back,” Curran said of Tom, who took 5-35 against Australia in 2018.

Some of the crowd, increased to 50% capacity as part of the government’s pilot programme, were bowing as Surrey’s Curran took the applause on his home ground.

England comfortable despite Dhananjaya knock

Joe Root and Eoin Morgan celebrate
England are top of the ICC Super League, which acts as qualifying for the next World Cup, while Sri Lanka are bottom

Sri Lanka did not reach 130 in any of the three T20s and were dismissed for 185 in the first ODI in Chester-le-Street on Tuesday. Dhananjaya at least ensured they passed that total despite another inept start.

His knock was impressive, featuring cover drives off the pace of Mark Wood, pulls through mid-wicket and touch shots down to third man.

Batting at number four, he put on 65 with Hasaranga and 78 with Dasun Shanaka, who made 47 at number seven, before pulling to deep square leg nine short of a maiden ODI ton off the bowling of David Willey (4-64).

It showed this Sri Lanka team, currently bottom of the Super League table which acts as qualifying for the next World Cup, has fight but their score was probably 100 short of troubling England.

The ease of the chase left The Oval crowd uncharacteristically becalmed despite the game being the first at the London ground since the fifth Ashes Test in 2019.

The knocks of Roy and Morgan were timely though. It was only Roy’s second ODI fifty since the 2019 World Cup semi-final while Morgan ended a run of 15 innings without a fifty across ODIs and T20s.

‘The gap between the sides is widening’ – reaction

England captain Eoin Morgan: “It was a good day all round. As a captain I don’t think massively about my batting. Today it was nice to get some time in the middle and hopefully the runs continue.”

England’s Sam Curran: “It was awesome to pick up some wickets on my home ground with my brother and another Surrey player in Jason Roy too.”

Former Sri Lanka batter Russel Arnold: “It was pretty much the same story again from Sri Lanka. Whatever confidence they might have had went during England’s innings.

“They will feel pretty deflated having not really put up a fight. The gap between the sides is widening rather than closing up.”