A hugely eventful Jason Roy innings set England on their way to a 30-run win over Sri Lanka in their rain-affected Twenty20 international on Saturday.
By the time the weather disrupted play just over midway through England’s innings, Roy had been at the centre of several flashpoints en route to a knock of 69 off just 36 balls.
And while the England opener was far from assured at times in a bizarre display from both sides, his efforts proved enough to carry the tourists to a respectable 187-8.
The Sri Lankan response was simply too slow and Joe Denly’s four wickets – in his first international for eight years – ensured England retained the upper hand.
The hosts were limited to 157 in reply as Denly saw them bowled out with the final delivery.
Roy made a superb start with a series of early boundaries before surviving a mix-up in the third over when a throw hit the Surrey batsman as he dashed back to his crease, preventing a seemingly inevitable run out.
An opening partnership of 41 was ended as Jos Buttler chipped to Dinesh Chandimal, with Alex Hales soon following for a very harsh lbw call that Roy advised against appealing.
Another mix-up saw Roy endure the wrath of Eoin Morgan when the captain, stranded by his partner, was brilliantly run out by Lakshan Sandakan’s close-range throw.
But Roy kept chipping away as he somehow clung onto his wicket, seeing two seemingly simple catches dropped near the boundary either side of another big six.
The 28-year-old’s luck finally ran out after successive maximums as he directed a thin edge into Niroshan Dickwella’s waiting hands, but any Sri Lankan momentum was checked by a pause for light rain.
Ben Stokes (26) kept England ticking over when play resumed, partnering Moeen Ali (27) and Denly (20) to good effect before the latter and the Durham all-rounder departed in consecutive deliveries.
England tailed away as the innings reached its close, but Denly (4-19) made early inroads with the ball, taking out Kusal Mendis and Dickwella within the first three overs.
Adil Rashid (3-11) picked up the baton to remove Chandimal (26), debutant Kamindu Mendis (24) and Dhananjaya de Silva (17), Sri Lanka looking set to fall well short of the required target.
Liam Plunkett ripped out Dasun Shanaka’s middle stump just as Sri Lanka belatedly did look to be building momentum, although Thisara Perera (57) was able to edge to a half-century.
Chris Jordan came in to take a pair of wickets and then, with Sri Lanka already beaten, Denly ended the evening in style as he accounted for Thisara and Lasith Malinga in the final over.
First Published: Oct 28, 2018 00:38 IST
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