| Sri Lanka’s Dinusha Fernando takes a diving catch off his own bowling to dismiss England’s Andrew Strauss in Dambulla on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Dambulla: Sri Lanka dismissed England for their second-lowest total of 88 to win the first one-day International by 10 wickets here on Tuesday.
England, electing to take first strike on a seaming wicket, slumped to 67 for seven before the last-wicket pair of Ashley Giles and James Anderson guided them past their lowest one-day total of 86 against Australia two years ago.
Sri Lanka surpassed the easy target in the 14th over to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second and third matches will be played at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday and Sunday.
Openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana showed no signs of rustiness in Sri Lanka’s first international match since June by making light of England’s bowling.
Jayasuriya hammered an unbeaten 46 off 41 balls, studded with six boundaries and a six. Kaluwitharana returned with 36 off 42 balls containing seven hits to the fence.
Sri Lankan captain Maravan Atapattu was delighted at the quick finish in the first day-night match at the Rangiri International Stadium.
“I can’t ask for anything more,” he said. “Everyone knows how explosive our openers are and they showed it again today.
“I regretted losing the toss but there were no regrets afterwards. We bowled, fielded and batted superbly.”
England captain Michael Vaughan said: “I said it was going to be tough before the series but we didn’t expect it to be that tough.There are no excuses and we can’t blame anything. We just played very poorly.
“(Chaminda) Vaas proved he is very good in these conditions and we were never in the game after the first couple of overs. It will now be a big ask to bounce back from this in these conditions against a very experienced opposition — it will be a true test of character,” Vaughan added.
England, who swept both the Test and one-day series in Bangladesh, caved in against Sri Lanka’s new pace duo of Dinusha Fernando and Nuwan Kulasekara, although veteran Chaminda Vaas was the chief destroyer with three for 15.
Fernando began the rout by taking a return catch to dismiss debutant opener Andrew Strauss and then bowled Vaughan with one.
Vaas removed the other opener Marcus Trescothick and stopped Andrew Flintoff’s run of good scores as England slipped to 26 for four by the 13th over.
Vaas returned for his second spell to terminate the innings with the wicket of Giles.
Giles made 21, the second highest score after Paul Collingwood’s 31, as England struggled to put bat to ball in seaming conditions.
Kulasekara, making his debut along with Fernando, scalped Rikki Clarke and Ian Blackwell even as seasoned spinners Muttiah Muralidharan and Upul Chandana removed the lower order. (AFP)