Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten 105 saw Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory in the third one-day international against England at Lord’s in London on Sunday as the tourists took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Sri Lanka, chasing 247, finished on 249 for four.
Chadimal secured the win, with 10 balls to spare, after flamboyantly going down on one knee to carve James Anderson over cover for four.
His innings was the 21-year-old Chandinal’s second century in just six matches at this level and meant he had converted both his fifties into hundreds.
England’s total of 246 for seven, which featured captain Alastair Cook’s career-best 119, never looked enough.
The hosts’ score was put into perspective by a Sri Lankan second-wicket stand of 112 between Chandimal and opener Mahela Jayawardene, who made 79.
There was a bizarre end to the match as Angelo Mathews, who took 21 balls for his one not out, ‘nursed’ Chandimal to his century.
Chandimal eventually went to his hundred in style, hoisting Tim Bresnan for six over long-on to completed a 123 ball-century, with two sixes and 10 fours.
“I did well because I just played my normal game,” said man-of-the-match Chandimal. “I thank my captain and team-mates for their support.”
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, who appeared agitated as Mathews refused easy potential runs, added: “I was a little tense at the end, but they are youngsters, they are learning, and I’m happy with them.
“The important thing for Chandimal was that he won the game for us. We are very confident after the last two games and looking forward to winning the series.”
A dejected Cook said: “We kept losing wickets at the wrong time, we always seemed to be rebuilding. It’s always nice to score runs, but disappointing to do it in a losing cause.”
Jayawardene, whose career-best 144 set-up Sri Lanka’s 69-run win at Headingley on Friday, was again in superb touch.
He uppercut Anderson for four in the first over of the tourists’ reply before Dilshan was bowled for three by medium-pacer Bresnan.
Meanwhile an increasingly confident Chandimal audaciously flicked seamer Jade Dernbach over his shoulder for four and then thrashed him wide of midwicket for another boundary.
Jayawardene was on course for back-to-back hundreds when he cut a Dernbach long-hop straight to Eoin Morgan at point.
In all he faced 77 balls with nine fours.
Chandimal gave just the one chance, on 92, when leaping wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter dropped an intended ‘scoop’ shot.
Earlier, a fine Sri Lanka bowling effort saw leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis and seamers Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal all take two wickets apiece.
England’s total would have been far worse had left-handed opener Cook not been dropped on 15 by Jayawardene at slip.
No other England batsman made more than Kevin Pietersen’s 41 in an innings where a top-order collapse saw the hosts slump to 85 for four.
Cook was run out going for a bye by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.
In all he faced 143 balls with 13 fours.
This was only the 26-year-old Cook’s second century in 29 ODI innings and his highest, surpassing the 102 made against India at Southampton in 2007.
Cook, having seen England well beaten when he won the toss and fielded at Headingley, opted to bat first at Lord’s.
But England had as much trouble setting a competitive total as they had endured chasing one 48 hours earlier in Leeds.
Pietersen dominated a third wicket stand of 49, of which Cook’s share was just seven, before Mendis checked England’s recovery.
First he induced Pietersen, who faced just 43 balls, to sky a sweep to Suraj Randiv at deep square leg and then had Morgan lbw for four.
The series continues at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
A. Cook run out (Sangakkara) 119
C. Kieswetter c Lakmal b Malinga 3
J. Trott c Dilshan b Lakmal 2
K. Pietersen c Randiv b Mendis 41
E. Morgan lbw b Mendis 4
I. Bell c Kulasekara b Lakmal 30
T. Bresnan b Malinga 26
S. Broad not out 1
G. Swann not out 11
Extras (b4, w5) 9
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 246
Did not bat: J Anderson, J Dernbach
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Kieswetter), 2-30 (Trott), 3-79 (Pietersen), 4-85 (Morgan), 5-157 (Bell), 6-232 (Cook), 7-237 (Bresnan)
Bowling: Mathews 1-0-4-0; Malinga 10-1-54-2 (1w); Kulasekara 10-1-40-0 (3w); Lakmal 10-0-62-2 (1w); Mendis 10-0-40-2; Randiv 8-0-33-0; Kandamby 1-0-9-0
M. Jayawardene c Morgan b Dernbach 79
T. Dilshan b Bresnan 3
D. Chandimal not out 105
K. Sangakkara c Morgan b Swann 25
T. Kandamby lbw b Swann 11
A. Mathews not out 1
Extras (lb7, w18) 25
Total (4 wkts, 48.2 overs) 249
Did not bat: J Mendis, N Kulasekera, S Lakmal, S Randiv, L Malinga
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Dilshan), 2-133 (Jayawardene), 3-194 (Sangakkara), 4-230 (Kandamby)
Bowling: Anderson 9.2-0-55-0 (1w); Bresnan 9-0-48-1; Broad 10-0-52-0 (8w); Dernbach 10-2-55-1 (8w); Swann 10-0-32-2 (1w);
Result: Sri Lanka won by six wickets
Man-of-the-match: Dinesh Chandimal (SRI)
Series: Sri Lanka lead five-match series 2-1
Jul 06: 4th ODI, Trent Bridge (d/n)
Jul 09: 5th ODI, Old Trafford
Jun 28: 1st ODI, The Oval: England won by 110 runs (D/L method)
Jul 01: 2nd ODI, Headingley: Sri Lanka won by 69 runs
Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL) and Nigel Llong (ENG)
TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)
Match referee: Alan Hurst (AUS)
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