Malinga And Perera Lead Sri Lanka To Victory

Lasith Malinga worked his magic with the ball and Thisara Perera with the bat to see Sri Lanka defeat England by nine runs in the only T20 International on their tour of England at The Oval on Tuesday.  The Sri Lankan opening pair of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kusal Perera hit the ground running scoring nine runs off the first over.  They took their score to 24/0 before Dilshan (14) nicked one to the keeper handing the debutant Harry Gunery (1/43) his maiden T20 International wicket and bringing in the debutant Kithuruwan Vithanage.

The Islanders lost Perera (10) without adding to their score bringing in Lahiru Thirimanne.  The two new batsmen put on a 54 run partnership before Vithanage (38) was dismissed by Chris Woakes (1/31).  Vithanage was followed by Dinesh Chandimal who only managed seven runs with Sri Lanka on 85/4.  Angelo Mathews (13) joined Thirimanne (40) at the crease at put on a 37 run partnership to get their team to 122/5 before they both departed.

The Lankan Lions were brought home by the 42 run partnership by Nuwan Kulasekara (9 not out) and Thisara Perera (49) with their score on 183/7.

England lost the early wicket of Michael Carberry (7) off the bowling of Angelo Mathews (1/7).  Ian Bell was the next man in joining Alex Hales at the crease.  Bell managed 13 runs before he was caught at cover by Kusal Perera with their score on 45/2 and requiring a further 139 runs more to win.

The home side lost the wickets of Joe Root (5) and Eoin Morgan (5) to leave them at 85/3 requiring 99 runs to win.  Hales scored his seventh T20 International half century off 33 balls before Jos Buttler departed for 26 with their score on 124/5.  Malinga (3-28) castled the established Hales (66) followed by Chris Jordan to increase the woes of the English with their score on 158/7 requiring 26 runs off 9 balls.

Ravi Bopara (28 not out) and Woakes (1 not out) were the last men at the crease as they ended their 20 overs on 174/7 as Sri Lanka won by nine runs.  England and Sri Lanka begin the ODI Series on Thursday at The Oval.