ICL: Indian Cricket League

England face record series loss against Sri Lanka


“Things can only get better” was the upbeat if unconvincing message from stand-in captain Andrew Strauss as England were left on the brink of their worst One-day International (ODI) series whitewash by yet another dominating Sri Lanka display.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s second hundred in as many matches was the cornerstone of his side’s 33-run win here at Old Trafford that put them 4-0 up in the five-match NatWest Series ahead of Saturday’s final match at Headingley.

England have been beaten 3-0 on several occasions in the past but the only time they’ve crashed by five defeats in a one-day campaign was when losing 6-1 away to South Africa in 1995-96.

All the failings that could scupper any hopes England have of winning next year’s World Cup in the Caribbean were on show again in Manchester, the bowlers delivering 21 wides between them and no batsman making 50, let alone a hundred.

England were, admittedly, without several injured first-choice players including regular captain Michael Vaughan (knee), talisman Andrew Flintoff (ankle), batsman Kevin Pietersen (knee) and all-rounder Paul Collingwood (thigh).

But while strength in depth remains a long-term concern, England’s performance at Old Trafford could not be explained by injuries alone. “It’s certainly frustrating,” Strauss said after a reverse on Wednesday which meant England had lost nine out of their last 10 ODIs against Test match opposition.

“We’ve identified the areas we need to improve and we haven’t improved them so far. We’ve got to bowl straighter and we need our batsmen to get hundreds like theirs have done - they (Sri Lanka) have got four in four games.

“There are a lot of guys in our squad who’ve got one game left to show what they can do.”

Based on current form, home fans may stay away and instead watch the England football team’s World Cup quarter-final against Portugal.

Source:The News

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