16th over: Sri Lanka 123-5 (Shanaka 24, Hasaranga 29) Target 164 Jordan returns and Shanaka takes a single to Woakes at mid off, who misses with his shy. There’s then a kerfuffle over the seam, presumably because of the dew, while we learn that Mills has indeed got quad-knack. Two more singles follow and England won’t mind those, they just need to avoid boundaries, then Hasaranga chucks the bat to hoist two over the off side infield; the throw goes to Buttler, who hurls at the non-striker’s but can’t hit, and Hasaranga only goes and drives over mid off for four! He backs it up with a single, and Sri Lanka need 41 from 24 deliveries!
5.14pm GMT 17:14
15th over: Sri Lanka 113-5 (Shanaka 22, Hasaranga 21) Target 164 I wonder if Morgan would’ve had Livingstone finish off for Mills if he’d not bowled the previous over, but here he is again, ceding three dots from his first four balls – that’s a good effort because despite what I said earlier Sri Lanka are still just about in this and oooh yeah! Shanaka ambles down to devastate six over wide long on! A single follows, and Sri Lanka need 50 off 30!
5.09pm GMT 17:09
14th over: Sri Lanka 103-5 (Shanaka 14, Hasaranga 19) Target 164 Livingstone’s ability to bowl different varieties has Watson talking about David Warner spending a season of his youth batting righty, which is why his switch hit is basically a slog sweep. Anyhow, Hasaranga can bat, and he absolutely murders Mills’ first ball downtown for six! Mills is playing for his place here – his lefty angle is desirable, but he’s not as good as Wood, and following a single and a wide, Shanaka misses a glance around the corner, instead gloving just wide of Buttler’s dive and earning himself four. But what’s this? Mills is limping, absolute sake, looks like a quad situation, and that might be his tournament. I really hope not, he’s done and been through everything to get himself to this position, but that’s where we are and Woakes will finish off his over; that costs him one of his own, so he’s only got one left. Morgan took a while to decide on that, so he’s got a plan, and in the meantime, the three deliveries yield two singles.
5.01pm GMT 17:01
13th over: Sri Lanka 82-5 (Shanaka 9, Hasaranga 11) Target 164 “Jos Buttler, goodness me what a superstar he is,” says Watto, as Livingstone returns to the England attack and sees his first ball, short and wide like a Glaswegian child, cut hard to the fence for four. Still, though, his ability to bowl both off and leg breaks is pretty nifty, and his over yields seven; the required rate is now 10.71.
at 5.08pm GMT
4.57pm GMT 16:57
12th over: Sri Lanka 82-5 (Shanaka 8, Hasaranga 5) Target 164 Rashid returns to finish off yet another superb spell, after a single to each batter, Hasaranga lifts a nice shot over the top, but picks out the man at wide long on so only gets two. Next ball is punished down the ground, but Rashid extends a leg to turn a boundary into a dot and when his final delivery yields a single, he ends with 2-19 off his four. Bowling.
4.53pm GMT 16:53
11th over: Sri Lanka 77-5 (Shanaka 7, Hasaranga 1) Target 164 Hasaranga eases to third man to get himself away, but he knows what we all know: this is done.
4.52pm GMT 16:52
WICKET! Rajapakse c Roy b Woakes 26 (Sri Lanka 76-5)
Woakes tries a slower ball off-cutter and Rajapakse is through his shot too quickly … but it still takes a fine catch to dismiss him, Roy racing in and diving forwards.
at 4.52pm GMT
4.50pm GMT 16:50
11th over: Sri Lanka 76-4 (Rajapakse 26, Shanaka 7) Target 164 Woakes returns, and the sweat and humidity have done wonders for what’s already a tremendous head of hair. Less usually, Woakes could do with something here after being hit for six in his first over, then dropping that catch … and well! Rajapakse takes one that bounces over deep square for six, then when Woakes tries to go wide, hammers him through mid off for four!
4.45pm GMT 16:45
10th over: Sri Lanka 66-4 (Rajapaske 16, Shanaka 7) Target 164 Here we go, you need 106 from 66, now here’s Tymal Mills. Cricket, what a brute. Shanaka takes his first ball for a single to third man, then wears his next on the pad – there’s an appeal but it’s a matter of principle. So Mills digs deeper, getting himself up to 140kph, so Shanaka waits for him and glides four to deep backward point. He’s a worthy successor to Angelo Mathews in so many ways, and after a single to each batter, it’s drinks.
4.39pm GMT 16:39
9th over: Sri Lanka 58-4 (Rajapakse 15, Shanaka 1) Target 164 This is pretty much over, you’d think, and Shanaka can manage just a single from the two balls he faces, bunting one to cover to retain the strike.
at 4.52pm GMT
4.36pm GMT 16:36
WICKET! Aviksha lbw b Jordan 13 (Sri Lanka 57-4)
This is the deadest of dead, a full one that hits the bottom of the pad as Aviksha misses his sweep in front of middle.
4.35pm GMT 16:35
9th over: Sri Lanka 57-3 (Avishka 13, Rajapakse 15) Target 164 The required rate is over nine now but Morgan doesn’t allow Livingstone another over, recalling Jordan, who concedes one from his first ball and has Bairstow save a boundary from his second, tanking around the fence to dive brilliantly.
at 4.52pm GMT
4.32pm GMT 16:32
8th over: Sri Lanka 54-3 (Avishka 11, Rajapakse 14) Target 164 Rashid continues, and England know another tight one will really amp up the pressure, while Sri Lanka know that after this he’s only got one over left. And he nearly gets another! Rajapaske gets down on one knee to heave a sweep and Woakes is under it! He doesn’t drop them, but he loses the ball to begin with, running the wrong way, corrects and gets into position … then shells it! Goodness me, now I’ve seen everything, on which point I never thought I’d see Three Lions played between overs, and yet here we are.
at 4.52pm GMT
4.28pm GMT 16:28
7th over: Sri Lanka 50-3 (Avishka 8, Rajapakse 13) Target 164 Livingston and his little tweakers come into the attack, so the batters have a look, taking a single apiece off his first two balls, then Rajapaska decides he knows what’s what, skipping down to mash him over his head for six! Livingstone responds well enough, two singles ceded from the three remaining balls, and the required rate is now up to 8.76.
at 4.52pm GMT
4.23pm GMT 16:23
6th over: Sri Lanka 40-3 (Avishka 6, Rajapakse 5) Target 164 Sri Lanka are in terrible trouble now, but after Avishka takes a single, Rajapaske hammers over the top for four then adds a single to leg.
at 4.53pm GMT
4.20pm GMT 16:20
WICKET! Perera c Morgan b Rashid 7 (Sri Lanka 34-3)
Perera unloads the suitcase at a googly, sends up another steepler, and again it’s the captain making it his. He’s exactly the kind of mensch you want under a high ball.
at 4.21pm GMT
4.18pm GMT 16:18
5th over: Sri Lanka 34-2 (Perera 7, Avishka 5) Target 164 Morgan introduces Ceej to the attack, and after two dots, Aviksha monsters him through cover for four. I doubt Sri Lanka win here or even get close, but they’re setting about the chase in suitable fashion while Simon Doull asks Nasser when his son Joel’s birthday is and he doesn’t know. Other hand, my dad knows mine, but he didn’t furnish me with Test captain genes; England were also 34-2 off five.
“Random aside,” says AB Parker, “but the Yorkshire report into the racism suffered by Azim Rafiq called the P-word ‘banter’ and the panel accused Rafiq of using ‘offensive, racially derogatory comments’ when referring to a player of Zimbabwean heritage as ‘Zimbo from Zimbabwe’. The panel viewing this as a ‘racist, derogatory term’ is a disgrace. Hope there’s something on the website on it soon.”
I’m certain that’ll be the case.
at 4.19pm GMT
4.13pm GMT 16:13
4th over: Sri Lanka 28-2 (Perera 6, Avishka 0) Target 164 I’m just not having that Rashid isn’t England’s best Test spinner, and after Perera forces two to backward point, he befuddles him with a gorgeous googly; Perera, though, survives and sends the over’s final delivery around the corner for two more.
4.11pm GMT 16:11
WICKET! Asalanka c Ali b Rashid 21 (Sri Lanka 24-2)
Very good bowling from Rashid, who goes front of the hand again, enticing Asalanka down as the ball slides on, and he can’t get hold of it, sending one spiralling up towards mid off. Moeen duly runs over to snaffle the snaffle.
at 4.55pm GMT
4.09pm GMT 16:09
4th over: Sri Lanka 24-1 (Perera 2, Asalanka 21) Target 164 With Morgan presumably mindful of the dew situation, he tosses Rashid the ball; not a bad option at all and he beings with one out the front of the hand.
at 4.09pm GMT
4.07pm GMT 16:07
3rd over: Sri Lanka 24-1 (Perera 2, Asalanka 21) Target 164 The lefty, Perera is on strike so Moeen keeps at it, and after Perera takes one, Asalanka clatters a sweep for four … then does it again two balls later! This is terrific stuff and so much better than what we saw during the English summer! A single follows and Sri Lanka are up with the rate!
4.04pm GMT 16:04
2nd over: Sri Lanka 14-1 (Perera 1, Asalanka 12) Target 164 Chris Woakes is not what you want to see if you’re chasing a phat total, but well! Asalanka knows that something straight and back of a length is coming, so frees arms and smashes over midwicket, then edges an attempted swipe over the stumps and for four! Sri Lanka aren’t going to go quietly.
at 4.04pm GMT
4.01pm GMT 16:01
1st over: Sri Lanka 2-1 (Perera 0, Asalanka 1) Target 164 Shanaka did a great job in the first 10 overs, manipulating his bowlers, but he left Hasaranga until the game looked gone and for some reason asked for a fuller line. But that shouldn’t distract from a knock of terrifying certainty for Buttler, who waited to go until the time was right, knowing he could stay in and tick over in the meantime.
at 4.04pm GMT
3.58pm GMT 15:58
WICKET! Nissanka run out (Morgan/Buttler) 1 (Sri Lanka 1-1)
Pressure! That was a huge risk, but Perera didn’t feel he could turn it away and you feel him; you feel for him.
at 4.56pm GMT
3.57pm GMT 15:57
1st over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Nissanka 0, Perera 0) Nissanka shoves one into the on side then Perera tries to pinch one to the off … and Morgan’s throw allows Buttler to take off the bails! I think this is going to be gone!
at 4.01pm GMT
3.55pm GMT 15:55
Righto, I was about to wonder if England would start with spin, but there’s Moeen with the ball so that’s that one answered.
3.50pm GMT 15:50
Anyway, let’s try and process – I’ll be back in a few with Sri Lanka’s reply.
3.49pm GMT 15:49
Paul Collingwood tells Sky that after a few overs England reckoned 110 might be defendable, but Buttler has made that look ridiculous – as he has so many other things. Sri Lanka probably needed another spinner, though when you come up against genius sometimes you just have to accept whatever it serves you with.
3.47pm GMT 15:47
That will, you’d think, be enough for England, who are 20 or so runs over par. Sri Lanka might chase that down, but it’d take something amazing. Jos Buttler, though – the numbers won’t do it justice because they don’t tell you about the pitch, or about wickets falling around him, or about carrying his bat. Drink him in, because we’ll never see anyone like him again; we’re privileged to be living in his time.
3.45pm GMT 15:45
England finish on 163-4; Sri Lanka need 164 to beat them!
20th over: England 163-4 (Buttler 101, Ali 1) Buttler skips off side and scoops a full toss over fine leg for a one-bounce four; his ability to wield both rapier and broadsword is remarkable. A squirt to midwicket follows and they sprint two, then a heave becomes a top-edge and on the fine leg fence, Nisskana races in only to spill a chance that looked a lot harder before he got right underneath it. That leaves Buttler on 95; can he get his ton? He plays away two dots, turning down a single then missing with a reverse scoop, so it’ll need to come off Chameera’s final delivery … AND THERE IT ABSOLUTELY IS! JOSS BUTTLER YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE JOKE! A SICK JOKE, AND VERY, VERY POORLY!
at 4.49pm GMT
3.40pm GMT 15:40
19th over: England 149-4 (Buttler 86, Ali 1) England send in Moeen not Livingstone, presumably because he’s a good smasher of spin but also to keep the left/right combination. He gets off the mark with a turn to long on, then Buttler takes a single to deep square; his 87 is his highest in T20 internationals, but Sri Lanka will be pleased to have conceded just eight off the penultimate over even though a single from its final delivery keeps Buttler on strike.
at 3.46pm GMT
3.38pm GMT 15:38
WICKET! Morgan b Hasaranga 40 (England 147-4)
Hasaranga tries another googly but this time Morgan doesn’t come down, he waits to sweep, but misses by plenty and that’s the end of an knock the captain really needed.
3.37pm GMT 15:37
19th over: England 147-3 (Buttler 86, Morgan 40) Hasaranga returns – good luck old mate, rather you than me – and Morgan picks his googly, sashaying down the ground to smite six back over the bowler’s heed!
3.35pm GMT 15:35
18th over: England 141-3 (Buttler 86, Morgan 34) This has been a brilliantly understated innings from Buttler, without the pyrotechnics of Saturday but with everything his team needs. AND HAVE A LOOK! after Morgan takes one to cover, he violently swats a knuckle ball over midwicket for six, then clears pads and does it again to a slower ball over long on! That raises the hundred partnership, and when Shanaka tries a toe-crusher, Buttler skips leg side, waits, and somehow crafts four to fine leg! He is so, so good and two further singles mean 19 from the over. Sri Lanka have bowled pretty well today, but Buttler, whose 86 not out is the highest score of the tournament, has probably taken England out of sight in the second half of the innings.
3.30pm GMT 15:30
17th over: England 122-3 (Buttler 69, Morgan 32) Chameera returns and Morgan welcomes him to the crease in the classic style, pulling him high over square leg and onto the roof, baseball-style! Chameera, though, responds just about well enough, a single, a wide and a two following, Fernando doing a great job of running around the rope without stepping over it, cutting off Buttler’s drive. The final two deliveries yield two singles, but only just – Morgan takes on Shanaka at extra cover, who makes a fine stop and shies while sat on his buttocks, missing by a fraction. England will be pretty happy with where things are now.
“There’s a case surely for Morgan being as significant an England captain as Illingworth, Brearley, Gooch, Hussain, Vaughan, May or Jardine, despite having never had an important role in a test team,” says Chris Dale. “He’s professionalised the culture and expectations in the limited overs teams similar to how Gooch and Hussain did the Test team, and left more of an impact on English cricket than any of his Test captain contemporaries.”
I couldn’t agree more. His attitude and mentality have been a huge force for good – and possibly bad if we think about the wanton tossing of wickets we’ve seen in the longest format – but that’s not his fault.
3.23pm GMT 15:23
16th over: England 110-3 (Buttler 66, Morgan 24) So far, pin has been much more effective than pace, all the more so because the quicks have been going full, not into the pitch. I’m not sure England will make that error, nor that Woakes, Jordan and Rashid won’t bowl with more overall discipline, but in the meantime, Shanaka invites himself to have a go and it’s a good one, the over ceding just five.
3.19pm GMT 15:19
15th over: England 105-3 (Buttler 63, Morgan 22) Has Hasaranga bowled Morgan into form? Kumara returns and when he offers width, he disappears over extra cover and into the stands! A leg bye follows, taking the partnership to 55 off 55, then Buttler nudges towards the off side and when one appears in that zone, he zetzes it over long off for six! Sri Lanka are bowling a bit full here and the next delivery should get the treatment too, but Buttler doesn’t get all of another slower ball full-toss, making do with a single. Next comes a wide – I’d love to bet on what’s going to happen to the extra ball – and shonuff, after a single, Buttler makes room to hoist the third six of the over into the crowd at long off! The total increases by 22 and England are on the move!
3.13pm GMT 15:13
14th over: England 83-3 (Buttler 50, Morgan 15) Shanaka cleverly restores Hasaranga to the attack just as England are looking to speed things along. Morgan really needs to improve on his nine from 20, but after Buttler takes one to cover, he can only do likewise to long off. Buttler then flicks another one to backward square, raising his slowest-ever T20 50, and when Hasarange responds with a leg-side full-toss, even a man in Morgan’s form can’t miss out, the ball clouted to the fine leg fence. Two singles follow, and there’s a decent score out there for England now.
3.08pm GMT 15:08
13th over: England 75-3 (Buttler 48, Morgan 9) Hold tight! Karunaratne returns and Morgan takes one to midwicket, then Buttler steps back and punishes four to mid on … before absolutely carting a half-volley slower ball over the same area for six! He toe-ended that, but his hands are so intense that it made no difference – tangentially, I love the incongruity between his voice and his batting – and a flowing cover-drive adds two more to the total, then he jams down on what would’ve been a wide. They run one, making it 14 from the other, and here comes the charge.
3.04pm GMT 15:04
12th over: England 61-3 (Buttler 35, Morgan 8) I daresay Morgan will move things along soon – he needs to get runs or get out, all the more so given Buttler is in the anchor role now. But it takes the latter three balls to get off strike, forcing one to mid off, and Morgan just can’t get Theekshana away, allowing two dots before digging his final delivery down the ground for a single. Theekshana finishes with 4-13 off his four overs, a nifty spell.
at 3.04pm GMT
3.00pm GMT 15:00
11th over: England 59-3 (Buttler 34, Morgan 7) England are going to want at least another hundred here, which won’t be easily done. As with the great Australia sides, there’s always a chance that if one discipline goes badly, the other will redeem it, but in the meantime, Buttler clatters Kumara through cover for four, then fends off his hip for two more. Yup, England want to get this moving, and following a wide, Buttler sends an attempted yorker to deep square and hauls Morgan through for a tight two; two singles follow, and that’s 12 off the over – more than in the previous four combined.
at 3.04pm GMT
2.51pm GMT 14:51
10th over: England 47-3 (Buttler 24, Morgan 6) In commentary, they wonder if Moeen should’ve come in above Morgan, given the form differential. But I guess England need their skipper in the runs, and after another over, bowled by Theekshana, yields just three runs, Athers asks Watto about playing for Micky Arthur, Sri Lanka coach, and whether he’s done his homework. There’s laughter, but no detail, which is a shame. Drinks.
“Watched a short profile of Hasaranga on TV prior to the match,” says Colum Fordham, “and he really is a find for Sri Lanka. I was impressed by the fact that his googly is hard to read (as Roy has just found out to his cost). I think batting first is a good test for England for later in the tournament – presuming we get there.”
Yup, he was good in the summer too. If Sri Lanka can keep bowling tightly, they’ll be one good knock away from a win.
2.47pm GMT 14:47
9th over: England 44-3 (Buttler 22, Morgan 5) Buttler nurdles one more to leg, and that’s another exceedingly useful over, just three singles from it. England will want to get a wriggle on.
2.47pm GMT 14:47
REVIEW: NOT OUT!
Buttler shuffled across just enough, so that it was umpire’s call on impact and bouncing over the stumps – ok, ok, sometimes it happens.
2.46pm GMT 14:46
9th over: England 31-3 (Buttler 21, Morgan 5) I meant to say earlier, England are in red trousers – a fitting tribute to the MCC – but also because Sri Lanka are in blue, and it’s against the rules for strides to clash. Shanaka introduces Karunaratne to his attack as Watto explains that if you hit the pitch, you know the ball won’t bounce much higher than the stumps so bowlers are in the game. His first three balls yield two singles, then Buttler shuffles across and misses a twizzle to leg. The appeal is rejected, but Shanaka reviews again!