COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s top-order batsmen put up a solid display and were ably aided by their bowlers to help their side thump England by 219 runs for the touring side’s worst one-day international loss by runs in the rain-shortened fifth and final match on Tuesday.
England had come into the match with an unassailable 3-0 series lead and opted to make three changes to their bowling attack with regular captain Eoin Morgan also resting himself and handing the reins to Jos Buttler.
The weakened bowling attack seemed to have aided Sri Lanka as they put up a massive 366-6, buoyed by quickfire half-centuries from their top four batsmen, after winning the toss and opting to bat.
Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera then took three wickets in his opening spell to derail England’s chase while Akila Dananjaya spun a web around their middle and lower order batsmen to restrict the touring side to 132-9 before rain put an end to their misery.
England were 219 runs behind Sri Lanka at that stage under the Duckworth Lewis scoring method which is used in rain-shortened fixtures. England’s worst margin of defeat in the 50-over format previously was 165 runs.
Dananjaya was the most successful bowler for the hosts with 4-19 while Chameera, who came into the side for Lasith Malinga, took 3-20.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was limping during the latter part of his knock after being hit on his knee by a delivery while batting, scored 67.
Earlier, Niroshan Dickwella top-scored with 95 and added 137 with opening partner Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made 54 for his maiden half-century, to set the tone for the Sri Lankan innings.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal then notched up 80 while number four Kusal Mendis ended a run of low scores with a 56, the duo adding 102 for the third wicket.
England drafted in pace bowlers Liam Plunkett, Sam Curran and Mark Wood in the side for Morgan, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone. It was the first time the Curran brothers - Sam and Tom - were making their England appearance together.
The two sides will next play a lone Twenty20 match on Saturday before a three-test series starts in Galle from Nov. 6.
Sri Lanka 1st innings
Niroshan Dickwella c Joe Root b Moeen Ali 95
Sadeera Samarawickrama b Moeen Ali 54
Dinesh Chandimal c Jason Roy b Tom Curran 80
Kusal Mendis c Ben Stokes b Liam Plunkett 56
Dasun Shanaka c Jason Roy b Adil Rashid 18
Thisara Perera c Alex Hales b Tom Curran 11
Dhananjaya de Silva Not Out 19
Akila Dananjaya Not Out 18
Extras 4b 3lb 0nb 0pen 8w 15
Total (50.0 overs) 366-6
Fall of Wickets : 1-137 Samarawickrama, 2-168 Dickwella, 3-270 Mendis, 4-300 Shanaka, 5-328 Chandimal, 6-328 Perera
Did Not Bat : Chameera, Rajitha, Sandakan
Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex
Mark Wood 8 0 55 0 6.88 5w
Sam Curran 6 0 46 0 7.67
Tom Curran 8 0 71 2 8.88
Moeen Ali 8 0 57 2 7.12 1w
Adil Rashid 10 0 52 1 5.20
Liam Plunkett 5 0 44 1 8.80 1w
Ben Stokes 5 0 34 0 6.80 1w
England 1st innings
Jason Roy b Kasun Rajitha 4
Alex Hales c Kusal Mendis b Dushmantha Chameera 0
Joe Root c Sadeera Samarawickrama b Dushmantha Chameera 10
Jos Buttler c Niroshan Dickwella b Dushmantha Chameera 0
Ben Stokes c Thisara Perera b Akila Dananjaya 67
Moeen Ali c Dinesh Chandimal b Akila Dananjaya 37
Sam Curran c Lakshan Sandakan b Dhananjaya de Silva 2
Adil Rashid b Akila Dananjaya 4
Liam Plunkett lbw Akila Dananjaya 5
Tom Curran Not Out 1
Extras 0b 1lb 0nb 0pen 1w 2
Total (26.1 overs) 132-9
Fall of Wickets : 1-4 Roy, 2-4 Hales, 3-4 Buttler, 4-28 Root, 5-107 Ali, 6-121 Curran, 7-122 Stokes, 8-129 Rashid, 9-132 Plunkett
Did Not Bat : Wood
Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex
Kasun Rajitha 5 0 21 1 4.20
Dushmantha Chameera 6 0 20 3 3.33 1w
Thisara Perera 2 0 18 0 9.00
Dhananjaya de Silva 4 0 18 1 4.50
Akila Dananjaya 6.1 0 19 4 3.08
Lakshan Sandakan 3 0 35 0 11.67
Umpire Aleem Dar
Umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge
Video Paul Reiffel
Match Referee Richard Richardson