England overcome Sri Lanka; Cook banned

England's captain Alastair Cook and team-mate Eoin Morgan (L). — Reuters/File

HAMBANTOTA: England captain Alastair Cook was on Thurs­day suspended for one match and fined 20 percent of his undisclosed match fees for his team’s slow over-rate in the third One-day International against Sri Lanka.

Match referee David Boon ruled that England bowled one over short in the stipulated time frame during Wednesday’s rain-curtailed game in Hambantota which the tourists won by five wickets.

Cook will miss Sunday’s fourth match in Colombo with Sri Lanka leading 2-1 in the seven-match series. Eoin Morgan will take over as captain for the game, England coach Peter Moores confirmed.

It was the second time in the last 12 months that Cook had been found guilty of the ‘minor over-rate offence’, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement.

Cook was also in charge in similar circumstances against India at Cardiff last summer, and two such offences in any 12-month period bring a mandatory one-match ban.

“Cook pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing,” the ICC statement added.

The rest of the team was fined 10 percent of their match fees.

Left-handed Cook has scored just 66 runs in the first three matches, leading to calls from former England players like Kevin Pietersen and Ian Botham for him to step down.

“It’s a shame for Alastair. I thought he played beautifully last night... he timed the ball really well,” said Moores. “But one thing is that it cleans the slate for him, before we go to a World Cup - because he had that ban hanging over him, if he had one more time slow on our over-rate.”

Chasing a revised target of 236 from 35 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, England got off to a fast start with Moeen Ali (58) flaying the Lankan attack before a typical mid-innings wobble.

But Jos Buttler blasted a quickfire 55 not out and added 84 runs off 64 balls with Joe Root (48 not out) to see the touring side home with eight balls remaining.

Free-scoring Moeen led England’s reply, adding 84 runs with his captain Alastair Cook (34) and the visitors reached the 100-mark in the 14th over.

Even the balls Moeen did not quite middle raced to the boundary and it took an almighty mix-up with Hales to send him back.

Non-striker Hales initially agreed to a single before changing his mind, cutting short Moeen’s 40-ball blitz which included five sixes and two fours.

The needless run-out threatened to turn the match on its head as England lost three quick wickets before Buttler and Root mixed caution with aggression to see them home.

Scoreboard

SRI LANKA:

T.M. Dilshan c Buttler b Finn 23
M.D.K.J. Perera c Morgan b Woakes 0
K.C. Sangakkara c Moeen b Jordan 63
S.H.T. Kandamby c Jordan b Woakes 0
A.D. Mathews c Buttler b Jordan 37
H.D.R.L. Thirimanne not out 62
B.M.A.J. Mendis c Finn b Root 12
N.L.T.C. Perera c Moeen b Woakes 8
K.T.G.D. Prasad st Buttler b Bopara 21
H.M.R.K.B. Herath not out 2
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-10) 14
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 35 overs) 242
FALL OF WKTS: 1-6, 2-30, 3-31, 4-118, 5-150, 6-175, 7-202, 8-233.
DID NOT BAT: B.A.W. Mendis.
BOWLING: Finn 7-0-42-1; Woakes 7-0-41-3 (1w); Moeen Ali 7-0-36-0 (3w); Jordan 7-0-46-2 (2w); Bopara 3-0-24-1 (2w); Stokes 2-0-28-0 (1w); Root 2-0-21-1 (1w).

ENGLAND:

A.N. Cook c Sangakkara b Prasad 34
Moeen Ali run out 58
A.D. Hales c A. Mendis b Mathews 27
J.E. Root not out 48
R.S. Bopara c Sangakkara b Herath 6
E.J.G. Morgan c T. Perera b Mathews 1
J.C. Buttler not out 55
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-5, NB-1) 7
TOTAL (for five wkts, 33.4 overs) 236
FALL OF WKTS: 1-84, 2-103, 3-144, 4-151, 5-152.
DID NOT BAT: B.A. Stokes, C.R. Woakes, C.J. Jordan, S.T. Finn.
BOWLING: Mathews 7-0-34-2; Dilshan 4-0-31-0; N.L.T.C. Perera 3-0-18-0 (1w); B.A.W. Mendis 5.4-0-53-0 (1w); B.M.A.J. Mendis 2-0-9-0; Prasad 6-0-49-1 (1nb, 2w); Herath 6-0-41-1 (1w).

RESULT: England won by five wickets (D/L method).
UMPIRES: R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka) and S.D. Fry (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: S.J. Davis (Australia).
MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).

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