Rampant Roy ensures England seal series


Jason Roy fell just five runs short of England's highest individual score in one-day internationals as Eoin Morgan's men thumped Sri Lanka by six wickets at The Oval to secure a series victory.

After struggling with the bat at Edgbaston and Bristol, Sri Lanka looked to have asked a lot of their hosts on Wednesday when they posted 305-5 in a contest reduced to 42 overs a side by afternoon rain.

However, a revised target of 308 proved well within England's reach as Roy raced to 162 from just 118 deliveries on his home ground, his second hundred in three games.

The Surrey batsman looked set to surpass Robin Smith's record score of 167 not out, set against Australia at Edgbaston in 1993, only to be bowled by Nuwan Pradeep with the winning line in sight.

England duly eased home with 11 balls unused to move 2-0 up in the five-match rubber ahead of Saturday's final ODI in Cardiff.

Following the early departure of Moeen Ali, promoted to open due to Alex Hales suffering back stiffness, Roy shared 149 for the second wicket with Joe Root, who enjoyed a welcome return to form with 65.

Roy brought up his 50 from 39 deliveries - a feat subsequently matched by Root - before moving into overdrive as England thrashed 43 runs from overs 11 to 13.

Danushka Gunathilaka - one of four Sri Lankan half-centurions with the bat along with Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews - eventually dismissed Root and then took a sensational diving catch at gully to remove Eoin Morgan (22).

Yet England were firmly in control by that stage and, although Roy was unable to surpass Smith, an emphatic win was completed as Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler finished unbeaten on 29 and 17 respectively.

Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera cheaply after being inserted, but Mendis hit 13 fours in his 77 and Gunathilaka (62) also impressed, only for both men to fall in quick succession following a lengthy rain break 18.1 overs into the innings.

Adil Rashid (2-57) removed both set batsmen, before two other players to have made consistent contributions in this series - Chandimal and Mathews - rebuilt with respective innings of 63 and 67 not out.

Two wickets for David Willey helped keep Sri Lanka in check during the closing overs and it soon became clear that the tourists had not made enough, despite Moeen edging Pradeep (2-78) behind in the fourth over of the reply.