Centurions Hales and Roy humiliate Sri Lanka


Alex Hales and Jason Roy blasted centuries in a record opening stand as England thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets at Edgbaston to take a 1-0 lead in the one-day international series.

England needed a last-ball six from Liam Plunkett to claim a dramatic tie in the opening game of the five-match series at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, but there was no tense finale three days later.

Upul Tharanga (53 not out) and Dinesh Chandimal (52) made half-centuries as the tourists could only muster 254-7 after Angelo Mathews, passed fit after recovering from a hamstring injury, won the toss and opted to bat first on a flat pitch.

That proved to be well below par as Hales (133 from 110 balls) and Roy (112 off 95) produced a brutal onslaught, scoring their highest ODI totals and combining for England's biggest opening partnership in the 50-over format to seal victory in the 'Super Series'.

Plunkett (2-49) and Adil Rashid (2-34) starred in front of a raucous crowd in Birmingham, leaving Sri Lanka with two days to go back to the drawing board before the third ODI in Bristol after they were beaten with 95 balls to spare.

Hales was unable to take a sharp catch to get rid of Danushka Gunathilaka (22) in the second over from Chris Woakes, but the opener was dismissed when he edged Plunkett behind.

Plunkett trapped Kusal Mendis leg before without scoring and Roy produced a great piece of fielding to run out the dangerous Kusal Perera (37), leaving Sri Lanka 77-3.

Chandimal and Mathews (44) put on 82 for the fourth wicket, but found boundaries hard to come by against some tight bowling and the impressive Rashid struck to get rid of the captain.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Chandimal brought up his half-century after being treated for a hamstring problem before Tharanga struck a six and another found the ropes on five occasions.

It soon became clear that Sri Lanka were well short of runs, though, as Hales and Roy dished out some crushing blows to a Sri Lanka attack that was unable to come up with any answers.

Hales passed 1,000 ODI runs before bringing up his third ODI century in a 29th over from Seekkuge Prasanna in which he hit three huge sixes and two fours.

Roy also flexed his muscles with devastating effect, reaching his second ODI century by launching Prasanna down the ground for his fourth six of a magnificent innings.

Hales, who cleared the ropes six times and hit 10 fours, was dropped by Danushka Gunathilaka on 126 before Roy dispatched the spinner Prasanna to the boundary to seal a crushing win.