Cricket: Cook sets up Essex win over Sri Lanka

LONDON, May 13, 2014 (AFP) – Alastair Cook’s quickfire knock helped ensure Sri Lanka’s first match in England this season ended in defeat. England captain Cook struck 71 as his county, Essex, made 161 for five in a one-day match reduced by rain to 21 overs per side at Chelmsford on Tuesday.

In reply Sri Lanka, the recently crowned World Twenty20 champions, were restricted to 146 for nine in pursuit of a Duckworth/Lewis adjusted target of 169, with seamer Oliver Newby taking three wickets for 36 runs in his five overs.

After Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to field, only two overs were possible before rain stopped play.

When the match eventually resumed, Essex lost a trio of wickets in quick succession with England all-rounder Ravi Bopara lbw for a second-ball duck to Dhammika Prasad as the hosts slumped to 21 for three.

But wicketkeeper Ben Foakes helped Cook add 82 for the fourth wicket and made 51 before he was caught by Ashan Priyanjan off Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Left-handed opener Cook faced just 49 balls with four fours and two sixes in an innings that ended when he was caught off Sura