Cricket: Sri Lanka defeat sorry England by 157 runs

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CHESTER-LE-STREET, May 25, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka came up with the perfect response to their defeat in the first one-day international against England as they swept aside Alastair Cook’s team in the second meeting at the Riverside on Sunday. Ashan Priyanjan added an important 43 runs for the tourists, who set a target of 257 that was never within reach for England because of their feeble batting and the devastating opening burst from Sri Lanka’s pacemen. The England captain was injured and could only watch in dismay from the dressing room as optimism generated by their impressive win at The Oval disintegrated in a 157-run defeat.

There was talk of an exciting new era for English cricket after the 81-run win three days earlier, but this was a sobering reminder of recent setbacks as they were destroyed by the Sri Lankans.

The match was effectively settled inside the first seven overs of the England reply to Sri Lanka’s 256-8, a total that owed much to the concentration of Tillakaratne Dilshan in the early stages.

With conditions improving, it was a total that should have been well within England’s reach, but they simply could not cope with the opening spells of Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga.

Michael Carberry, recalled