England win rain-hit Sri Lankan ODI series


Alex Hales is preparing for a return to the England XI for Saturday's fourth one-day worldwide against Sri Lanka after Jonny Bairstow twisted an ankle during the team's regular pre-nets football warm-up.

Jonny Bairstow has emerged as an injury doubt ahead of Saturday's fourth ODI against Sri Lanka after injuring his right ankle during England's training session on the eve of the match at Pallekele.

Shanaka made five sixes and four fours in his highest 50-over score, which kept Sri Lanka in a game they must win to hold out any hope of avoiding defeat in the five-match series.

Earlier, half-centuries from opener Niroshan Dickwella and middle-order batsman Dasun Shanaka and some useful contributions from the lower order helped Sri Lanka to 273-7 after being put in to bat.

England lost the wickets of Jason Roy (45) and Alex Hales (12) both to Akila Dananjaya in their run chase and were 132-2 at the end of the 27th over when rain interrupted play.

Next ball Dhananjaya de Silva should have been stumped for a first-ball duck, after dancing down the track to Ali, but wicketkeeper Buttler missed the ball to give the batsman a reprieve.

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There was the unusual incident of the square leg umpire signalling a no-ball when it was found that Sri Lanka had more than four fielders outside the 30-metre circle.

Moeen Ali took two wickets for England.

The final match of the series is in Colombo at 10:00 on Tuesday. Had he not attempted a suicidal single just as he was starting to ramp up the big hitting in the death overs, Sri Lanka might have managed a score closer to 300. Liam Plunkett got married to Emeleah last weekend in the Cotswolds and the couple are now here in Sri Lanka enjoying their time together. Having already won two of the three ODIs (one was washed out), England completed their ninth series win in a row.

The 27-year-old hit five sixes and four boundaries in his run-a-ball innings before getting run out. "We can take the positives and are looking forward to the next game".

The weather and a limited Sri Lanka side have ensured this series has not offered the world number one ODI side many tests to their status as favourites to win the World Cup on home soil next year. "We could have built on the pressure from there and forced another mistake".