Riding on Jason Roy’s majestic 162, England defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in a rain-affected fourth ODI at The Oval to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
The English opener blasted 162 runs from only 118 balls to help England reach their revised target of 308 with 11 balls to spare in a reduced 42 overs a side match.
Earlier, being sent in to bat first Sri Lanka posted a huge total of 305 for 5 in 42 overs with the help of half centuries by Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, who top-scored with 77, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews. Mendis and Chandimal put together a 128-run partnership for the second wicket to get Sri Lanka out of early trouble at 8-1 when opener Kusal Perera was run out.
Chasing the huge total, England made a poor start as they lost Moeen Ali, who was promoted to the opener after Alex Hales hurt his back while fielding, with only 18 on the board. Joe Root then joined Roy and made 65 in their 149-run stand for the second wicket before Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler guide England to complete their second best ODI run chase and left Sri Lanka without a win over England on this tour heading into Saturday’s fifth and final ODI in Cardiff.
Roy struck 13 fours and three sixes and finally fell just four overs from the end when he was bowled by a slower ball from Nuwan Pradeep . The English opener surpassed David Gower’s 158 to register England’s highest individual score in ODI cricket but narrowly missed the 26-year-old English record of all-time highest by Robin Smith’s 167 not out against Australia in 55-over game in 1993. A visibly frustrated Roy thumped his bat into the ground as he walked off but it was because he wanted to see his team home and not missing the chance to register the highest individual score for England.
“Yeah, what a day. Incredible win for the boys,” Roy said.
“It’s just a shame I wasn’t there in the end. I was pretty disappointed.”
“Unfortunately, the bowling didn’t work,” Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said after the loss.