England and Sri Lanka contested undoubtedly the most thrilling ODI of 2016 at Nottingham last evening. With England needing 7 runs off the last ball, the only option for them was to hit a six in order to at least tie the match. Liam Plunkett, batting low down the order did the unthinkable as he hit a massive six on the last ball of the match off pacer Nuwan Pradeep to tie the game for England.
Considering the way Sri Lanka began their defense of 287, the game should have been wrapped up much earlier. England at one stage were reduced to a reeling position of 82-6, before wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and all rounder Chris Woakes got together and staged a miraculous recovery. The end result of the game definitely left Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews shell shocked, who felt that the visitors should have won the game earlier.
“Not really sure,” said a puzzled Mathews. “We had the game in our bag for most of the overs. But the yorker unfortunately fell off and Plunkett smashed it for six. We were 15-20 runs light I thought. As I said we kept losing wickets at crucial times and we had to push back the attacking roles. Lots of positives, we batted well, bowled well but we were poor in the field. The hamstring is a little bit stiff so we will give it a couple of days and see how it goes,” Mathews said.
England skipper Eoin Morgan was delighted with the win and praised his lower order for the tie. “To come out of it with a tie is pleasing in a way. A performance like that can mask a poor day. Three special mentions. Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett towards the end there got us out of a hole. We did need the batting depth. We have a lot of confidence with the guys coming in down the order but we don’t want to leave them with too much to do,” Morgan said.
“Jos called in on all his experience to guide the innings through. And Chris Woakes played with a lot of confidence in the last 10 overs. I thought we were rusty with the ball and didn’t hit our lengths. But the score was chaseable,” Morgan added.