Morgan and Root cruise over the line as England claim series win

By Sports Desk July 01, 2021

Eoin Morgan and Joe Root guided England to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory to seal an ODI series success over Sri Lanka.

Sam Curran's first international five-for set England on the way to a convincing win at The Oval on Thursday as, despite Dhananjaya de Silva's efforts, Sri Lanka were limited to 241-9.

Dhananjaya's 91 from as many balls, an innings that included 13 boundaries, propelled Sri Lanka to a respectable score after Curran (5-48) had ripped through the tourists' top order.

It was not enough to hold England off, though, with captain Morgan (75 not out) and his Test counterpart Root (68 not out) rounded things off to seal the series win before the final match in Bristol on Sunday.

Dhananjaya was out in the middle by the 11th delivery of the day, Curran having dismissed both Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando.

Curran and partner in crime David Willey (4-64) had the tourists at 21-4 by the seventh over, though successive boundaries got Dhananjaya into his stride.

Dhananjaya's impressive stand finally ended just nine runs shy of a maiden ODI century, Willey doing the honours, with Curran getting his five-for by sending Chamika Karunaratne packing.

Jason Roy had thumped his way to 40 by the end of the eighth over of the chase, with Jonny Bairstow crunching 14 in the next over to join the party.

Bairstow dragged on from Wanindu Hasaranga and Roy got himself to 60 before being caught by Dhananjaya, yet Sri Lanka would have no more joy in the field.

A six and a fortunate inside edge took Morgan to a confidence-boosting half-century, with Root reaching a second straight 50 in the next over, and victory was capped when England's captain hooked a short ball out to the leg-side boundary.

 

CURRAN SETS THE TONE AND MORGAN REGAINS FORM

Surrey bowler Curran was due a star turn, and he delivered in some style on his home ground.

Morgan, meanwhile, was in need of a morale-boosting innings after some tricky form. He had not scored 50 or over since hitting 106 against Ireland in August 2020, having scored 23, 42, 23, 22 and six in his five innings since then, before Thursday's encounter.

SRI LANKA LEFT REELING

That is five defeats on the bounce to start this tour for Sri Lanka, who now have to hope to avoid a T20 and ODI two-series whitewash.

Thursday's game came 15 years to the day since Sri Lanka chased down 322 at Trent Bridge with eight wickets in hand and 75 balls to spare, but this was a poor imitation of that team. This was Sri Lanka's 428th ODI defeat in men's cricket, seeing them overtake India as the side to lose the most matches in the format, while the Lions have also lost seven games this year, more than any other team.

Related items

  • There's something wrong at Manchester United, says disconsolate Shaw There's something wrong at Manchester United, says disconsolate Shaw

    Luke Shaw admitted there is something "going wrong" at Manchester United following their 5-0 home Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side suffered the biggest defeat to their fierce rivals since 1895 as they lost a league match at Old Trafford by five or more goals without scoring for the first time in 66 years.

    Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and two goals from Mohamed Salah meant United trailed by four goals at half-time of a Premier League game for the first time, before Liverpool's Egyptian star  completed his hat-trick in the second period – the first treble scored by a visiting player at Old Trafford since Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2003.

    Paul Pogba was sent off just 15 minutes after being introduced as a substitute to compound a truly miserable day for United fans, some of whom booed their side off at half-time and did not stay for the second period.

    Solskjaer described it as his "darkest day" as United manager and there is now significant pressure on the shoulders of the Norwegian, who has overseen five defeats and just three wins in their most recent nine matches.

    Shaw, United's players' player of the year last season, is one of several players to have endured a poor run of form and the England left-back believes now is the time for everyone at the club to reflect and take action.

    "We are extremely disappointed, it is not good enough, and it hurts a lot," he told MUTV. "I think football is obviously a team sport, we are in it together and we are all together. But I think, as individuals, we need to take responsibility for some of the actions tonight.

    "Personally, that is of course why I am here, I am not hiding inside. I know I was not at my best tonight, I know I was not good enough, and of course I will take some responsibility for that. 

    "It is something that we shouldn't allow. We are at one of the best clubs in the world, one of the biggest clubs in the world, playing at our home stadium in front of all these fans. It shouldn't happen. 

    "We should be much better in these games and especially in key moments. We had a big chance in the first minute or so. If that goes in, maybe we could be looking at a different game, but that is not to blame anyone. I am not here to blame individuals. It is a team game.

    "I just want to thank the fans because 5-0 down is never easy for them and, of course, it is not easy for us, but they stuck with us, they carried on singing and they could have easily left the stadium. We would have totally understood that with the way we performed and the scoreline, but they stuck with us, they kept on singing and we really appreciate that. I can only apologise for the performance.

    "I know we can better, I know we have to be better. I think it is not just us as players. The whole club needs to have a look at ourselves to see what went wrong and what is going wrong. We need to reflect on that and we need to do something about it.

    "It is not good enough for the standards this club sets. We should be challenging for leagues and for trophies. We haven't been doing that for a while now. It is not what this club expects. We all want to be doing that but with performances like that there is no way we can be doing that. We have to be honest, we have to be honest with ourselves in the changing room, speak about it."

    Shaw felt the Liverpool defeat had been on the cards given the standards of United's recent performances, saying his side have become far too easy to play against.

    "It's ourselves we need to look at first and foremost in the mirror. Are we doing everything right and preparing right for the games in ourselves?" he said to Stadium Astro.

    "We have the tactics and how the manager wants us to play. At times, we're too easy to play through against. You look at the first goal, it can't be possible that they can have three running through in the first five minutes. We need to be more compact, we need to be better.

    "This result was coming. In past games where we've won, we haven't been at our best. We felt that inside the dressing room and today we have to reflect and we have to move on from this because it hurts.

    "I think we all know when we're at our best we're capable of playing well. It's not just a team, it's individuals who are not at their best. Me, myself, I'm not. I need to look at myself, see what I'm doing wrong and focus on that.

    "At times in the game, we're far too easy to play through against, not just today but it's been a number of games now where it's been happening bit by bit and we can feel that in each game. 

    "It happened today and, against a great team like Liverpool, they're going to punish us and they did."

  • Lakers star Anthony backs Grizzlies' Morant as 'the future' after 40-point performance Lakers star Anthony backs Grizzlies' Morant as 'the future' after 40-point performance

    Los Angeles Lakers star Carmelo Anthony saluted the 40-point performance of Ja Morant as the Memphis Grizzlies just came up short 121-118 at Staples Center on Sunday.

    The Lakers had lost their first two matches of the season prior to Sunday's contest – the most recent defeat had been against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

    But they got the job done at the third time of asking to kick-start their campaign.

    Morant certainly made the Lakers work for their victory, the 22-year-old top-scoring with 40 and also adding 10 assists as he impressed.

    While the Lakers ultimately outlasted him and the Grizzlies, Anthony – whose 28 points was the second-highest score posted – made a point of applauding Morant's efforts.

    "It's showtime every time teams go against us. We understand that. We expect that," the 37-year-old said.

    "Somebody like Ja, he's going to continue to get better. He's going to continue to elevate. He is the future of this NBA, and he shows that every single night, what he's able to bring to the game."

    Anthony's 28 saw him surpass Moses Malone in ninth place on the all-time NBA leading scorers list, and while he did not let such an achievement distract him out on court, he did allow for it to process afterwards.

    "When you're in a battle like that, like tonight, it's kind of hard to put everything in perspective or even think about it because the game is so close, so tight," he said.

    "So, you don't even want to try to think about too many things out there on the court at that moment but making a play, getting a stop and winning the basketball game.

    "But – I keep saying this, man – it's an honour, it's a blessing to be in that list, to pass Moses and know what Moses did, what he did for the game of basketball, it's hard to put it in words.

    "I'm still here doing it. I think that's what I'm honestly excited about. I'm here in year 19 still doing what I'm able to do."

    Lakers coach Frank Vogel had been particularly keen to see an improvement following the defeat to the Suns and Golden State Warriors, with an in-depth video session seen as a good way to get ahead of their issues.

    Vogel felt it yielded tangible results against the Grizzlies and is hoping that is a sign of things to come in terms of their cohesion.

    "Losing your first two home games didn't sit well with our group," Vogel added. "We came out very motivated tonight and we've got a lot of belief in who we can be this year, but we also have a lot of work to do, and we had a very, very productive film session yesterday.

    "It cleaned a lot of things up and the effort was much better tonight. The attention to detail was much better tonight and that's how we're going to have to improve and gel."

  • Pochettino 'satisfied' with Neymar's effort in PSG-Marseille draw Pochettino 'satisfied' with Neymar's effort in PSG-Marseille draw

    Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino declared himself "satisfied" with what he saw from Neymar in the Ligue 1 leaders' 0-0 draw with rivals Marseille in Le Classique.

    Neymar returned to the squad after missing PSG's Champions League win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday with a groin injury and started up front alongside Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi on Sunday.

    That reunion did not produce the desired effect, with the vaunted attacking trio unable to find the net away to Marseille at the Velodrome. 

    PSG were forced to play with 10 men from the 57th minute, when star full-back Achraf Hakimi was sent off.

    That tactical disadvantage forced Neymar to drop back into the midfield after Thilo Kehrer replaced Angel Di Maria just past the hour.

    Neymar gave way himself in the 83rd minute, as Georginio Wijnaldum came on to see out the draw. 

    It was the first 0-0 between Marseille and PSG at the Velodrome in Ligue 1 since November 1998, the end of a 21-match run.

    "After the sending off, a choice needed to be made, and at that point, we thought we had to bring on Kehrer and bring Neymar back as a third midfielder," Pochettino told reporters.

    He added: "I am very satisfied with Neymar's game, he has sacrificed a lot for the team after returning from the Brazilian national team and being inactive."

    Neymar played all 90 minutes in Brazil's CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Uruguay during the international break, producing a goal and two assists as Brazil won the latter fixture 4-1. 

    Though the Brazilian has not scored for his club since September 19, PSG have plenty of options.

    PSG are unbeaten in their last nine trips to Marseille in Ligue 1 (W6 D3), and remain on a run of three clean sheets at their rivals in the top flight – a first in their history.

    None of them came through on Sunday, but Pochettino sounded an upbeat note afterward. 

    "There are several positive things to take from the game," he said. "The team was solid, it showed character, it was well-organised with and without the ball.

    "It's a shame to have played with 10 men for nearly 40 minutes. But even in these conditions, we controlled the game.

    "We don't want to celebrate the point because there's a bitter feeling with this game. But there were some good things from an attacking point of view, we just lacked in finishing. I think we were a bit better than OM, not by much, but we deserved to win."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.