Sam Curran shines with the bowl in Victory against Sri Lanka in 2nd ODI

England clinched the one-day international series against Sri Lanka with a game to spare at the Oval on Thursday, with Sam Curran taking his first five-wicket haul in white-ball cricket.

The hosts cruised to an eight-wicket victory as Joe Root and Eoin Morgan put on an unbroken 140-run partnership, comfortably chasing down a target of 242 to make it 2-0 heading to the final in Bristol on Sunday. Curran was promoted to new-ball duties on his home stadium and stepped it up with figures of 5-48, including three in his first nine deliveries, as the tourists fell to a humiliating 21-4.

Dhananjaya De Silva’s brilliant 91 kept them from being humiliated outright, bringing them to a respectable 241-9, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep the world champions at bay. Root continued where he left off in scoring a match-winning 79 not out in Durham on Tuesday, edging out Morgan for an exquisite 68 not out, but Morgan’s knock had added significance. He had gone 15 innings and ten months without an international half-century before returning to form with a 75-run stand that included eight fours and a six.

England rested Chris Woakes, who had four wickets in the previous match but Curran was more than capable of filling his shoes. At Chester-le-Street, he was wicketless and expensive, but he was resurrected at the Oval, taking two wickets in his first over with a pushy, aggressive length and a touch of swing, dismissing Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando for lbw.

Curran cashed in on a risky driver, and Pathum Nissanka lost his middle stump. It already appeared to be a losing cause when Charith Asalanka joined the exodus in the seventh over, flapping a David Willey bouncer to short mid-wicket. Step up De Silva, who first demonstrated how to make the most of the fielding limits before scoring 65 runs with Wanindu Hasaranga and 78 runs with Dasun Shanaka.

De Silva was especially strong on the draw driving ebulliently when he smelled a half-volley and displaying excellent foresight when he stepped back and diverted Mark Wood’s 90 mph (145 kph) velocity to the third-man ropes. His effort was deserving of a century but he fell nine short when he dragged Willey ball into Root’s capable hands.

England’s middle-over performance was underwhelming, with Tom Curran and Adil Rashid bowling 20 wicketless overs for 93 runs, but the younger Curran took his first international 5-for as he and Willey (4-64) resurrected their double act. Both aren’t known for their speed or bounce yet they combined to take six wickets against short-pitched bowling.

On his return from a hamstring injury, Jason Roy led the chase. As he stood tall and hit the ropes hard, he dominated the powerplay, scoring 41 of England’s 65 runs. Jonny Bairstow brought down his stumps on 29 but Roy kept on punishing the opposition, speeding to 60 when De Silva threw himself in the air for a brilliant catch.

Root and Morgan were able to get to work right away as a result of this. Root used minimum steers and pushes to fill in the spaces. Morgan had more ebb and flow, but he exploded into life after Chamika Karunaratne gave four fours in six deliveries.

He got to 50 in exactly a run-a-ball, 13 seconds faster than his partner, and then thrilled the audience with a signature reverse sweep before charging Hasaranga for six. When Morgan dragged the winning runs through square leg, Root’s work was done, leaving seven overs unused and little debate about the power balance.

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