The limitations of Sri Lanka laid bare yet again

England’s victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval was inevitable from the second over of the game. By then, the tourists had lost two wickets, including their captain and best player, and burned both of their reviews. It was just the start a weakened and inexperienced batting line-up, coming off the back of four shellackings, really did not need. By the end of the seventh over, Sri Lanka had lost two more wickets and were staring down the barrel of an embarrassment. Inevitability is rarely a good thing in sport. The T20 and ODI series between these two teams has had far too much of it.

As it was, mainly thanks to Dhananjaya de Silva’s excellent innings of 91, Sri Lanka managed to recover and at least give themselves something to bowl at. But their total of 241 for 9 was still a hundred runs short on a belter of a pitch. It has been the theme of the tour. As they have in each of the four games in which they have batted first, Sri Lanka failed to score enough runs, their bowlers did their best, but England ran out comfortable enough winners. The gulf between these two sides is, at present, as wide as The Oval’s famous square…

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