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England emerge victorious, courtesy Roy

 Agencies |  2016-07-01 22:55:30.0  |  London

Surrey’s South African-born opener took centre stage on his home county ground and hammered the second highest individual one-day score by an England batsman yesterday.

His fireworks lit up the gloomy, rain-filled South London skies to ensure England captured the series at The Oval.

His second hundred in three ODI games, 162 runs off 118 including 13 fours and three sixes, helped England clinch a six wicket win with overs to spare as they chased down their revised victory target of 308 with ease.

And they clinched the series 2-0 with just one game left in Cardiff on Saturday.It was England’s second highest successful one-day run chase - and they did it in 42 overs.

Sadly for Roy he fell just five runs short of overtaking the highest score by an England batsman with another Robin Smith’s 167 not out against Australia at Edgbaston in 1993 still holding firm.

He was bowled by Nuwan Pradeep with England in sight of the finishing line. Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler saw them home with 11 balls remaining.

At Edgbaston, Roy was accompanied by fellow opener Alex Hales who also made an unbeaten ton in that match.

But this time he was helped mainly by Joe Root, whose 65 showed a return to form for the Yorkshireman who had struggled recently and had gone six games with just one score over 11.

But if Root had his mojo back, Roy merely continued in the kind of vain which has made him one of the world’s most destructive and stylish one-day performers. A back injury to Alex Hales during Sri Lanka’s innings of 305-5 off a reduced number of overs due to the rain meant Moeen Ali had to open with Roy instead.

But Roy shrugged off the early loss of Ali, for just two, and the batsman cut and carved the Sri Lankan attack apart. England raced out the blocks needing more than seven an over, and Roy ensured they were always up with the required rate the skies still dark and threatening to rain once more.

Morgan looked well set until he was superbly caught by the diving Gunathilaka for 22 off Suranga Lakmal with England on 221. Roy was joined by Jonny Bairstow and reached 150 but was kicking himself when he was bowled by Pradeep with England so close to the finishing line.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had produced their best batting display of the series so far with four men hitting half centuries.

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