Millennium Post

Sri Lanka on course in chase of 294

Chasing 294 for a win, Sri Lanka were 93 for one from 17 overs in their must-win Champions Trophy Group A match against England on Thursday. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara were at the crease on 39 and 44 respectively with Sri Lanka needing 201 more runs from the remaining 33 overs with nine wickets in hand at the Oval.

Kushal Perera was the only Sri Lankan batsman dismissed as he fell cheaply for six in the third over of the bowling of James Anderson with just 10 runs on the board. Earlier, three England top-order batsmen hit half centuries before a late flourish by Ravi Bopara as the 
home side post a challenging 293 for seven.

Sent into bat, captain Alastair Cook (59) and Jonathan Trott (76) laid a solid foundation by sharing 83 runs for the second wicket from 17 overs after Ian Bell (20) was out early to set the tone for Joe Root (68) to accelerate the innings.

The initial advantage seemed to have frittered away somewhat for England before Ravi Bopara 
played a cameo of 13-ball 33 not out to take the score near 300 mark. He struck 28 runs with the help of three sixes and two fours from the last over bowled by pacer Shaminda Eranga. 

England scored 92 runs from the last 10 overs. Cook and Trott played calculative innings by scoring runs in ones and twos. They cut off the risk and employed a safety-first approach as their partnership had just three boundaries.

Cook consumed 85-balls and hit just three fours while Trott found the boundary ropes five times in his 87-ball innings. Cook was also dropped twice in his slow-paced innings, on 23 and 56, both by Tillakaratne Dilshan. 
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