The final one day international in Sri Lanka ended in disaster for England.
With the series already wrapped up for the tourists, a number of changes were made to accommodate other members of the party who had not yet had a chance to grace the Sri Lankan turf.
The result, unfortunately for England, was a bleak one.
Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first, and opener Niroshan Dickwella shot out the blocks on his way to 95. There were other big scores for Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, and Sadeera Samarawickrama.
Wickets came at a premium for England, and their hosts finished their allotted overs on 366-6 – a devilishly pleasing score.
England were pitiful in response, falling to 4-3. A brief revival occurred under the stewardship of Ben Stokes, before rain halted play with England nine wickets down and staring defeat in the face. The Duckworth Lewis method handed Sri Lanka a deserved 219 run victory.
Here’s how we rated England’s players:
Jason Roy - 1
Bowled on 4. A tricky tour for Roy, rife with unfulfilled promise. A couple of dismissals in the 40s, and England fans were left banging their heads against the wall. That said, his place in the team should be considered safe.
Alex Hales - 0
When given a chance to prove your worth to the limited overs side, it is advisable not to get out to your second ball. Hugely frustrating for Hales, the Nottinghamshire slogger will be hoping he gets a chance to flex his muscles in the Twenty20.
Joe Root - 2
Root admittedly hung around longer than Roy and Hales, but could only muster 10 before Chameera had him out caught. Failed to provide the experienced anchor in the heart of the innings that Morgan has done so ably to this point.
Jos Buttler - 1
Given the captaincy in Eoin Morgan’s absence, Buttler failed to provide the leadership the Irishman is famed for. Batting at 4, the keeper was himself caught behind off his second ball at the crease. There will be better days for England’s fireworks expert.
Ben Stokes - 7
Stokes was a rare bright-spot from the performance, with his economical bowling backed up with the bat. Despite falling for 67, the all-rounder can go to bed tonight knowing he did more for his side’s score than anyone else.
Moeen Ali - 7
Picked up two wickets with the ball, and came to play with the bat as well. Providing a valuable batting partner for Stokes, Ali was eventually dismissed for 37.
Sam Curran - 4
Didn’t get much of a chance with the ball, and failed to take a wicket in his six overs. Needing to find a way to succeed in international conditions, all experience will be valuable experience for Curran the Younger.
Adil Rashid - 7
Rashid was the only England bowler to bowl his full allotment of ten overs, and held Sri Lanka to just over 5 runs per over. A stingy showing with the ball, and Rashid looks like the spinner England have dreamed of since the days of Graeme Swann.
Liam Plunkett - 5
Plunkett was reasonably expensive in his five overs, but did take the wicket of Kusal Mendis. The experienced Yorkshire seamer was given a chance in the finale of the tour, and left little lasting impression. However, Plunkett’s place in the camp seems secured by his leadership qualities, and ability to impart wisdom to younger fast bowlers.
Tom Curran - 4.5
Curran the Elder dropped a catch, but showed some nice bowling at the death. Two wickets in two balls was significant of his ability to stifle the run flow in the concluding overs, but his form earlier in the innings meant that his efforts at the end bore little effect. A pricey 71 runs from 8 overs will leave the Surrey quick longing for another opportunity in an England shirt.
Mark Wood - 5
Wood kept things together, and was generally economical in his eight overs with the ball. With his unique action bearing maximum pace, batsmen can find it hard to pick up deliveries from the Durham pace man.