x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Captain Cook rues England's batting no-show

Mahela Jayawardene's career-best 144 proves too much for hosts as Sri Lanka level NatWest Series 1-1 with 69-run victory at Headingley.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, admitted his side's batsmen were given a lesson by Sri Lanka after going down to a 69-run defeat in the second one-day international (ODI) at Headingley yesterday.

Mahela Jayawardene's career-best 144 proved too much for England as Sri Lanka levelled the NatWest Series with ease.

The tourists made it 1-1 with three to play thanks largely to a third-wicket stand of 159 between Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (69) in a total of 309 for five.

It left England needing 310 for victory but they crashed from 201 for five to 240 all out with Eoin Morgan top scoring with 52.

Cook, second top scorer with 48, admitted Jayawardene had shown England how it should be done. He told Sky Sports 1: "It [the target] was doable. None of us in the top six took the responsibility like Mahela did to get the hundred.

"They scored 100 runs in that last 10 overs and made it extremely difficult for us.

"We need a quick turnaround for [the third ODI] on Sunday. But I am sure we have the character."

Tillakaratne Dilshan, his Sri Lanka counterpart, admits his side had responded as well as he could have asked them to following their defeat in the first ODI.

Dilshan told Sky Sports 1: "We came back and gave a great performance. I am really happy.

"It was a great all-round performance."