What a game that was. England looked dead and buried before Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler turned the game on its head. But despite a fine mid-innings recovery – England were 82-6 when they met at the crease – the hosts were still staring defeat in the face going into final over with 14 required.
Whilst a tie means neither team can claim victory, the game is always the winner.
Plunkett’s last-ball exploits grabbed the headlines, but it was fitting that the Buttler-Woakes partnership of 138 – the highest seventh-wicket stand conceded by Sri Lanka in ODIs and second-highest overall – from 149 balls, was not in vain.
Not only did Woakes scoop the Man of the Match award, he also set the new record for the highest score by a number eight batsman or lower in the history of ODI cricket.
Poor Nuwan Pradeep. The over started so impressively, with yorker after yorker, before slightly under-pitching one “in the slot”, which Plunkett duly plundered into the crowd.
England’s lower-order men stole a scampered three on the penultimate delivery, which ultimately cost Sri Lanka the victory.
Angelo Matthews was the pick of the Sri Lanka batsmen and their most economical bowler, so it was a blow to the tourists when he was forced to leave the pitch in the early stages of England’s reply with a recurrence of a hamstring strain.
His consistent performances have been met with equally consistent ill-fortune with injury. Sri Lanka need their talisman if they are the cause an upset in this series.
BLADES OF GLORY
Woakes’s willow wand
Gray-Nicolls Supernova cricket bats
Tonk it like Plunkett!
New Balance TC 1260
Kookaburra Verve cricket bats
THE WONDER OF THE TIE
There are few greater thrills in cricket than a match rising to a tantalising last-ball crescendo, only for the two teams to remain deadlocked after the final delivery.
There have been 33 ties in ODI history; England involved in seven of them, Sri Lanka five.
Before Tuesday, the last (and first) ODI ties at Trent Bridge was played out by England and Australia in 1989, with Allan Lamb scoring a “chanceless” 100*.
The Wisden Almanack reported:
“Two run-outs – one through a bad misjudgment by Moody, the other when Healy, slipping on the turn, injured his knee and, by falling in the crease, stranded Waugh threequarters of the way up the pitch – deprived Australia of what looked like being a well-paced if narrow win.”
The Aussies needed two runs off the final Phil DeFreitas delivery, which Carl Rackemann, facing his first ball, failed to make contact. But when wicket keeper Steve Rhodes missed the stumps after gathering cleanly and lobbing, Ian Healy raced through for the bye that tied the match.
DON’T BE TONGUE-TIED
If you’ve witnessed or played in a colossal tied cricket match, tell us about the game and the final-over drama below.