England claim tense win
Tourists lead series 2-1 after chasing target of 164
Last Updated: 08/10/07 6:56am
Swann: man-of-the-match performance
Stuart Broad's unbeaten 20 guided England to a two-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in a low-scoring third one-day international in Dambulla.
Broad came to the crease with the score at 107-7 and shared a crucial eighth-wicket stand of 40 with Graeme Swann as England pursued a modest target of 164 in 48 overs.
But Swann's dismissal for 25, bowled playing across the line at a full delivery from Dilhara Fernando in the 43rd over, reduced England to 147-8 and left the game back in the balance.
Ryan Sidebottom (7no) and Broad eked out the 17 runs required, mainly in ones and twos, to secure victory with seven balls to spare.
The result gives England back-to-back wins following their 65-run success on Thursday and opens a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
England's top order had once again struggled on the slow surface in Dambulla - Farveez Maharoof taking three wickets as they slumped to 47-4 in the 12th over.
Maharoof accounted for Phil Mustard (14), Kevin Pietersen (8) and Ian Bell (16) after his new-ball partner Chaminda Vaas made the initial breakthrough by having Alastair Cook caught behind for a seven-ball duck in the third over.
Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah revived the innings with a 47-run stand in 16.1 overs before both fell to left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya (2-23).
Shah (19) was stumped after charging down the wicket in the 28th over and Collingwood followed lbw four overs later.
Ravinder Bopara mustered six before falling lbw to Lasith Malinga (1-39) - at that stage England were 107-7 and staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat.
But Broad's calm innings at number nine ensured England did not waste the earlier sterling work of their bowling attack.
Swann flying high
Off-spinner Swann had become the first England spinner to pick up four wickets in a one-day international since Michael Vaughan achieved the feat against the same opponents in 2002 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 164 in 41.1 overs.
It took him just four balls to make an impact, Chamara Silva (11) departing courtesy of a slice of bad fortune and excellent reactions from Phil Mustard, the wicketkeeper taking a sharp catch after a sweep shot had hit the batsman's boot and popped up.
Both Jehan Mubarak (6) and Maharoof (7) then offered return catches as the home batsmen shot themselves in the foot with careless errors.
Swann (4-34) also picked up Tillakaratne Dilshan easily caught at mid-wicket in his final over, ending the batsman's innings on 70 after he had fought a lone hand.
It was a good day all-round for Nottinghamshire bowlers, Sidebottom (3-19) setting the tone for his county colleague by dismissing both of Sri Lanka's openers.
Upul Tharanga was clean bowled to be the first wicket to fall on 22 and Sanath Jayasuriya fell 11 runs later when he helped a short ball out to deep backward square leg.
Broad, who will be plying his trade at Trent Bridge next summer, then came on to dismiss Mahela Jayawardene (2) and Kumar Sangakkara (9) in quick succession, the latter walking off despite no appeal for a catch behind from either the bowler or 'keeper Mustard.
It was only thanks to a stand of 46 between Dilshan and Fernando (11) that Sri Lanka managed to reach a competitive total before they were bowled out in the 42nd over.
The match had been reduced to 48 overs after two brief showers early in Sri Lanka's innings, leaving England to chase a revised target of 164.