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Liam Plunkett hails England after thrilling draw against Sri Lanka

By David Clough

Published 22/06/2016

Bat’s life: Liam Plunkett helps England secure a tie last night
Bat’s life: Liam Plunkett helps England secure a tie last night

Liam Plunkett praised his team mates after hitting the final ball of a thrilling match for six to snatch a tie for England against Sri Lanka, on the back of Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler's defiant heroics at Trent Bridge.

"It was nice to get that one out. Woakesey and Jos put us in a great position and we were backing ourselves to take it as deep as possible," he said.

"It just shows the depth we have got. It's good for the team - you know you can carry on all the way through an innings."

The hosts faltered to 30 for four and then 82 for six in reply to 286 for nine in the first Royal London Series match.

But in the key absence of Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, off the field with a sore hamstring, seventh-wicket pair Buttler (93) and Woakes (95no) put England back in the mix with a brilliant stand of 138.

Then, when it seemed Sri Lanka would prevail after all, number 10 Plunkett smashed Nuwan Pradeep high over long-off for six to leave the scores level.

England had restricted Sri Lanka to a patchy 286 for nine, despite contrasting half-centuries from Mathews and Seekkuge Prasanna.

Top-scorer Mathews (73) dug in to provide necessary longevity while Prasanna (59) was by far the most effective of several who blazed away after Dublin-born skipper Eoin Morgan put the tourists in.

It was seat-of-the-pants stuff at times for Sri Lanka, but paid off in the end as they set a plausible target on a good pitch.

Mathews' share brought him just five fours from 109 deliveries, the watchful role his team badly needed to ensure Prasanna's remarkable 24-ball 50 - the second of his 28-match one-day international career, coming only three days after his first against Ireland - did not go to waste.

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