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Alastair Cook starts captaincy with win

Alastair Cook failed with the bat but his captaincy began with a comprehensive 110-run win over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at the Oval yesterday.

Cook had no answer for those who doubt his limited-overs credentials, making just five in his comeback after 15 months out, but positive batting from Craig Kieswetter (61) and a devastating spell by James Anderson (four for 18) ensured his reign had a victorious start.

With each innings reduced to 32 overs after a lengthy rain break, England posted an imposing 229 for eight before bundling the tourists out for 121 in pursuit of a Duckworth/Lewis-revised target.

The hosts showed five changes from the side that was routed by nine wickets in Saturday's Twenty20 match at Bristol, with Ian Bell, Anderson, Jonathan Trott and Tim Bresnan as well as Cook returning to the side.

Sri Lanka's chase got off to a woeful start, with both openers gone inside 10 balls.

Fit-again Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan fared even worse than his opposite number, caught at fine leg off Anderson's third ball for one.

And there was no dream farewell for Sanath Jayasuriya, two days shy of his 42nd birthday and playing a 445th and final ODI before retirement.

He took two singles before slashing Bresnan sharply to point where Eoin Morgan held a smart catch. Jayasuriya's selection here may have had unsavoury political overtones but he was awarded the standing ovation his fine career deserved.

The England total was boosted by 44 runs in the last four overs, Bresnan (23) taking three boundaries off as many Suranga Lakmal deliveries in the penultimate over.

Belfast Telegraph

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