For Sri Lanka, this was a one-day international that will not live long in the memory, a match ruined by rain. But that is only half the story. For England, it was much more than that. It was a match worth remembering: a match that uplifted spirits, created smiles and brought hopes that after a tormented tour of Australia all was not lost. And it was a match that insisted, not for the first time, that England had a new entertainer in their midst.
England won not just because of the rain – although the second interruption, during Sri Lanka’s innings, came along at a convenient time – but because of Chris Jordan His unbeaten 38 from 13 balls at the end of England’s innings swung the game in England’s favour. His three wickets confirmed that Sri Lanka would not remedy what had become an impossible situation. His fielding was pretty spritely, too.
Several rain interruptions wrecked the game – just utter the words Duckworth-Lewis and people lose interest, the only thing worth analysing being the bottom of a warm pint of beer – but Jordan made a celebration of it all the same.
With all the talk of a new start in place, with a new coach, Peter Moores, talking of encouraging individuality, Jordan was just what England needed: a blithe spirit. He ran riot in the closing overs and much later after another stoppage he browbeat Sri Lanka with three wickets. England, living off his positive mood, felt powerful again.