Senanayake leaves England fuming as Buttler makes early exit in Sri Lankan series win

Sri Lanka held their nerve to pip England to a 3-2 Royal London Series victory in a controversial decider at Edgbaston.

Sri Lankas Sachithra Senanayakes outstretched arms seem to enquire what else he could have done after the bowler controversially ran out non-striker Jos Buttler when the England batsmen strayed from the crease at Edgbaston (Picture: David Davies/PA).

England fought back after Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler, backing up at the non-striker’s end, but not effectively enough as Mahela Jayawardene (53) and Lahiru Thirimanne (60no) struck their first half-centuries of the series and shared a crucial fourth-wicket stand of 98.

In pursuit of only 219 all out, with rain threatening for most of the chase, it kept Sri Lanka ahead of the game on the way to a six-wicket win with 10 balls to spare.

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The truth perhaps was that England’s top order, despite a hard-working 56 from Alastair Cook, did not press on as required – and the furore surrounding Buttler’s departure merely masked that important issue.

Senanayake sparked an angry reaction in the crowd when he ran out Buttler at the non-striker’s end, albeit after warning him in his previous over for pinching yards.

It is a legitimate mode of dismissal, but one often frowned upon and rarely enforced – only seven times previously, in fact, in the history of international cricket.

Buttler’s status as England’s man of the moment after his brilliant maiden hundred at Lord’s, and Senanayake’s as a controversial figure since he was reported for a suspect action in the same match, only added to the jeers.

The unusual event – captains more often call batsmen back in such instances, but Angelo Mathews chose not to – came in the 43rd over of an otherwise unremarkable innings in which England struggled for a par score after choosing to bat first.

Sri Lanka’s openers then set off in a hurry, but the tourists needed Jayawardene and Thirimanne to put them back on track after James Tredwell took two of three wickets to fall for seven runs. Harry Gurney’s second over had cost 14 runs, and Chris Jordan got through just one for 12 before Tredwell broke the opening stand with only his second delivery when Yorkshire’s Joe Root took a very good catch at short extra-cover to see off Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Tredwell struck again in his second over, finding enough turn to have Kumar Sangakkara edging in back-foot defence to slip – and then James Anderson had Kusal Perera lbw.

At 62-3 Jayawardene and Thirimanne had to dig in.

They had the reassurance of a target which would be within range if they could keep England’s bowlers at bay – and apart from a Jayawardene edge between wicketkeeper and slip on eight off Gurney, and Thirimanne’s mis-hook just short of long-leg off Ravi Bopara, there were no mistakes.

It was not until Jayawardene holed out to mid-off that England had another chance, but Thirimanne saw the job through with an 89-ball 50 and the help of some late power from Mathews in an unbroken stand of 62.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews defended Buttler’s dismissal.

He said: “He was taking starts, not only this game but in the last game as well. We gave him two warnings, and I don’t know what else you can do to stop him doing that, so we had to go for it.”