Maharoof powers Sri Lanka to 119-run victory

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DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, Oct 1 (Reuters) All-rounder Farveez Maharoof grabbed four wickets to propel Sri Lanka to an emphatic 119-run run victory over England in the first one-day international against today.

Maharoof ripped through the top order after a positive start by England's batsmen, claiming the key wickets of Phil Mustard (27), Ian Bell (nought), Kevin Pietersen (one) and Alastair Cook (46), finishing with 4 for 31 from 10 overs.

Sri Lanka's victory platform was set-up earlier in the afternoon as skipper Mahela Jayawardene top scored with 66 to guide his team to a competitive 269-7 on a sluggish pitch.

Jayawardene was well-supported by this fellow top order batsmen with Sanath Jayasuriua (41), Upul Tharanga (40), Kumar Sangakkara (38) and Chamara Silva (33) all chipping in.

Maharoof, who played ahead of a specialist spinner, also starred briefly with the bat, clubbing three boundaries in his 22 from 12 balls near the end.

England captain Paul Collingwood was the tourists' most effective bowler, claiming two for 44 from his 10 overs.

Graeme Swann, a surprise choice ahead of frontline left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, returned one for 47 from his 10 overs.

England started their reply confidently with debutante Mustard racing to 27 from 17 balls with three fours and a six, adding 43 with Cook for the first wicket.

But Maharoof's entry into the attack swung the game decisively Sri Lanka's way as Mustard chipped to mid off.

Maintaining a tight line and length and nipping the ball off the seam, Maharoof then found the outside edges of both Bell and Pietersen.

Collingwood (nine) was the next to depart, deceived by a well-disguised slower ball from Dilhara Fernando, and Lasith Malinga quickly followed up with Owais Shah's scalp to leave England tottering on 91 for 5.

This is the first of five day-night ODI matches to be played in Dambulla and Colombo over the next two weeks.

REUTERS AM KP2238

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