It’s England’s first one-day series win on the subcontinent since ages ago. Except for one they won in Bangladesh, because everyone knows that you don’t include Bangladesh in things like this. They’re not a ‘real’ team. They’re just messing about.
It’s definitely England’s first one-day series win in Sri Lanka though, which is no mean feat. England have always been pretty ordinary at one-day cricket and Sri Lanka have always been pretty good. Sri Lankan conditions usually smother England as well.
Having beaten India at home and now Sri Lanka away, England are on their best-ever one-day run as well. Probably. Weirdly and in sharp contrast to most successful modern teams, their victories have come almost exclusively in low-scoring matches.
In the India series, as soon as one team or the other passed 300, you knew the game was India’s. Conversely, if either team was bowled out for less than 300, England always won. England clearly cottoned on to this fact and promptly got bowled out for 150 in the first match of this series, but that turned out to be pushing it a bit. Since then they’ve bowled tightly and kept the pressure off their batsmen.
A nod to Ryan Sidebottom and Graeme Swann is in order here. Ryan Sidebottom rendered our lengthy article wrong as well as boring. Yes, despite our impartial language, it was pretty clear that we didn’t think he’d take wickets.
In fact, Ryan Sidebottom looked superb. At times he was really quite quick. He didn’t waste a ball and he took his wickets ridiculously cheaply for modern one-day cricket. He won’t be so successful in the Tests. (We’re only saying that to ensure that he is).
Graeme Swann achieved the unthinkable, making England fans accept that his selection ahead of Monty Panesar was a just decision. Well, he stopped us all moaning anyway, which is a form of acceptance. He might have played for England just the once before this tour, but we reckon that England A’s tour to Sri Lanka a couple of years ago stood him in good stead.