England were left chasing 151 in 21 overs to win a rain-reduced third one-day international against Sri Lanka, after Adil Rashid and Tom Curran starred with the ball.
Play finally got under way at Pallekele Stadium almost six hours after the scheduled start time of 2.30pm, with playing time drastically contracted, following the latest in a series of storms to affect the series.
The hosts got off to a flying start as Niroshan Dickwella hit seven boundaries from his first 12 deliveries, sending the new balls to all parts of the ground in a frantic start.
But when he fell for 36, toe-ending the recalled Curran to mid-off, England began to tighten their grip. Rashid ended with figures of four for 36 from five overs, including a pair of wicked googlies which cleaned up Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka, to rip the guts from Sri Lanka’s middle order.
All-rounder Ben Stokes befuddled the batsmen with a neat line in pace-off bouncers but it was Curran whose death bowling closed things in style, dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal with slower balls and running out Amila Aponso from the last delivery.
The England and Wales Cricket Board had earlier taken the unusual move of defending the rationale behind touring the island in monsoon season, insisting the congested international schedule left no “wriggle room”.