Kieswetter top-scores on his return
Score (close of first innings): England 229-8 off 32 overs (reduced by rain) (Kieswetter 61, Morgan 45; ). Duckworth-Lewis adjusts Sri Lanka’s target to 232.
Craig Kieswetter disappeared from the England limited-overs set-up as quickly as he had emerged last year but he has announced his return to the side in the best possible way.
That’s not quite true. It would have been better if the Somerset wicketkeeper could have built on his excellently-paced 61 rather than top-edging a sweep off the spinner Suraj Randiv whose only previous over had gone for 15.
It was the third time he had passed fifty in his 13th one-day international and the talk about his tighter technique looked justified.
Five of the first six England wickets fell to the first ball of an over which might just be coincidence or it might reflect the desire to dictate terms to the bowler.
In Kieswetter’s case Randiv had been brought back into the attack as something of a desperate measure after the two other spinners Sanath Jayasuriya, in his 445th and final one-dayer, and Jeevan Mendis had gone round the park.
In tandem with Kevin Pietersen and then Eoin Morgan, Kieswetter had fuel-injected England’s innings in this reduced-overs contest, adding 59 off six overs after the powerplays had come and gone.
Despite a lull after Morgan’s departure for a typically inventive 45, England finished with 229 for eight off their 32 overs, aided by 20 from the penultimate over of the innings from Suranga Lakmal.
It’s never easy re-starting a one-day innings after an interruption when you know that your overs have been reduced but all of England’s batsmen batted with intent.
Alastair Cook’s first innings as full-time ODI captain started with a solid punch through mid-wicket for four but ended quickly with a feathered catch down the leg-side.
Pietersen looked imposing but slogged the first ball from legspinner Mendis – a googly – straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan at midwicket.
John Stern is a former editor of The Cricketer
Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_John