Lanka hold nerve to pip England

Lanka hold nerve to pip England

World champions Sri Lanka held off an England fightback to win by nine runs in a Twenty20 international at the Oval on Tuesday helped by an explosive innings from Thisara Perera and superb bowling from Lasith Malinga.

Perera's quick-fire 49 runs from 20 balls, having survived a dropped catch by Michael Carberry, enabled the tourists to post a total of 183-7 from their 20 overs while Malinga's figures of 3-28 kept England at bay in response.

"The last couple of years I've been used to bowling in pressure situations, I'm used to it and I work hard in those situations," Sri Lanka captain Malinga told Sky Sports.

"I really enjoy it, it doesn't matter, I used to say to captains to give me the ball."

Sri Lanka's innings had been ticking along at a steady pace with Kithuruwan Vithanage's 38 runs from 26 balls and Lahiru Thirimanne, who was eventually dismissed for 40, helping them to 122-5 when Perera came to the crease.

By the time he was run out on the final ball of the tourists' innings he had added rocket fuel to an average total and propelled them to 183, with 22 runs coming from the penultimate over bowled by Chris Jordan.

England started poorly in reply with opening batsman Carberry, making his Twenty20 international debut, falling for seven runs in the second over and Ian Bell, playing his first T20 since January 2011, following soon after for 13.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka: 183/7 in 20 overs (Kithuruwan Vithanage 38, Lahiru Thirimane 40, Thisara Perera 49; Harry Gurney 2-26) bt England: 174/7 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 66, Jos Butler 26, Ravi Bopara 28 n.o.; Lasith Malinga 3-38).