In Review

Liam Plunkett hits final ball for six as England tie – video

Drama at Trent Bridge as home side get a share of the spoils in thrilling climax to first ODI against Sri Lanka

There was high drama at Trent Bridge as England tied the first game of the one-day international against Sri Lanka, thanks to a thrilling six off the last ball from Liam Plunkett.

His last-ditch intervention earned the team a share of the spoils that had seemed impossible earlier in the innings, when they slumped to 82 for six after 18 overs, chasing a target of 286.

However, Jos Buttler, who was caught on the boundary for 93, and Chris Woakes, who finished on 95 not out, rebuilt the innings with a stand of 138 for the seventh wicket.

They set the foundations for the climax - their stand equalled the England record for the seventh wicket while Woakes's score was the highest ever by a number eight in ODIs.

But the home side still needed 52 off 26 balls when number ten Plunkett arrived at the crease. 

He and Woakes ploughed on and the team were left with a sniff, needing 14 off the final over.

It seemed beyond them, as Nuwan Pradeep's well-directed yorkers restricted the batsmen to four runs off the first four balls. Then, with ten needed in two balls, Woakes failed to find a boundary off the penultimate delivery. 

But the pair ran hell-for-leather to take three off the ball, leaving victory beyond them but the chance of a tie still on the table.

Amazingly, Plunkett then latched onto the final ball, dropped marginally short by Pradeep, and sent it sailing back over the bowler's head and into the crowd to level the scores. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"96447","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

"Quite how England salvaged a share of the spoils from a game, when they looked to have been well beaten for much of their innings, remained a source of wondrous disbelief for supporters streaming away into the Nottingham night," says John Westerby of The Times.

It was a "reminder of the endearing absurdities of this great game", writes George Dobell of Cricinfo.

This England team "don't know when they are beaten and they seem to be playing with more belief and conviction by the month," he adds. "The next few years promise a great deal more entertainment."

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