sport

England set healthy total

England set a competitive total of 247-6 after their opening one-day international against Sri Lanka was reduced to 39 overs each due to rain.

Ian Bell (50) and Gary Ballance (64) laid the foundations for the hosts at the Kia Oval, but shortly after the former was dismissed a thunderstorm broke over the ground and forced a lengthy delay.

Joe Root (45) held the next phase of the innings together as Sachithra Senanayake took three wickets in 10 overs, before some late hitting from Chris Jordan (38 from 13 balls) boosted the run rate to well above six per over.

As England had started their innings playing to a 50-over schedule, Sri Lanka have been set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 259 runs to win.

In their first high-profile ODI match since Peter Moores returned as coach following last winter's Ashes whitewash, England lost captain Alastair Cook early after being put in on a cloudy afternoon.

Cook made just 11 from 23 balls before edging Nuwan Kulasekara behind, and five overs later Bell would have been run out had wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara's dash and throw on the turn hit the stumps.

Thereafter Bell and new No 3 Ballance did well to keep the scoreboard ticking over before the former, who had just completed his fifty, fell to the last delivery before the rain came.

When England returned two and a half hours later it was without Root, who had made it as far as the pavilion steps before the weather intervened and was then pushed down the order in favour of Eoin Morgan.

The tactical switch did not work, Morgan (3) misreading Senanayake and chopping on as he tried to cut, while Ballance was caught in the deep when he tried something similar off the same bowler.

But Root and Buttler both played solidly and Jordan produced some spectacular strokes as England smashed 93 runs from the last seven overs.