With 30 runs required to win off the last two overs and just a couple of wickets in hand, England were down and out when Suranga Lakmal ran in to bowl the penultimate over of the match. Teams with wider gaps between runs required and balls left had won before, but this was England: one-day cricket was not their thing, or so they would have liked you to believe.
England should not even have been in the equation, after finding themselves at 82/6 at the end of the 18th over earlier in the day, chasing Sri Lanka's 286/9. However, a record-breaking 138-run seventh-wicket stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler got them back on track for achieving the impossible.
By the time the penultimate over came up, Sri Lanka were still on top, despite the English fightback. But Woakes and the big-hitting England No 10, Liam Plunkett, both hit Lakmal for boundaries and scored 16 off the over to reduce the equation to 14 off the final six deliveries.
Given the responsibility to the bowl the last over was a right-arm fast bowler with a slinging action. Nuwan Pradeep was not Lasith Malinga, but for a few moments he almost made the Lankan fans forget the fact that their pace spearhead was missing from the action. Pradeep bowled three excellent yorkers to bring the equation down to 10 off the last two balls.
The penultimate delivery of the match was also a great one, right in the block hole, but England somehow managed to get three runs off it via some sloppy fielding. It should have been just two down to deep backward square-leg and some of the Sri Lankans were already prematurely celebrating before the two Englishmen sneaked a third, which left six runs needed for a tie.
From 82/6 at one point, a tie would be a morale-boosting result for England and almost like a loss – or a choke, if it were South Africa – for Sri Lanka. Plunkett was on strike for the final ball and he is no mug with the bat. Pradeep ran in and went for another yorker, but the ball missed its mark by a few millimetres. It was enough for Plunkett to heave straight down the ground for maximum, a la MS Dhoni.