Alastair Cook was delighted to mark the start of his one-day captaincy with a commanding victory but warned his England side there was more hard work to come.
In his first match as Andrew Strauss’ successor in ODIs, Cook oversaw a satisfying 110-run win over Sri Lanka, built around innings from Craig Kieswetter (61) and Eoin Morgan (45) and a stunning four for 18 from James Anderson.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Cook after Sri Lanka were bowled out for 121 in pursuit of a rain-revised target of 232 in 32 overs. “It’s a really good start, but let’s not get too carried away about how I did or the team did.”
He added: “It’s just a good start and we have to keep our feet on the floor. We’re not in it for personal plaudits, we’re in it to win games of cricket.
But I thought it was an oustanding performance from all our bowlers. For Jimmy up front to get them 15 for four and get their danger men out got us ahead of the game.”
The only blight on Cook’s day was his own innings, which was ended after three balls when Lasith Malinga had him strangled down the leg-side for just five.
It was not the response Cook was looking for to those who have questioned his suitability for limited-overs batting, but he reacted pragmatically.
“That’s the game, isn’t it?” he said. “There’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s probably the most frustrating way to get out but I shouldn’t have nicked it so fine I suppose.”
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan was sorry to see the back of the glorious weather that his side enjoyed in the nets, but conceded they were simply second best in the first outing of the five-match series.
“They batted well, put in a huge score to chase and it was not easy batting second to get 230,” he said. “We had to take chances and it didn’t work.
The thing is for the last two days has been sun but when it comes to the match it is rainy and overcast which is normally a help to the English bowlers.
“But that is not an excuse, we didn’t bat well and we didn’t bowl well, that is why we lost the match.”
The match was 41-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya’s 445th and last before retirement, ending a 22-year career at the highest level. He made just two in his final knock but was awarded a standing ovation by the crowd and was able to add a final wicket to his tally when he trapped Ian Bell lbw.