A stunning innings from opener Jason Roy powered England to another successful run chase against Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international at the Oval. The 25-year-old batsman produced his most impressive innings at international level on his home ground, scoring 162 as the hosts chased down their target of 306 with six wickets and 11 balls to spare.
The belligerent right-handed batsman struck 13 fours and three sixes to guide England to a series-clinching win against their hapless opponents. His innings is the second-highest score ever made by an Englishman in one-day international cricket.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bowl under grey clouds in south London. And it was the hosts who made the first meaningful impression of the afternoon, with Jonny Bairstow running out Kusal Perera from cover for just one.
Thereafter, though, the Sri Lankan duo of Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka launched an eye-catching counter-attack against England's seam bowling attack, taking advantage whenever they strayed in line or length. Mendis, in particular, took a heavy toll on some early waywardness from David Willey to help raise Sri Lanka's 50 in less than eight overs.
Mendis, 21, brought up his half-century from just 44 balls and the pair recorded the tourists' highest partnership of the series. Their momentum was, however, halted by a mid-afternoon shower, which made it impossible for England's spin duo, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, to grip the ball.
When play was stopped, Mendis was unbeaten on 75 and Gunathilaka was 48 not out, with Sri Lanka well-placed on 127 for one. And although they both fell to the bowling of Rashid shortly after the re-start, Dinesh Chandimal's 63 and an unbeaten 67 from captain Angelo Matthews helped them to 305 for five in a revised 42 overs.
In reply, England quickly lost the wicket of Ali - promoted to open in the absence of the injured Alex Hales - but Roy and Joe Root combined to put on a sparkling partnership of 149 and put the hosts on the cusp of victory. Roy reached his hundred off just 74 balls.
Indeed, the Surrey batsman appeared certain to break Robin Smith's all-time top one-day score for an England player of 167, before he took one risk too many and lost his wicket. "What a day. I'm stoked. I've put in a lot of hard work and it's nice to pay off," Roy said, according to CricInfo.
Subsequently, however, Bairstow and Jos Buttler ensured England coasted to their revised victory target with time to spare. The win means England now have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series heading into the final match in Cardiff.