Liam Plunkett secured an against-the-odds tie for England in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka by hitting the last ball of the match for six. The Yorkshire bowler, who was a surprise selection, drilled the final ball off Nuwan Pradeep over long-off to end a stunning game of cricket at Trent Bridge.
England, who had earlier slumped to six for 82 in pursuit of 287, required heroic knocks from Jos Buttler (93) and Chris Woakes, who finished unbeaten on 95, to drag themselves back into the match. But still requiring 14 to win off the final over, it was Plunkett who transpired to be the real hero, producing a jaw-dropping six to secure a tie for his side.
Earlier in the day, England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat first on a slightly damp-looking surface, which had been under the covers over recent days. Steven Finn, Chris Jordan and James Vince were omitted from the hosts' starting line-up and, much to everyone's surprise, Plunkett was drafted in to provide some pace.
Unlike during the one-sided Test series, Sri Lanka's young batsmen started in positive fashion, racing to 27 without loss before David Willey got into the action. The Yorkshire all-rounder, who has endured a turbulent first season at Headingley, removed Danushka Gunathilaka for nine and the attack-minded Kusal Perera for 24. Shortly afterwards, Chris Woakes dismissed the similarly aggressive Kusal Mendis to reduce the tourists to 56 for three.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews and Dinesh Chandimal then embarked on a rebuilding mission. But their rescue effort was cut short by Moeen Ali, who got Chandimal to top-edge a sweep shot to Woakes at fine leg. Matthews, though, stuck around to score 73, and alongside the belligerent Seekkuge Prasanna (59), guided the tourists to a competitive total.
England assisted their cause early in their innings, with Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ali all falling for single-figure scores, before Woakes and Buttler regrouped. The wicketkeeper appeared to be guiding England to victory until he was spectacularly held by Dasun Shanaka.
However, England refused to give up the runchase, with Woakes and Plunkett uniting to give them a glimmer of hope heading into the final over. And just as it appeared they would fall agonisingly short, Plunkett butchered the final ball of the match into the crowd to end an incredible day of action at Trent Bridge.