Cook sticking to trusted recipe despite England’s half-baked batting failures

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook has ordered his batsmen to improve in Wednesday’s must-win fourth one-day international after Sri Lanka took a 2-1 lead in the series at Lord’s yesterday.

Cook smashed 119 but received scant assistance from his top order colleagues as England reached 246-7 – a total the tourists surpassed with six wickets and 10 balls to spare.

Mahela Jayawardene followed his ton at Headingley on Friday with 79 off 77 balls before Dinesh Chandimal wrapped up back-to-back wins for Sri Lanka with 105 not out.

“We will review this game, where we think we can get better,” said Cook. “Our batting line-up hasn’t scored enough runs in the last two games. If we want to win games we’re going to have to fire more consistently.”

But Cook (right) resisted suggestions a top three including both him and Jonathan Trott, who made just two runs, might be too conservative for shorter forms of the game. “Trotty’s had a quiet couple of games, but he averages 50 and strikes at 80 at No3, which are pretty good stats,” he said. “We’ll all take collective responsibility in the batting line-up for not scoring enough runs.”

Trott, Craig Kieswetter (three) and Eoin Morgan (four) could only manage single figures on a batting-friendly track.

England need to win the midweek day-nighter at Trent Bridge if they are to avoid defeat in the five-match series, with the final match taking place at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Broad lands fine for umpire dissent
ENGLAND fast bowler Stuart Broad has been fined half his match fee for showing “serious dissent” to umpire Billy Bowden in Friday’s one-day defeat to Sri Lanka.

Broad made “unacceptable and offensive remarks” towards Bowden after having an appeal for lbw against Jeevan Mendis turned down.

Twenty20 captain Broad, who was fined last summer for throwing the ball at Pakistan batsman Zulqarnain Haider, later admitted the offence.

“Stuart’s behaviour was not acceptable in any form of cricket,” said match referee Alan Hurst. “Accepting an umpire's decision is an essential feature of cricket and part of its spirit.”