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Cook registers 10th successive score under 50

Cook appeared dejected as he walked off. Credit: Reuters

Tillakaratne Dilshan's 18th one-day international hundred in his 300th match for Sri Lanka left England needing a ground-record run chase at the Premadasa Stadium.

It was Dilshan (101), of Sri Lanka's three veteran batsmen, who played the starring role in a total of 302 for six.

Alastair Cook found a little confidence with the bat and, after sweeping and then cutting Dilruwan Perera for boundaries, he slog-swept the off-spinner for only his second six of the year.

But his luck ran out, and his scrappy innings was over, when he edged Lakmal again and Jayawardene this time took a neat catch low down.

Cook had to go, after the umpires checked the ball carried, for his 10th successive score under 50.

Even with Root still scrapping, on 137 for six from 30 overs, England were washed up.

Cook suspended for slow over rate

Cook has been given a one match ban. Credit: PA

England captain Alistair Cook has been suspended for one match after being found guilty of a slow over rate in the recent win over Sri Lanka.

Cook was also fined 20% of his match fee after a similar transgression at Cardiff last summer.

England now head back to Colombo on Thursday just 2-1 down, with four to play in the one-day series.

Before the punishment was handed out, Cook said: "It will be what it will be. We'll plead our case. It is incredibly tough on a big ground, the ball going everywhere in the last few overs - and also how long it takes the batsman to come out.

"I don't know whether that will get me anywhere. We will see."


Cook: England players in 'shock' over Hughes

Cook admits he and his England team-mates are in 'shock' Credit: PA

Alastair Cook and his England team are in a state of shock at the plight of Australia batsman Phil Hughes, as they prepare for the start of their one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

The stricken Hughes has undergone emergency surgery and is an induced coma and critical condition after being felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Cook said: "Since we woke up this morning, the whole team have been in a bit of shock all day. All our thoughts and prayers are with Phillip."

Most of the England team have played against Hughes at some time, and three have been county colleagues in his stints at Middlesex and Worcestershire.

"Fingers crossed, he can show the same fight he's shown throughout his whole career and he can pull through," Cook added.

Captain Cook to lead England one-day team in Sri Lanka

Alastair Cook will captain England on their seven-match one-day international tour of Sri Lanka this winter.

Captain Cook keeps his job. Credit: PA

Cook's position as ODI captain has been under scrutiny recently, with critics citing his mediocre batting strike-rate as a major concern.

But England's selectors have kept faith, naming him to lead a 16-man squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in November and December. Cook now looks certain to lead England in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.

Pietersen decision a move to 'invest' in Alastair Cook

Kevin Pietersen has been officially released from his central contract with the ECB. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed Kevin Pietersen has been released from his contract, as the side moved to "invest in our captain Alastair Cook".

Read: Kevin Pietersen's colourful England career in pictures

In a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers Association, the ECB said it had been a "matter of great frustration" that it had been unable to respond to "unwarranted and unpleasant criticism" during negotiations.

Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne had described the apparent decision as a "disgrace and a joke" for keeping Pietersen on the England side.

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