Chandimal was 'nursed' to his century by Mathews as the run rates left teammates anxious [AFP]

Dinesh Chandimal's unbeaten 105 saw Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory in the third one-day international against England at Lord's as the tourists took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Sri Lanka, chasing 247, finished on 249 for four, but not before Chandimal and strike partner Angelo Mathews had exasperated their dressing room by protecting Chandimal's position in front of the wickets so he could hit his century.

Chadimal secured the win, with 10 balls to spare, after flamboyantly going down on one knee to carve James Anderson over cover for four.

His innings was the 21-year-old Chandinal's second century in just six matches at this level and meant he'd converted both his fifties into hundreds.

Sri Lanka could have wrapped things up a lot sooner as Angelo Mathews, who took 21 balls for his one not out, 'nursed' Chandimal to his century.

Never enough

England's total of 246 for seven, which featured captain Alastair Cook's career-best 119, never looked enough.

The hosts' score was put into perspective by a Sri Lankan second-wicket stand of 112 between Chandimal and opener Mahela Jayawardene, who made 79.

Chandimal eventually went to his hundred in style, hoisting Tim Bresnan for six over long-on to completed a 123 ball-century, with two sixes and 10 fours.

"I did well because I just played my normal game," said man-of-the-match Chandimal.

"I thank my captain and teammates for their support."

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, who appeared agitated as Mathews refused easy potential runs, added: "I was a little tense at the end, but they are youngsters, they are learning, and I'm happy with them.

"The important thing for Chandimal was that he won the game for us. We are very confident after the last two games and looking forward to winning the series."

A dejected Cook said: "We kept losing wickets at the wrong time, we always seemed to be rebuilding. It's always nice to score runs, but disappointing to do it in a losing cause."

The series continues at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Source: Agencies