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Finn wants rerun of opening batting

By Rob Barnett

Steven Finn says England’s batting in the first one-day international with Sri Lanka can act as a “great template” for them to get back into the seven-game series.

The tourists posted an impressive 292 in the opener thanks chiefly to Moeen Ali’s 87-ball 119, albeit they lost by 15 runs at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Alastair Cook’s side fell well short of those batting standards in the second ODI, registering just 185 in an eight-wicket setback at the same venue.

The teams have since moved from Sri Lanka’s east coast to the south of the island for game three, the first time England will play in Hambantota.

Like the day before the second match, rain prevented the tourists but not Sri Lanka from training today for tomorrow’s day/night fixture.

Finn, who missed the opener due to a groin injury but played in the next contest, said: “If we can bat the way that we did in that first ODI, I think that’s a great template for us, moving forward.

Moeen Ali's blistering batting in the series opener against Sri Lanka is "a great template for us", said England seamer Steven Finn

“I think that as bowlers we need to adapt to conditions better. I think as a team in general we need to adapt to conditions better and that’s something that we can keep improving on and keep working (on).

“It’s about being smart when you’re out there on the pitch and training smart beforehand in order to prepare you for the conditions you’re going to face.

“That’s something that we can keep improving at but I think we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Tomorrow is the funeral of Phillip Hughes, the Australia batsman who tragically died last week aged 25.

Ahead of the second ODI, Sri Lanka and England observed a minute’s silence. The tourists also played their part in the #putoutyourbats social media campaign as a mark of respect to Hughes.

Finn, a county team-mate of Hughes at Middlesex in 2009, added: “I’d imagine anyone who is playing cricket anywhere in the world at the moment, who had come across Hughsey in any way shape or form is still trying to come to terms with this. It still feels very surreal, what’s happened.

“The funeral’s tomorrow and obviously everyone will step aside and pay their respects in their own way, and I know everyone in the England dressing room will do tomorrow. And it’s important that we do that because he was a great man.”

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