Lasith Malinga's counterpunch stuns England
Chasing a target of 233, after piling up 397 in the last match, the debate was about how quickly can England chase this total down. Well, we call cricket a great leveler for good reason.
Sri Lanka 232-9 (50 Overs) [Mathews 85(115), Avishka Fernando 49(39); Mark Wood 3/40, Jofra Archer 3/52]
England 212-10 (47 Overs) [Stokes 82(89), Root 57(89); Malinga 4/43, Dhananjaya de Silva 3/32]
Result- Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
Batting first, Sri Lanka lost both openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera, who have been the best batsmen for The Lions, by the 14th ball of the match. Avishka Fernando on World Cup debut looked a class apart and smashed 49 from just 39 deliveries. He was unfortunate to fall just one run short of a thoroughly deserved half-century.
Kusal Mendis played a very measured knock and it was his partnership with Angelo Mathews (85) which ensured that Sri Lanka could put up up a fighting score on the board. A determined 29 from Dhananjaya de Silva in the end took Sri Lanka to 232 which looked a very innocuous total.
Jofra Archer helped himself to the top of the World Cup bowling chart with three wickets. Mark Wood also snaffled three, while Adil Rashid took two.
England's chase went on in a totally unexpected manner as both openers James Vince and Jonny Bairstow were dismissed cheaply. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan then stitched a partnership but Lasith Malinga (10-43-4, MoM) kept chipping in at periodic intervals, well assisted by Dhananjaya de Silva (8-32-3).
I hope I'm not going to be needed in the chase. If I am, we are in trouble - Mark Wood— Cricket World (@Cricket_World) June 21, 2019
Such prophetic words Mark!@englandcricket @OfficialSLC @cricketworldcup #ENGvSL #WeAreEngland #LionsRoar #cwc19
Live action here:https://t.co/OCLlSxgYep pic.twitter.com/4y7M6qzll9
At last, it was down to Ben Stokes who smashed a couple of boundaries and was looking determined to take it upon himself to help England home, but he ran out of partners as Sri Lanka registered a historic 20-run win.
With this upset, Sri Lanka have climbed to the fifth place in the points table, while England remain at the third spot.
England- James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
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