Sri Lanka came back strongly through some brilliant bowling performance by the experienced Lasith Malinga (4 for 43) and shocked the favourites England by 20-runs in an exciting ICC World Cup 2019 game played at Headingley, Leeds, on Friday.
England’s batsman faltered on a dicey wicket and fell prey to the guiles of the disciplined Sri Lankan bowling attack spearheaded by Lasith Malinga. He was well-supported by Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana. Angelo Mathews came up with a fighting knock and led the way with the bat by scoring a valuable 85 n.o. (115b, 5×4, 1×6).
Sri Lanka start badly
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Sri Lanka started badly losing skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (1) and Kusal Perera (2) early (3 for two). Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes took a wicket each for England.
Avishka Fernando (49, 39b, 6×4, 2×6) and Kusal Mendis 46 (68b,2×4) staged a recovery of sorts by adding 59-runs for the third wicket.
Angelo Mathews (85 n.o.) the senior professional batted responsibly and along with Kusal Mendis consolidated the innings further by adding 75-valuable runs for the fourth wicket. Dhananjaya de Silva (29) was the other useful contributor. Sri Lanka ended up scoring 232 for nine in 50 overs and were short by at-least 30 to 40 runs and needed to bowl well to make a match of it which they ultimately did.
Jofra Archer (three for 52), Mark Wood (three for 40) and Adil Rashid (two for 45) impressed for England.
England falter under pressure
England in reply, started shakily losing openers Jonny Bairstow (0) and J. Vince (14) to fast bowler Lasith Malinga (26 for two). Skipper Eoin Morgan (21) and Joe Root (57, 89b,3×4) departed in succession, and it was left to allrounder Ben Stokes 82 n.o (89b,7×4,4×6) to wage a lone battle. The wicket of Joe Root who was dismissed by Malinga was the turning point of the game.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, with Lasith Malinga striking vital blows by taking two important wickets and Dhananjaya de Silva chipped in three for 32 to bowl Sri Lanka to a brilliant win.
England were bowled out for 212 in 47 overs and it was one of the biggest upset in this tournament.
Australia lead the points table with 10 points from six games. New Zealand is in the second place with 9 points from five games. England is in the third place with 8 points from six games. India is in the fourth place with 7 points from four games. Sri Lanka is in the fifth place with six points from six games.
SCORES: Sri Lanka: 232 for 9 in 50 overs (Angelo Mathews 85 n.o., Avishka Fernando 49, Kusal Mendis 46, Dhananjaya de Silva 29, Jofra Archer 3 for 52, Mark Wood 3 for 40, Adil Rashid 2 for 45) bt England: 212 in 47 overs (Ben Stokes 82 n.o., Joe Root 57, Eoin Morgan 21, Lasith Malinga 4 for 43, Dhananjaya de Silva 3 for 32, Isuru Udana 2 for 41); Player of the Match: Lasith Malinga.