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Monday, April 19, 2021

World Cup 2019: Lasith Malinga devastates England, Sri Lanka pull off major upset

Sri Lanka have climbed to fifth position on the points table, with 6 points from 6 matches. England, who have now lost two of their matches, remain at third place with 8 points from 6 matches.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 22, 2019 8:51:12 am
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga celebrates the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler in Leeds on Friday (Reuters Photo)

Sri Lanka beat England by 20 runs at Headingley in Leeds on Friday. With this win, Sri Lanka have climbed to fifth position on the World Cup points table, with 6 points from 6 matches. England, who have now lost two of their matches, remain at third place with 8 points from 6 matches, but have difficult fixtures coming up against Australia, India and New Zealand.

Toss: Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and elected to bat first.

First Innings: Sri Lanka got off to a horrible start losing both openers for just three runs. Avishka Fernando (49) made an impressive debut as he took on Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes in the powerplay overs. Fernando missed out on his half-century. Kusal Mendis (46) gave him able company. Adil Rashid’s double blow pushed Sri Lanka on the back foot but Angelo Mathews played an unbeaten knock of 85 to guide Sri Lanka to a score of 232/9 in 50 overs.

Second Innings: Lasith Malinga (4/43) was the star of the second innings, running through the England batting order. He accounted for the entire England top order and then came back to also trap Jos Buttler to leave the hosts reeling. Ben Stokes played a responsible innings in the chase but began to run out of partners towards the close of play. He looked to take England over the line single-handedly, and with the last few overs left, it looked as if he could break Lankan hearts. However, No.11 Mark Wood was dismissed off the last ball of the 47th over.

Gamechanger: With Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign in crisis, Lasith Malinga (4/43) rolled back the years to rock the England team in his team’s hour of need. He dismissed openers Jonny Bairstow and James Vince in his opening spell, later coming back on to also take the wickets of Joe Root and Jos Buttler in a second spell that shifted the mometum of the match in the Lankans’ favour.

“This is what great players do, and Lasith Malinga is a true champion,” Kumar Sangakkara said in the commentary box.

Captains Speak

Eoin Morgan: I thought we were really good with the ball. Couple of individual performances almost took us over the line. It is frustrating in the dressing room. We will look to bounce back on Tuesday. Both sides found the conditions challenging. It was a bowler’s day. It is a tournament where you need to adjust and come back strongly. This is a long long tournament and we have the chance to bounce back. We have Australia next, it is one of those fixtures which you look forward to even before the tournament.

Dimuth Karunaratne: It was a close one. Sometimes we were under pressure and sometimes we were dominating. At the end of the day it was team work – batters, bowlers and fielders. This wicket looked good but when we were batting it was slow. We knew we couldn’t get 300, so we wanted to get 250-275 but unfortunately we lost wickets. Angelo batted really well and took responsibility. When Malinga got a couple wickets we had to keep him for the last overs and then I gave Dhananjaya the ball and he did a good job. I think Root’s wicket was the turning point. I was not confident (with the review) but still went for it.

Brief Scores: SL 232/9 (50 overs) | ENG 212 all out (47 overs)

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