Sri Lanka has now won five out of six World Cup games against England (Image Credit: Twitter)
New Delhi :
England team were six down for 176 runs after 40 overs, chasing 233 runs against Sri Lanka. With Ben Stokes still at the crease, it looked, England will finish with an over or two to spare. However, in the 41st over, Dimuth Karunaratne introduced Dhananjaya de Silva into the attack, who produced two important wickets to put one-time champion Sri Lanka on the driver's seat. In the end, Karunaratne’s men soared above the expectations and took the hosts down by 20 runs at the Headingley in Leeds.
The toss fell in favour of Sri Lanka and seeing the conditions, Karunaratne opted to bat first. However, the Lankans got off to the worst possible start as the in-form Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera got out inside the first three overs. It required a 62-run stand between Aviskha Fernando, who returned from an injury layoff, and Kusal Mendis for the Islanders to make a comeback. Mark Wood got rid of Fernando for 49 to separate the duo. Angelo Mathews joined Mendis and carried on the good work.
Angelo Mathews looked compact, being ably steady against pace and spin, but his inability to push the scoring rate made his long stay at the wicket a lack-lustrous experience, and in a way, allowed England to remain in the offensive at all points. Nonetheless, his 85* remained key in Sri Lanka posting 232 for 9.
Lasith Malinga nipped out both James Vince and Jonny Bairstow to make it a dream start for the Lankans. Eoin Morgan also strained to find his time and he fell prey to Isuru Udana after scoring 21. Thereafter, Ben Stokes and Joe Root steadied the ship with a 54-run stand. Malinga delivered the blow as he got rid of Root, who looked threatening with 57. The pressure gradually shifted towards England.
De Silva dictated terms and git rid of Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid. Meanwhile, Malinga pinned Jos Buttler in front to unfold more mayhem. At the other end, Stokes showed nerves of steel. With England needing 47 runs and one wicket in hand, he farmed the strike and remained not out on 82 off 89. Unfortunately, he didn’t get adequate support as England got bowled out on 212 in 47 overs.