England Suffer a Crushing Defeat against Sri Lanka

After beating the reigning champions by eight wickets in a low-scoring match on Thursday, Sri Lanka gave their World Cup campaign new life and made it more likely that England would miss out on a spot in the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka needed to score 157 runs to get their second win. They lost two early wickets, but Pathum Nissanka (77 not out) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (65 not out) helped them cross the finish line in 25.4 overs.

After an early burst by David Willey (2-30), the pair played with a lot of care in their 137-run partnership for the third wicket. This made sure that England lost their third straight World Cup for the first time since 2015.

With the win, Sri Lanka moved up to fifth place in the table, while England fell to ninth, one spot behind the Netherlands.

Sri Lanka had earlier held England to a below-par 156 all out in 33.2 overs in the must-win match between the tournament’s bottom two teams. Only Ben Stokes showed some fight in an otherwise terrible batting performance.

After England’s middle order fell apart because of some sharp bowling, Stokes (43) went after Sri Lanka on a dry pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. But in the 31st over, he was bowled out by Lahiru Kumara (3-35), who hit Dushan Hemantha in the deep.

“Man of the match” Kumara said, “I’m very happy with my performance; I’ve worked really hard for it.” He then praised Angelo Mathews for his effect as a returning veteran.

Angelo is very skilled and helped me a lot at mid-off. It was great to see him again.

England got lucky early on when Jos Buttler won the toss and chose to bat. Jonny Bairstow (30) saved an LBW call that Sri Lanka didn’t review, but he didn’t build on his good start and gave his wicket to Kasun Rajitha (2-36).

Tamil Nadu stopped England from scoring after the powerplay. Mathews (2-14), first got rid of opening batsman Dawid Malan (28) and then helped run out Joe Root. Kumara then struck twice, leaving the winners in shambles at 85-5.

Mathews was called up for his fourth World Cup to substitute Matheesha Pathirana because he was hurt. In his second spell, he caught Moeen Ali, and after Samarawickrama’s low diving catch, Chris Woakes was out to Rajitha.

“The plan was to hit the middle overs with discipline, we stuck to it and were rewarded with wickets,” he said.

Sri Lanka came into the game with the same record as England: three losses in four games. They then ripped through the tail to set up the lowest all-out score in Bengaluru and a comfortable win.

“It’s been an incredibly tough and incredibly disappointing tournament,” stated Buttler.

“I’m sorry that I and the other boys haven’t done a good job. Right now there is no clear answer. I can’t say much bad about the boys’ work, but we’re not even close to playing our best.

Written by Istafa Ali


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