England captain Eoin Morgan summed up his side’s shock defeat to Sri Lanka at the Cricket World Cup on Friday by stating ‘we didn’t deserve to win’.
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga took four wickets as his side damaged England’s hopes of progressing smoothly to the World Cup semi-finals after their surprise 20-run win at Headingley.
Morgan’s side were chasing a modest 233 as they sought a victory which would have seen them leapfrog Australia in first place, but instead crashed to 212 all out.
“You look at the basis of, or the basics of a run chase, partnerships are very important,” said Morgan.
“We struggled to get enough partnerships going, or one substantial one. There were a couple of individual innings, but that’s not good enough to win a game.”
Hosts England were stunned for the second time in the 2019 ICC World Cup with the tournament favourites on the receiving end of a 20-run defeat against Sri Lanka at Headingley.
Sri Lanka had only posted a modest total of 232-9 with the bat but a four-wicket haul by Lasith Malinga inspired the side to only their second win of the tournament with England getting bundled over for 212 runs.
England lost their openers Jonny Bairstow and James Vince early in their chase of 233 with Malinga striking both times. The hosts looked to be recovering through a promising stand between Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan but a stunning catch off his own bowling by Isuru Udana ended the 21-run star of the latter.
Root managed to register his fifth fifty-plus score of the tournament but the right-hander’s dismissal by Malinga in the 31st over gave Sri Lanka another opening. That opening was exactly what the Lankans needed with Malinga trapping Jos Buttler lbw for a duck just moments later.
Ben Stokes held one end up for England with a gritty knock but Sri Lanka kept chipping away at the wickets at the other end with Dhanajaya de Silva picking up two scalps.
Stokes was left stranded on 57 as Nuwan Pradeep removed last man Mark Wood to spark wild celebrations among the Sri Lankans.
Earlier, Sri Lanka got off to a disastrous start with the bat with openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera falling inside the first three overs. Avishka Fernando (49) and Kusal Mendis (46) helped resurrect the innings before Adil Rashid’s double-strike opened the floodgates again.
It took a fighting unbeaten 85 off 115 deliveries from veteran Angelo Mathews that helped Sri Lanka ultimately post 232-9 as wickets kept falling at the other end.
The veteran Sri Lanka pacer rose to the occasion when his side needed it most with a game-changing four-wicket haul.
With just a paltry total of 232 to defend, Sri Lanka desperately needed early wickets and that is exactly what Malinga provided them. The pacer removed England openers Jonny Bairstow and James Vince in the powerplay to give Sri Lanka a glimmer of hope with the new ball.
The veteran then returned to heap further destruction on England in his second spell, just when the hosts started to consolidate with a Joe Root half-century. Malinga ended Root’s resolute stay before dismissing dangerman Jos Buttler with a brilliant slower delivery.
Those two crucial wickets in the middle overs swung the pendulum back in Sri Lanka’s favour.
What a performance by @OfficialSLC great win inspired bowling by lasith Malinga and danajaya de silva . WOW. Hope this is the catalyst for the team to believe even more. Now for the batsmen to respond with heart— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) June 21, 2019
Favourites England’s semi-final hopes in jeopardy
England would have been eyeing a return to the top of the table ahead of the clash but they now find their semi-final prospects looking uncertain after their shock defeat.
The tournament favourites were stunned earlier by Pakistan but their recent results had seen them rediscover their best form. Morgan’s men still remain in third spot with eight points after six games but have India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh hot on their heels.
The worrying part for the hosts is that their three remaining clashes are against the other three tournament favourites. England have to face Australia, India and New Zealand in their final games and will need to be at their very best if they are to book a place in the last four.
Malinga brings up World Cup fifty
With his dismissal of Jos Buttler on Friday, Lasith Malinga has become only the fourth bowler in history to pick up 50 wickets in the World Cup.
Only Glenn Australia’s McGrath (71), Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (68) and Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (55) have achieved the feat previously.
The 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final qualification doors are closing fast on the West Indies as they prepare to lock horns against New Zealand at Manchester on Saturday.
Windies find themselves in a precarious spot after picking up just the solitary win in their five games and must now win each of their four remaining clashes to have any chances of making the semi-final.
New Zealand, on the other hand, already have one foot in the semi-final after an unbeaten campaign that has seen them win four out of their five games with their clash against India ending in a no-result.
MISFIRING GAYLE, RUSSELL IN FOCUS
It has all gone pear shaped for Windies ever since they thrashed Pakistan in their campaign opener with Jason Holder’s side yet to pick up a single win this month. Their fixture against South Africa was washed out by rain but the manner of their defeats against Australia, England and Bangladesh have all left plenty to be desired.
Their latest loss against Bangladesh was a chastening one with the Tigers chasing down a total of 322 runs with more than eight overs to spare. These losses have seen the shine wear off quickly from a Windies side who were being talked up as dark horses before the World Cup began.
A big reason for their struggles of late has been down to the poor form of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, both of whom have failed to bring the firepower that makes them such fearsome batsmen for opposition bowlers.
While Gayle has not played a single innings of note since his fifty against Pakistan, Russell has simply not turned up with the bat with a high score of just 21 so far. The two stalwarts will need to make a much bigger contribution if the Caribbean side are to turn their campaign around.
HIGH-FLYING KIWIS LOOK TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
Yet again, the Blackcaps are living up to their billing as big performers in the World Cup with Kane Williamson and his men yet to taste defeat in the tournament. The Kiwis arrive at Manchester fresh from a thrilling last-gasp win against South Africa with Williamson starring with an unbeaten ton.
The victory has moved New Zealand to second spot in the table and a semi-final spot is theirs to lose at this stage. However, they will be wary of the fact that they have to face title contenders Australia and England in their final two league clashes and those are potential banana skins.
As such, getting maximum points from their upcoming clashes against Windies and Pakistan will be of utmost importance to the Blackcaps. Their bowling department, especially pace, is firing on all cylinders but the batting is still looking inconsistent at times. The Kiwis will want the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to find some form as the business end of the tournament approaches.
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.