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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 27, England vs Sri Lanka, Review – Islanders stun the hosts in a flabbergasting thriller

Nuwan Pradeep picked up his first wicket on the final ball of his spell, which turned out to be the winning moment for the Lankan Lions.

Sri Lankan team
Sri Lankan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Well, who in the world saw that coming? England once again crumbled in a run chase, this time a much lower target when compared to the Pakistan game. Their middle order played some rash shots and adding to it was the brilliance of Lasith Malinga, who picked up his second-best figures in World Cups.

Sri Lanka earlier had won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to the worst possible start, with Jofra Archer dismissing the in-form Dimuth Karunaratne and Chris Woakes got the better of Kusal Perera. At 3/2, they were in all sorts of trouble but youngster Avishka Fernando cut loose and scored some much-needed runs. Kusal Mendis too held his nerve wonderfully to stitch a crucial partnership.

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Fernando played some audacious shots and kept the scorecard ticking at a good rate. Unfortunately for the youngster, he fell just one short of a well-deserved half-century after adding 59 runs for the third wicket. Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews too stitched a promising partnership, but they both found it difficult to accelerate the scoring rate. Mendis who was just a spectator in his partnership with Fernando, but he found his feet alongside Mathews.

Their partnership accounted for 71 runs before Mendis fell for a 68-ball 46. Jeevan Mendis too was dismissed off the next ball, which saw Adil Rashid scalp two wickets in the 30th over and break Sri Lanka’s back. Angelo Mathews struggled his way through to get to a fifty and chipped in with another decent partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva.

The veteran remained unbeaten till the end despite losing partners regularly and saw his side get to 232 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Mathews scored 85 runs off 115 balls, a much-needed knock to help him gain some momentum. Mark Wood and Jofra Archer picked up three wickets each for the hosts.

Malinga rolls back the clock with a stellar spell

England got off to a similar start, with Lasith Malinga dismissing Jonny Bairstow for a first-ball duck in the very first over. It didn’t take long for the Lankan legend to pick his second as he found James Vince’s edge and it carried straight to the second slip. The hosts had the Test and limited-overs skippers Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in the middle to rescue them from this debacle.

They did some early damage control by adding 47 runs for the third wicket before Morgan was on his way back. Root continued his battle and although the Lankan bowlers made it very difficult in the middle overs, his quality saw him through. Ben Stokes came in and smashed a couple of boundaries to straightaway gain momentum and with Root completing his fifty, things were well in favour of England.

But Lasith Malinga came back and struck another couple of big wickets to pull things back. He dismissed Joe Root first and then got rid of the dangerous Jos Buttler, putting the English side back on the edge. Dhananjaya de Silva joined the party next and he picked up three wickets in two overs, pushing the Islanders further towards a victory.

Jofra Archer played a rash shot to dismiss himself, but Ben Stokes completed his fifty and continued the onslaught. Just when the pressure was falling back on the Asian side, Nuwan Pradeep, who bowled brilliantly throughout the game, picked up his first wicket on the final ball of his spell to dismiss Mark Wood and gifted his side an unforgettable win.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka: 232/9 in 50 overs (Angelo Mathews 85*, Avishka Fernando 49; Mark Wood 3/40)

England: 212 all out in 47 overs (Ben Stokes 82*, Joe Root 57; Lasith Malinga 4/43)

Result: Sri Lanka won by 20 runs

Man of the match: Lasith Malinga

Here is the Points Table:

Points-Table.ai-WC-2019

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