ICC World Cup 2019: Match 27, England vs Sri Lanka – Who Said What

ICC World Cup 2019: Match 27, England vs Sri Lanka – Who Said What

Lasith Malinga rightly was named the Player of the Match for his four-wicket haul.

Dhananjaya de Silva
Dhananjaya de Silva. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Headingley in Leeds was a witness to a thriller of a contest between hosts England and Sri Lanka. The game had enough twists and turns to keep everyone at the edge of their seats. In the end, the Islanders punched above their weight and slapped Eoin Morgan’s men with a 20-run drubbing. The Lankans literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The triumph also took them to the fifth position on the table.

Mathews steadies the ship

Sri Lanka’s decision to bat first backfired miserably as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood got rid of Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera for single-digit scores. However, Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis brought the Islanders back into the game with a useful 59-run stand. Fernando, returning from an injury layoff, got a quick-fire 49 off 39, but a rash shot off Mark Wood led to his dismissal in the 13th over.

Mendis threw away a good start after getting 46. In the 30th over, Adil Rashid foxed Kusal and then Jeevan Mendis for a golden duck to pick up the fifth Lankan wicket. But the veteran Angelo Mathews didn’t allow the pressure to build and played until the very end, remaining not out on 85 with five fours and a six. His calm demeanour took Lanka to a fighting score of 232. Dhananjaya de Silva churned out a handy 29.

Stokes couldn’t take England through

The Brits got off to a ridiculous start as Lasith Malinga pinned both the openers- Jonny Bairstow and James Vince. Eoin Morgan couldn’t adjust either and got out on 21. Joe Root and Ben Stokes’ 54-run stand injected momentum into the Three Lions’ innings. Just when Root looked settled on 57, Malinga nipped him out. The speedster removed Jos Buttler to set the cat amongst the pigeons in the English camp.

De Silva came to the party and picked up Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid in no time whatsoever. In the end, the onus was on Ben Stokes to see his team through. With wickets falling at the other end, he didn’t lose his cool. He eventually remained unbeaten on 82 off 89 with seven fours and four sixes. Unfortunately, he didn’t get support from the other end as England were shot out for 212.

Lasith Malinga, the Player of the Match, said

We know how good a player he is, we’ve seen it in T20 cricket and in the IPL. But we kept sticking to our plans, ensured that he played away dots and put pressure on him. It paid off. Our plan was to stick to line and length on this pitch with the slower ones and bouncers. We have the confidence to influence matches and have faith in ourselves.

Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan captain, said

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.

If we had the score, the bowlers knew what to do on this wicket. 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. Those are the things we want as a team and I am expecting those things as a captain. I think Root’s wicket was the turning point. I was not confident (with the review) but still went for it.

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, said

I thought we were really good with the bowl. 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. And it is being played at home of cricket too. We are not sure whether Roy will be fit for that match.