Sri Lanka making the world cup interesting: Shoaib Akhtar
The cricketing world has been running out of superlatives to praise Sri Lanka for their stunning win over England on Friday.
Published - Jun 22, 2019 12:57 pm | Updated - Jan 23, 2020 8:36 pm
The cricketing world has been running out of superlatives to praise Sri Lanka for their stunning win over England on Friday. Not many would have thought that Sri Lanka would even challenge England let alone beating them when the two sides locked horns in Leeds. However, when the game ended it was the Sri Lankan players who were celebrating while the England players were left in shock.
Both the teams had entered the game on the back of contrasting fortunes. While England had won four of their last fives games, Sri Lanka had won only one of their last five. However, past form and record went for a toss as the Lankans stunned the English by 20 runs to throw the ongoing World Cup wide open. In one of the best games of this competition, the Islanders went on to defend 232 against a team which had blasted 397 just a few days ago.
Batting first, Sri Lanka ended up on a modest 232 for 9. They started disastrously and lost both of the openers for just 3 runs. Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis then stopped the rot before failing to capitalise on the starts. At one stage it looked like, Sri Lanka would struggle to cross even the 200-run mark. But thanks to their former skipper Angelo Mathews’ unbeaten 85, the bowlers got a decent total to defend.
With an ordinary total on the board, Sri Lanka needed a solid start and Lasith Malinga provided it to them. He sent back both England openers cheaply to reduce them to 26 for 2. The home team kept losing wickets at regular intervals which allowed Sri Lanka to strengthen their grip on the game. Ben Stokes tried his best but remained stranded on one end as Nuwan Pradeep dismissed Mark Wood to bowl out England for 212. Stokes remained unbeaten on 82.
Shoaib Akhtar all praise for Sri Lanka:
Sensational was the word used by Shoaib Akhtar to praise Sri Lanka’s efforts with the ball. The legendary pacer hailed their win and said that the tournament has become interesting, writing: “Sensational defence of a small total. Sri Lanka making the world cup interesting. Whats next guys?”
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 21, 2019