Sri Lanka produced the ‘Upset of the Tournament’ so far, beating hosts England by 20 runs in the 27th group stage match at the ICC World Cup 2019 at Headingley, Leeds on Friday. The game went down to the wire, but Sri Lanka held their nerve to defend 232 against the strong England batting line-up.
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and decided to bat first on a good batting pitch at Leeds with shorter boundaries square of the wicket.
Sri Lanka made two changes from their playing XI in the Australia encounter, bringing in Avishka Fernando and Jeevan Mendis to replace Lahiru Thirimanne and Milinda Siriwardene. England stuck to the same playing XI which they fielded in the Afghanistan match last Tuesday, where they thrashed the opposition by 150 runs.
Productive pair fails
Sri Lanka’s in-form opening pair couldn’t continue their prolific run at the tournament this time, falling prey to Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes’ opening spell in successive overs. Karunaratne nicked one behind to the keeper, Jos Buttler off Archer’s bowling before his partner, Kusal Perera slashed straight to Moeen Ali’s waiting arms at third man.
Sri Lanka were 3 for 2 in the 3rd over when Kusal Mendis and World Cup debutant Avishka Fernando came together in the middle to resurrect the Sri Lanka innings which is infamous for its middle order collapses.
“Archer Who?” – Avishka Fernando
Surprisingly, the inexperienced Fernando threw caution to the win with one of the best counter-attacking innings in this World Cup so far, with eye catching strokes all over the ground.
He absolutely bossed Archer, depositing him for 2 sixes and 3 fours in two overs to steal 25 runs without showing any respect to the speedster. The 21-year-old played a well-controlled innings before he tried to be cheeky, trying to upper cut one over third man off Mark Wood’s short pitched delivery. His innings ended on 49 in just 39 balls.
|Highest Scores by Sri Lankans in CWC19|
|MDKJ Perera||78||v Afghanistan|
|FDM Karunaratne||52*||v New Zealand|
Runs Vs run rate?
Sri Lanka’s most experienced man in the batting order, Angelo Mathews walked into the middle in the 13th over and couldn’t get on with it right away while Mendis on the other end was failing to middle the ball.
After a rather uncharacteristic innings, Mendis departed for a hard-earned 46 before Jeevan Mendis presented a return catch to Adil Rashid on very next ball. Dhananjaya de Silva too tried to play a few big shots but to no avail, manufacturing 29 with a strike rate of 61.70.
Angelo Mathews played the anchor after his three failures in previous attempts, mustering 85 but the Sri Lanka innings never got going after the dismissal of Avishka Fernando as Mathews couldn’t accelerate in the middle part of the innings.
Sri Lanka dawdles to 232
For the first time in this World Cup, Sri Lanka played out their 50 over quota, setting a target of 233 for the strong English batting unit to chase.
England seamers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood shared 3 wickets apiece while Moeen Ali became the first bowler to complete his ten overs without conceding a boundary in a World Cup match since Ajantha Mendis on 26 March 2011.
|Sri Lanka Innings Progression|
Not so easy England
England openers couldn’t get to the dream start they were hoping for as Lasith Malinga struck twice in his opening spell to dismiss Jonny Bairstow and James Vince for 0 & 14 respectively. Malinga pitched the ball up for Bairstow to trap him LBW and Mendis took a tumbling catch at slip to send Vince back.
England’s ODI captain and Test Captain, Eoin Morgan & Joe Root were not given any freebies by the Sri Lankan bowlers, keeping the pressure intact from both ends. After their 47-run partnership, Isuru Udana produced the breakthrough, taking a brilliant return catch off his own bowling to cross off Morgan’s name from the long list of English batting line-up.
Root does what he does, enter Maa-Lin-Gaa
Joe Root, rather slower than his usual pace, registered his 5th 50+ score in this World Cup with 3 boundaries. But Lasith Malinga returned and sent him packing in his second spell for 57. Root became Malinga’s 50th wicket in World Cups, making him the 4th highest wicket taker in World Cup history.
|Highest Wicket-takers in World Cup history|
The veteran seamer then launched one of his special yorkers to pick up the precious scalp of Jos Buttler to wrestle the momentum back in Sri Lanka’s favour.
“Give me the ball”- SL’s specialist off-spinner
Then, Sri Lanka skipper made an inspiring bowling change to bring Dhananjaya de Silva into the attack to dismiss a threating partnership between Ben stokes and Moeen Ali.
Ali went for an expansive lofted drive and was caught at the boundary by Isuru Udana. In his very next over De Silva made a double blow, stealing the wickets of Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid to take Sri Lanka to the front, making it 178-8.
No way, Ben Stokes!
Sri Lanka only had that man – Ben Stokes – between what would be a remarkable win against the tournament favorites and the equation was 55 runs off 9 overs.
The skillful allrounder took it down to 20 off 19 balls, hitting back to back sixes against Isuru Udana and 2 fours against Nuwan Pradeep. But in the final ball of the 47th over Nuwan Pradeep made the final breakthrough by taking Mark Wood’s wicket to register a Sri Lankan victory by 20 runs.
Sri Lanka now have 2 victories in this tournament, including the win against tournament favourites England and climbed to 4th position on the points table with 6 points in 6 games. They will next meet South Africa on 28th at Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street.
|Dimuth Karunaratne||c Jos Buttler b Jofra Archer||1||8||0||0||12.50|
|Kusal Perera||c Moeen Ali b Chris Woakes||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|Avishka Fernando||c Moeen Ali b Mark Wood||49||39||6||2||125.64|
|Kusal Mendis||c Eoin Morgan b Adil Rashid||46||68||2||0||67.65|
|Angelo Mathews||not out||85||115||5||1||73.91|
|Jeevan Mendis||c & b Adil Rashid||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c Joe Root b Jofra Archer||29||47||1||0||61.70|
|Thisara Perera||c Adil Rashid b Jofra Archer||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|Isuru Udana||c Joe Root b Mark Wood||6||4||1||0||150.00|
|Lasith Malinga||b Mark Wood||1||5||0||0||20.00|
|Nuwan Pradeep||not out||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||10 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 6, pen 0)|
|Total||232/9 (50 Overs, RR: 4.64)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-3 (1.6) Dimuth Karunaratne, 2-3 (2.2) Kusal Perera, 3-62 (12.5) Avishka Fernando, 4-133 (29.4) Kusal Mendis, 5-133 (29.5) Jeevan Mendis, 6-190 (43.3) Dhananjaya de Silva, 7-200 (45.4) Thisara Perera, 8-209 (46.4) Isuru Udana, 9-220 (48.3) Lasith Malinga,|
|JM Vince||c Kusal Mendis b Lasith Malinga||14||18||2||0||77.78|
|Jonny Bairstow||lbw b Lasith Malinga||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Joe Root||c Kusal Perera b Lasith Malinga||57||89||3||0||64.04|
|Eoin Morgan||c & b Isuru Udana||21||35||2||0||60.00|
|Ben Stokes||not out||82||89||7||4||92.13|
|Jos Buttler||lbw b Lasith Malinga||10||9||1||0||111.11|
|Moeen Ali||c Isuru Udana b Dhananjaya de Silva||16||20||0||1||80.00|
|Chris Woakes||c Kusal Perera b Dhananjaya de Silva||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|Adil Rashid||c Kusal Perera b Dhananjaya de Silva||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Jofra Archer||c Thisara Perera b Isuru Udana||3||11||0||0||27.27|
|Mark Wood||c Kusal Perera b Nuwan Pradeep||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||6 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 0, w 5, pen 0)|
|Total||212/10 (47 Overs, RR: 4.51)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-1 (0.2) Jonny Bairstow, 2-26 (6.5) JM Vince, 3-73 (18.4) Eoin Morgan, 4-127 (30.3) Joe Root, 5-144 (32.3) Jos Buttler, 6-170 (38.3) Moeen Ali, 7-176 (40.1) Chris Woakes, 8-178 (40.5) Adil Rashid, 9-186 (43.4) Jofra Archer, 10-212 (46.6) Mark Wood,|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||8||0||32||3||4.00|