5.1 C
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Woeful England’s World Cup hopes virtually extinguished by Sri Lanka

England’s hopes of defending their World Cup title are all but over following an abject display against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru.

The 2019 champions came into today’s clash knowing they realistically needed to win all five of their remaining group games to stand a chance of making the semi-finals.

But, with their opponents in the same position, Jos Buttler’s men were a distant second best as Sri Lanka won by eight wickets with Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama making hugely impressive half-centuries to see their side home.

Having been bundled out tamely for just 156 inside 34 overs – Ben Stokes top-scoring with 43 – England’s bowlers started well but they were unable to maintain that intensity as Sri Lanka cruised to their victory target with over 24 overs to spare.

The defeat is another new low for England who have won just one of their five games, seemingly suffering from a confused selection policy and a squad of players that look devoid of form and confidence.

Angelo Mathews, recalled to the Sri Lanka squad due to an injury to Matheesha Pathirana, did much of the damage in England’s innings, the 35-year-old claiming two for 14 and playing a key role in the run out of Joe Root with a sharp bit of fielding.

England, perhaps sensing the gravity of their situation, started relatively well with Yorkshire duo Jonny Bairstow (30) and Dawid Malan (28) looking untroubled against Sri Lanka’s opening bowlers.

But Mathews’ nous proved key with the old-stager getting one to bounce up sharply, take the edge of Malan’s bat and captain Kusal Mendis did the rest behind the stumps.

Mathews then accounted for Root (three) with a sharp throw from point after the 32-year-old set off for a run that was never on.

England’s early confidence was visibly disappearing and the mental scars created by the thrashing at the hands of South Africa at the weekend were starting to show.

Bairstow got out to a horrible cross-bat hoik to mid-on, Buttler (8) wafted at a Lahiru Kumara delivery outside off and edged to Mendis and Liam Livingstone (one) did little to justify his recall by being trapped in front to the same bowler.

Stokes and Moeen Ali were tasked with rebuilding the innings and did manage to put on 37 for the sixth wicket before the latter was snared by the excellent Mathews for 15.

With no recognised batters to come, Stokes had to produce one of his special innings but that proved beyond even him and when he holed out to substitute fielder Madi Hemantha off Kumara (three for 35), the innings was effectively done.

David Willey, the only member of the squad not to be handed a central contract earlier this week, shone early with the ball with England knowing they had to run through the Sri Lanka top order cheaply to stand any chance of defending such a low total.

The left-arm medium-pacer claimed the wickets of Kusal Perera (four) and Mendis (11) and with Sri Lanka at 23 for two, there was still a glimmer of hope.

But that was quickly extinguished by Nissanka and Samarawickrama, who batted beautifully given the pressure placed on them.

Opener Nissanka finished on an unbeaten 77 from 83 balls, finishing the contest with a towering six, with Samarawickrama continuing his excellent form with 65 from 54 balls.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


Corporate Payroll Solutions that Help your Business Stay Competitive

In the competitive world of business, staying ahead of...

Innovations in Oven Cleaning: Staying Ahead of Industry Trends

Business success comes with prudent choices. One such choice...

Man jailed for life after murdering his father in Preston

A man has been jailed for life for murdering...

The Fastest Growing Automotive Market Segment: Electric Vehicles

In today's rapidly evolving automotive landscape, hybrids and EVs...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Business Lancashire will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

Don't miss

Corporate Payroll Solutions that Help your Business Stay Competitive

In the competitive world of business, staying ahead of...

incspaces launches all-in-one Virtual Office and Desk Space subscription

incspaces, a leading provider of innovative workspace solutions, is...

10bet 50% up to £50 Welcome Bonus – Best Grand National Betting Sites

The 2025 edition of the Grand National is just...

Best Betting Sites UK for April 2024

It isn't an understatement when we say that the...

More News

Best UK Football Betting Sites For 2024

Football is the UK's biggest and most popular sport. This, of course, comes hand in hand wither people wanting to bet on football. Due...

Best Betting Sites UK for April 2024

It isn't an understatement when we say that the gambling and bookmaking industry has evolved and adapted to more and more changes in the...

Best Betting Apps for iOS & Android on Mobile in the UK April 2024

This article is for those who wish to have an easy betting experience and wish to have the option to bet on the go....