Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Sri Lanka upset England

Published:Saturday | June 22, 2019 | 12:07 AM
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (centre left without cap) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of England’s Jos Buttler (right) during their ICC World Cup match in Leeds, England, yesterday.
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (centre left without cap) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of England’s Jos Buttler (right) during their ICC World Cup match in Leeds, England, yesterday.

LEEDS, England (AP):

Angelo Mathews posted a defiant, unbeaten 85 and Lasith Malinga collected four wickets in vintage fashion as the veterans combined to guide Sri Lanka to an upset 20-run win over England in the ICC World Cup yesterday.

England had been aiming to retake the lead in the standings with a win at Headingley and appeared to be on track after Jofra Archer and Mark Wood took three wickets apiece to restrict Sri Lanka to 232-9.

But when Malinga removed Jonny Bairstow on the second ball and dismissed opener James Vince (14) in the seventh over, England were suddenly wobbling at 26-2. The massive win over Afghanistan earlier in the week suddenly seemed like an age ago.

Malinga returned to take 2-12 in his second spell, claiming his 50th World Cup wicket when he had Joe Root (57) caught behind edging down the leg side. He made it 51 when he trapped Jos Buttler (10) lbw with a full ball that crashed into the batsman’s boot.

The paceman became just the fourth bowler to take more than 50 wickets at the World Cup, joining retired greats Glenn McGrath (71), Muttiah Muralitharan (68) and Wasim Akram (55).

He almost bagged a five-wicket haul, but Ben Stokes was dropped by Kusal Mendis at deep midwicket on his penultimate delivery. Malinga finished with figures of 4-43 off 10 overs.

Stokes stranded

Stokes responded by going on the attack, with nine wickets down, stroking two sixes and two boundaries. He tried to retain the strike as much as possible, declining singles, but was left stranded on 82 when No. 11 batsman Wood was caught behind at the end of the 47th over.

Offspinner Dhananjaya de Silva’s 3-3 in nine balls triggered the late collapse, starting when Moeen Ali (16) was caught on the long-on boundary in the 39th over.

Sri Lanka’s win shakes up a tournament that was being predictable.

“The experienced guys had to come into the game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win the last two games, but we managed to scrap today ... fantastic,” Mathews said. “We had to play our best cricket to beat the best team. Throughout the competition, they’ve been running over sides. We had to come over something extraordinary, which we did today.”

Sri Lanka had only one win — over Afghanistan — two washed out games, and two losses coming into Headingley. After being on the brink of missing the semi-finals, the Sri Lankans have six points and renewed hope.