England faces a shock defeat as resurgent Sri Lanka upset the hosts in World Cup’19

Sri Lanka opting to bat first at Headingley Carnegie posted a total of 232/9 in 50 overs. Despite the quick wickets of their openers, the middle order showed good resistance as Avishka (49 off 39), Kusal Mendis (46 off 68) and Angelo Matthews (85* off 115 balls) fought it out between the 15 to 35 overs slot to push Sri Lanka to a somewhat respectable total. If the lower middle order had capitalized on the foundation laid by the middle order, they could have even reached a total of 260-270 odd runs. Jofra Archer with 3/52 and Mark Wood with 3/40 were the pick of the bowlers.

For England it was an obvious win, even on the “who will win” charts, it was Sri Lanka with just 5% of people favoring an unlikely win. Being in such a wonderful form with a great batting line up, a comfortable win for England with almost 10 overs to spare was expected by many.

But in came the Lankans putting their best foot forward. Lasith Malinga, an ageing speedster, a bowler who was dropped from the team before World Cup, a bowler who was denied the role of captaincy for the ongoing World Cup 2019 just showed to the world that yes he is done and dusted, pace has come down, but he is not over yet.

A sensational bowling spell of 4/43 in 10 overs alongwith good support from Dhananjay De Silva with 3/32 in 8 overs ensured that something unimaginable happened! England in no time were all out for 212 runs in 47 overs. Ben Stokes looked really dangerous scoring 82* off 89 with 4 sixes while Morgan preferred to stay calm in his 57 off 89 balls. Apart from this two, most of the english batsman failed on that day and even a steady support of survival by tailenders could have helped Ben Stokes to finish off the chase.

Though it may be difficult for them to reach semis but this win will bring back the lost love and spirit in entire country of Sri Lanka. Lasith Malinga for his fabulous spell of 4wkts which included big fishes like Morgan and Bairstow was declared ‘man of the match’

With Bangladesh giving it a tough fight to Australia while chasing a massive target to one of the weakest team of this World Cup Sri Lanka defeating England, a much needed spice and excitement has been finally brought into the World Cup’19

 

Haineel Shah