Just when it looked like Ben Stokes’s heroic knock will deny Sri Lanka their second win and a chance to rise up to fifth in the tournament at Headingly in Leeds, Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep bagged the last England wicket, that of Mark Wood to give the Lankans a 20-run victory.
Lasith Malinga had earlier dismantled England top and middle order with four wickets for 43 runs while spinner Dhananjaya bagged three wickets. Stokes played a brilliant lone hand till the end and remained unbeaten on 82 off 89 deliveries.
Malinga came back in the 31st over and the lethal pacer had an instant impact in the game, picking up Joe Root on 57 to break a 54-run stand between Root and Ben Stokes. The right-armer then went on to pick up Jos Buttler in the 33rd over as Sri Lanka put pressure on the hosts at Headingly in Leeds.
England are now struggling at 148 for the loss of five wickets after 34 overs. The hosts require another 85 runs from 96 deliveries.
England lose Morgan at crucial time
After a cruicial 47-run third-wicket partnership between skipper Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, England skipper fell prey to an Isuru Udana delivery.
Eoin Morgan drilled one low full toss from Udana straight to the bowler who took a great catch to dismiss the Englad skipper. Morgan had to walk off after scoring 21 off 35 balls. England keep the pressure on the hosts at Headingly in Leeds.
SL keep things tight after early wickets
Sri Lanka bowlers did an excellent job as they kept England's scoring rate in check after scalping two early wickets at Headingly in Leeds today.
Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga removed opener Jonny Bairstow for a first ball not in the very first over of the innings after the Lankans came on to the field to defend a below-par 232 for nine set by them. Malinga then went on to scalp the wicket of the other English opener -- James Vince -- after the right hander had scored 14 off 18 balls. Since then, Sri Lanka bowlers kept things tight, keeping the scoring rate in check. England are now batting on 70 for the loss of two wickets at the end of 18 overs.
Sri Lanka post below-par 232 for nine
Despite an unbeaten 115-ball 85 from allrounder Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka could only manage a below-par 232 for nine against the hosts England at Headingly in Leeds today.
After losing two early wickets that saw Sri Lanka struggling at three for two after 2.2 overs, the Islanders recovered through a valiant 49 off 39 balls from Avishka fernando who was playing his first ever World Cup game. After the debutant's dismissal in the 13th over, Kusal Mendis and Mathews stitched together a 71-run fourth-wicket stand before the former was dismissed off an Adil Rashid delivery. Rashid went on to scalp another wicket -- the wicket of Jeevan Mendis -- in the very next ball to see Sri Lanka reeling at 133 for five in the 30th over. After that Sri Lanka kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but Mathews' unbeaten knock saw Sri Lanka post 232 for nine.
SL slump after recovery
England leg spinner Adil Rashid took two back to back wickets in the 30th over to put Sri Lanka in a spot of bother after the Islanders had recovered from an early slump.
Rashid dismissed Kusal Mendis on 46 when he went for a slog sweep that was brilliantly taken by England skipper Eoin Morgan at midwicket. The 31-year old then got Jeevan Mendis caught and bowled in the very next delivery that saw him on a hat-trick. Sri Lanka are now on 146 for five after 33 overs.
SL look to recover after early slump
Avishka Fernando marked his first appearance of the World Cup with an impressive array of shots only to fall just shy of a fifty as Sri Lanka slumped to 62-3 against England at Headingley on Friday.
Sri Lanka, who won the toss, were in dire straits at three for two before the 21-year-old Fernando, in just his seventh one-day international, counter-attacked with a dashing 49 in this group match. It looked like the Lankans will be in dire straits but experienced duo of Kusal Mendis and captain Angelo Matthews have started the rebuilding with a 51-run fourth-wicket stand.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat first against the hosts England at the Headingly in Leeds today.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne informed that there are two changes in the side from their last game against Australia -- where the Islanders failed to capitalize on their brilliant start.
"We've got two changes, Lahiru and Milinda aren't playing. We've had some time to regroup and discuss about what went wrong. We were worried about it (the middle order) but I'm pretty confident we'll bounce back." said an optimistic Karunaratne.
Meanwhile, England will be taking the field today with an unchanged squad from their last game against Afghanistan and it is also a very special occasion for one of the English players said skipper Eoin Morgan.
"I would have looked to do the same, it's the best time to bat early. We've got with the same line-up as Old Trafford. It gives a little bit of turn, which brings Adil and Moeen into the game. Our first priority is to get into the semifinals and if we do that, we might look at who gets to rest. (Moeen) is absolutely buzzing today and thoroughly deserves his 100th cap." said Morgan at the toss.
England: Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep