SL fight to avoid exit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:52 AM, March 26, 2016

SL fight to avoid exit

Take on under-pressure England today

Holders Sri Lanka face being dumped out of cricket's World Twenty20 on Saturday unless they can overcome an England team desperate for runs to clinch their own spot in the semifinals.

After a stuttering start to their title defence, the islanders will have next to no chance of reaching next week's semis if they lose in New Delhi even though they still have one more game to go.

England will be hoping the failure by their top-order batsmen in Wednesday's tie against Afghanistan was a blip and they can reproduce the swashbuckling form that helped them to a record-breaking victory over South Africa last weekend.

Little has gone right for Sri Lanka of late and they were left reeling by the withdrawal of leading paceman Lasith Malinga at the start of the tournament with injury problems.

Their first two matches have included a defeat to the West Indies and a less than convincing victory over Afghanistan.

Only one batsman has passed 40 and their fielding has been a shambles.

Skipper Angelo Mathews said after the West Indies match that "the top order let us down" and the team would work hard on their fielding as it had been "so sloppy".

After the West Indies’ win against South Africa, a defeat for Sri Lanka will automatically spell their departure from the tournament.

Since South Africa lost, the Lankans will no longer have to bank on Afghanistan pulling off a victory over the Proteas in their final match.

The complicated mathematics mean victory is not only vital for England but they also need to sharply increase their run-rate.

England captain Eoin Morgan said he had no particular concerns about his top order, which sparkled against South Africa, but said the team would seek to regain their focus after their stuttering win over the Afghans.

The opener missed Wednesday's match but Morgan was "confident he will be fit" for Saturday.


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