Published: Sun, June 23, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Lasith Malinga leads Sri Lanka to shock win over England

Lasith Malinga leads Sri Lanka to shock win over England

England have not beaten any of them in the World Cup since 1992 but Morgan had faith in his team's ability to bounce back. Time to think again.

And just as importantly for Sri Lanka on Friday, the 35-year-old, renowned for his unorthodox "slingshot" action, struck telling blows.

Chasing 233 on an increasingly hard pitch, the hosts were smothered by a brilliant Sri Lanka bowling performance in a compelling contest. Then there's No. 2-ranked India and 2015 finalist New Zealand, both unbeaten so far.

However, former English cricketer called the loss a "hiccup" and predicted that England will still win the trophy despite the loss against the Lankans.

But England rebounded to beat Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan. "We tend to resort to being aggressive, smart, positive cricket, so let's hope that is the case", against Australia.

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The 7-foot-2 sniper shot 56.1% from the field, 52% from three-point range and 75.7% from the free throw line. He also only played nine college games at OR because of a foot injury.

Things started OK for England, having Sri Lanka at 3-2 in the third over with Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes getting early wickets. "But we needed to take a couple of wickets and we were in the game".

That seemed a below par total but with paceman Malinga taking 4-43 and off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva following up with three wickets in quick succession, it proved more than enough as Sri Lanka enjoyed another memorable day at Headingley - the ground where they sealed their first Test series win in England five years ago.

Although England were missing Jason Roy because of a hamstring tear, Buttler refused to make an excuse out of the absence of the fast-scoring opener.

Joe Root held things together with 57 - his fourth score of 50 or more in the tournament - until he edged Malinga down the leg side and was caught behind. "If you look at the games that we have played, obviously we would love him in the side and he is a huge strength at the top of the order, but that's not why we lost the game today, or why we might have struggled on this wicket", Morgan said.

They will need to win their last three games to do that, starting with South Africa in Durham next week - but the skipper is not getting carried away. Stokes was stranded on 82 at the end. "We know how good a player he is, we've seen it in T20 cricket and in the IPL", said Malinga in the post-match presentation.

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