World Cup: Sri Lanka secured a significant victory while England endured their fourth loss

World Cup: Sri Lanka secured a significant victory while England endured their fourth loss
Sri Lanka produced a dominant performance to beat England by eight wickets, wrapping up the win with 24.2 overs of their chase to spare. England's defence of their World Cup crown is likely over, with Jos Buttler's team needing to win all of their remaining results to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals. And Sri Lanka, who move up to fifth in the standings with the win, have now won all of their last five Men's Cricket World Cup meetings with England.
Sri Lanka performed exceptionally well in the match against England, with some excellent bowling performances from Maheesh Theekshana and the recalled pair of Lahiru Kumara and Angelo Mathews. They were successful in reaching their target of just 157 to win, thanks to outstanding half-centuries from Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama. Although Willey's impressive opening spell threatened to stop Sri Lanka's chase, Nissanka and Samarawickrama counterattacked and left the Lankans in an exceptionally strong position.
Kusal Mendis-led Sri Lankan team made a strong comeback by including Mathews and Kumara in the squad for the ODI match against England in Bengaluru. They managed to dismiss England's top and middle order for just 156, which is the lowest all-out total ever recorded in an ODI match in Bengaluru. Kumara (3/35), Mathews (2/14), and Rajitha (2/36) were the top wicket-takers, while Theekshana put England in a difficult position by conceding only 21 runs from his 8.2 overs. Dawid Malan played well but was dismissed by Mathews in his first over, scoring 28 from 25 balls. This was the first time Mathews had bowled in an ODI match since 2020. England suffered another setback when Joe Root got run out for just three runs. Sri Lanka's pacers managed to swing the ball around, which helped them gain momentum.
Bairstow couldn't make the most of his early luck, shanking a poor drive off Rajitha to mid-on. And out-of-form Buttler departed for just 8 when he flashed at a wide delivery from Kumara and was well caught behind by Mendis. England's returning batter Liam Livingstone (1), played all around a fast straight ball from Kumara to be trapped leg-before soon after, again by Kumara. Ben Stokes survived a couple of close calls to stay at the wicket and managed to stitch together a small stand with Moeen Ali for the sixth wicket,
Stokes' top-scoring effort of 43 from 73 balls came to a disappointing end when he shanked a heave into the deep. Mark Wood (5) was stumped in the last wicket to fall, with Willey on 14, meaning England had been skittled for just 156 in 33.2 overs.  Willey's excellent opening spell briefly raised the prospect of a tight finish in Bengaluru. The returning Woakes bowled better than his previous three appearances at the tournament but looked largely unthreatening and was unable to match Willey's pressure with the new ball.
England all-rounder Moeen had spoken prior to the match about the need for scoreboard pressure to give spinners a chance in Bengaluru. Samarawickrama finished unbeaten on 65 from 54 balls, while Nissanka brought up the win in style with a huge six to end with 77 from 83. The result means that Sri Lanka has four points and has kept their semi-final hopes alive at the tournament. 
Source: IANS