Defending champion England lost its last game in the Super Eights stage of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament to Sri Lanka, and was knocked out of the tournament. Having won all its games, Sri Lanka made it to the semifinals, propelling West Indies with it.
“Today I'm Sri Lanka's #1 fan.... Common Sri Lanka let's take it to them,” tweeted Darren Sammy, the most unassuming of captains in this edition of the tournament, as the match was in progress. He and his team were watching the match anxiously in their hotel a few minutes’ drive from the Pallekele stadium.
And Sri Lanka did not let him down. It beat England by 19 runs to progress into the semifinals. With two wins, West Indies took the second slot. England, which defeated only New Zealand in the group, became the second team to pack off.
Chasing 170 for a win, England never recovered from losing its top three batsmen in the third over of the innings to Malinga. Coming together at 18 for three, Samit Patel and Eoin Morgan concentrated on rebuilding the innings. That work came undone when Morgan’s attempted reverse sweep off Dananjaya did not connect. He was hit on the pads and was given out lbw.
The very next over, Ravi Bopara was bowled off a straight delivery from Jeevan Mendis, reducing England to 76 for five. Malinga came back to claim two more wickets to leave England tottering at 144 for eight.
Earlier, Greame Swann sent back Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara off successive balls in the 11th over to seize the initiative for England, but late flourish saw the host set a target of 170. This is Sri Lanka’s highest score in a T20 game against England.
The score read a healthy 74 for 1 at the end of the 10th over. Swann, continuing, tossed one up outside the off stump to Jaywardene and he hit it straight to Morgan at midwicket. The very next ball, he foxed left-handed Sangakkara with a similar ball. Sangakkara, looking to defend, edged and Bairstow took the catch comfortably. Jeevan Mendis blocked the next ball to deny Swann a hat-trick.
Sri Lanka would have been in worse shape if Swann had held Dilshan off Dernbach at the lone slip position in the second over. Dernbach got the ball to bounce more and before Dilshan realised it, the ball had taken the edge and flew to Swann. He palmed it near his forehead and the batsmen crossed over. But Dilshan did not last too long; he went in the fifth over, caught in front by Finn.
Broad came back in the 16th over to send back Jeevan Mendis and Angelo Mathews off successive balls and apply the brakes on the scoring again. Mendis pulled a length ball uppishly over midwicket but Ravi Bopara ran a little backwards and took a comfortable catch. Mathews dragged one on to his stumps.
In the Sri Lankan innings there was just one partnership of 50 plus for the fourth wicket between Jeevan Mendis and Angelo Mathews. Thissara Perera’s cameo helped prop up the Sri Lankan score.
For England, Jonny Bairstow kept wickets as Craig Kieswetter was dropped. Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel and Jade Dernbach came in. Tim Bresnan and Danny Briggs were left out. For Sri Lanka, Akila Dananjaya came in place of Rangana Herath.
Keywords: World Twenty20