In the 27th match of the ICC World Cup 2019, the obvious favorites were the hosts England against a not so strong Sri Lankan side. The English bowlers delivered for Eoin Morgan and the underdogs could only score 232 in their 50 overs with 9 wickets down.
233 to chase in 50 overs, for a side like England it should have been a cake-walk. But no, the experienced campaigner Lasith Malinga traps Jonny Bairstow on the very first ball and boom, Jonny is gone leg before. Root comes in, steadies the ship and somehow the English fans are still sitting confidently in the crowd.
Meanwhile, Malinga gets rid of James Vince and Morgan comes out and goes back quickly as Udana takes a wonderful one-handed catch off his own bowling. Malinga comes back and sends Joe Root back to the pavilion.
All of a sudden England are 5 down with less than 150 runs on the board. Buttler & Stokes were batting in the middle and the captain wanted someone to step up and remove the last recognized pair of England.
Here we go, Malinga raises his hand and comes into bowl once again. Lasith goes straight & full and Buttler misses it completely, plumb in front and Malinga once again provides Karunaratne with a vital break-through. Ben Stokes tried to take the match to the end but he was running out of partners.
Moeen Ali also played a horrible shot to get out. Later, the same bowler took two more wickets in almost the same fashion.
It was still looking a tough task till the end of 47th over when Pradeep’s out-swinger took the edge of Wood’s bat and the Islanders actually started celebrating.
For Sri Lanka, apart from Malinga, their all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva also played an important role in the victory. He scored 29 vital runs and contributed in the partnership with Angelo Mathews who scored 85. Malinga took 4-43 in 10 and de Silva took 3-32 in 8.