Even the returning Stokes couldn’t prevent the English downfall. The reigning champions’ title aspirations suffered another major blow after Sri Lankans made them look like rookies in Chennai. A disastrous batting show followed by an ordinary bowing display further aggravated an already perilous situation. Sri Lanka bounced back strongly from their defeat against Australia, and the semi-final places are still within their reach.
Reece Topley is ruled out of the World Cup after suffering a fractured index in the game against South Africa. Brandon Carse replaced him in the England squad. England made three changes to their playing XI for this game. Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali took the places of Harry Brook and Gus Atkinson. Mark Wood is back to replace the injured Topley.
Sri Lanka welcomed their veteran all-rounder Angelo Matthews, who was drafted to the squad for Matheesha Pathirana, who is out with a shoulder injury. Dushan Hematha gives his place to accommodate Matthews. Fast bowler Lahiru Kumrara came in for Chamika Karunaratne.
- Jonny Bairstow 2. Dawid Malan 3. Joe Root 4. Ben Stokes 5. Jos Buttler (Cap.) (WK) 6. Liam Livingstone 7. Moeen Ali 8. Chris Woakes 9. David Wiley 10. Adil Rashid 11. Mark Wood
- Pathum Nissanka 2. Kusal Perera 3. Kusal Mendis (Cap.) (WK) 4. Sadeera Samarawickrama 5. Charith Asalanka 6. Dhananjaya de Silva 7. Angelo Matthews 8. Mahesh Theekshana 9. Kasun Rajitha 10. Lahiru Kumara 11. Dilshan Madushanka
The pitch at Chinnaswamy is a good place to bat. The average of the last five innings on this ground is 295. It is ideal to set a huge target for the side batting second and put them under pressure.
|Venue||The 25th game of the 2023 World Cup was played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Date||The game started from 02:00 pm IST on Thursday, October 26|
Captaincy & Tactics
The decision to bat first seemed like an ideal one after England were flying after the first six overs. But Sri Lankan pacers hit the deck hard to generate some bounce off the track. Lahiru Kumara bowled with a scrambled seam to confuse the batters. Angelo Matthews followed suit with a craft from his own locker, upright seam deliveries with virtually no pace.
Kasun Rajitha peppered the English batters with short deliveries. Ben Stokes tried to break the shackles by scoring some boundaries, but he soon fell victim to a short-pitched delivery. It was not an easy place to bat when the bowlers took the pace off the ball; the Sri Lankans used this ploy to dismiss the English batters.
David Willey was able to generate swing off the track, and that spelled danger for the Sri Lankan top order. Both Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis fell to swinging deliveries. But Samarawickrama and Nissanka steadied the ship with responsible batting.
The duo avoided taking unnecessary risks, playing the ball along the ground. The matured approach frustrated the English bowlers, and it was evident in their bowling. Rashid was neutralized by playing on the front foot. Woakes was not able to find his rhythm back. Mark Wood was largely anonymous throughout the innings.
England’s batting collapse has been a common theme in this tournament. Ben Stokes was the only shining light on a dismal-looking scoreboard. Joe Root’s search for ODI form continues after he failed spectacularly to score some runs in the powerplay. Root averages just 12.45 in the powerplay overs after 2019; his strike rate of 65.85 is also an indicator of the man’s poor form.
Ben Stokes was adamant in his approach. Playing the ball on the front foot, punishing everything that is loose. His best phase came when Mooen Ali was there to back him up. The pair scored 37 from 46 balls to give the English innings a much-needed impetus. Stoke was standing just ahead of the popping crease to neutralize the late movements. But his resilient stay came to an end at the hands of Kumara, a miscued pull shot to get out cheaply.
Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan gave false early signs with a bright English start. The pair scored 9 boundaries between them – the shorthand jabs, the pulls, and the cuts were exquisite to see. But once they fell, the innings started to crumble. Buttler’s innings of great struggle was painful to see; he got out by edging it to the keeper, an innings of 8 runs.
Liam Livingstone couldn’t negotiate with an inswinger; he went for just one run. Moeen Ali looked impressive with his aura of majesty; he got out for a run-a-ball 15. The last ten wickets fell for 111 runs, making it the lowest total at the Chinnaswamy for a team all out.
Sadeera Samarawickrama is having a dream World Cup with the bat after an impressive Asia Cup last month. Samarawickrama has scored 298 runs in this tournament, averaging an astounding 98.33. The boy from Colombo showed his class once again with an innings that belied his lack of experience. He played 58% of his shots on the offside, a touch of spontaneity hampering the English mood.
Pathum Nissanka has been a fixture at the top of the order for the Lankan Lions. He stood strong along with Samarawickrama to steer his side to victory. Nissanka’s cover drives were a sight to behold; he scored 20 runs, including 3 boundaries in that region. He also hit two sixes over long-on, an indication of the man’s all-round ability with the bat. Nissanka became the second batter to reach 1000 ODI runs this year after Shubman Gill.
The bowling display by the Sri Lankans was a total team effort. But the contribution made by Lahiru Kumara was huge, a wonderful spell of menacing pace bowling that struck fear in the minds of the batsmen. Kumara was giving the early ball some drift by bowling scrambled seam deliveries, a tactic that he used in 64% of all deliveries. The best option would have been to open the front leg to steer the ball on the onside. But the English batsmen tried to play the deliveries on the back foot and paid the price.
Angelo Matthews has not bowled an over in the ODIs for three years. Yet he got a wicket from his first one in this match. He was a constant tormentor for his lack of pace and skidded deliveries. In 2020, the last year Matthews bowled in this format, he averaged less than 20. The veteran was back for one last hurrah by picking up two wickets.
Kasun Rajitha helped the Lankan cause with two wickets. Mahesh Theekshana picked up the solitary wicket of Mark Wood. Sri Lanka completed the all-out by the 34th over. It was a courageous performance by a side which is massively depleted through niggling injuries.
David Willey picked up two early wickets to make the match interesting for a while. But the other bowlers failed to make their mark on the game. England has managed to take more than two wickets in the powerful on only one occasion at this World Cup.
Adil Rashid could not stop the Sri Lankan batting domination and went for 39 in just 4.4 overs. Chris Woakes has managed only 4 powerplay wickets this year; he was not able to generate any movement, even with the new ball. Mark Wood had plenty of pace but no penetration. Neither Liam Livingstone nor Moeen Ali was able to utilize the chance they were given in the team.
It was a wonderful fielding display by the Sri Lankans. Joss Buttler was brilliantly caught behind the wicket by Kusal Mendia, who dived to his right. Dhananjaya de Silva pulled a stunning low catch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow. Angelo Matthews rolled back the years by picking up and throwing it to the wicketkeeper quickly with Root short of his ground.
Adil Rashid was run out through the quick thinking of Kusal Mendis. Mendis looked up and saw Rashid coming out of the crease. They quickly removed the bails – a loose rendition of the infamous Ashes run out of Jonny Bairstow by Alex Carey.
The English fielders tried their best to help the bowlers defend a short target. Livingstone was at his usual exceptional level. Ben Stokes and Joss Buttler made no mistakes in terms of taking catches. But the total was never going to be enough on a perfect pitch for batting.
Ben Stokes top scored with a 43-run innings among the English flops. Jonny Bairstow was lucky to survive the first ball of the innings, and he added 30 runs to the board. Dawid Malan started things off with some fine shots; he was able to score 28 runs before getting out. It was a wonderful pace bowling show after years for the Lankan Lions. Lahiru Kumara marked his return with a 3-wicket haul. The veteran Matthews used his experience to perfection by claiming a couple of scalps. Kasun Rajitha picked up two wickets.
Sri Lanka faltered early but recovered quickly through the 3rd wicket partnership. Pathum Nissanka was in his usual aggressive mood and scored 77 off 83 deliveries. Sandra Samarawickrama continued his red-hot form with a score of 65. Their unbeaten stand of 137 made sure Sri Lankan would secure an easy victory to claim the two points. David Willey gave his country some early hope with 2 wickets, but none of his compatriots were able to take any wickets.
Ben Stokes was fighting a lonely battle against the Lankans with some powerful shots played all along the ground. Stoke made a decent stand with Moeen Ali – a counterpunching 37 off 46 deliveries. Moeen got out after a floppy cut towards point, but Stokes was there to keep the attack going.
After the completion of the 30th over, England’s total stood at 137 for 8 wickets. Stokes was at 43 off 73 deliveries, scoring 6 boundaries in the process. Lahiru Kumara came into the attack and decided to pitch it short. Stoke tried to pull it away for a six. But the timing was not quite right; he only managed to miscue towards midwicket. Substitute fielder Dusan Hemantha didn’t have to move an inch to complete the catch. Stokes went, and so did England’s hopes of posting a decent score.
Sri Lanka keeps their World Cup aspirations alive with a crushing 8-wicket victory against England. They finished their chase with 25.4 balls with 148 balls remaining.
Player of the Match
Pace bowler Lahiru Kumara bowled fast and troubled the batsmen throughout the innings. He won the Best Player of the Game award for his figures of 3/35.
|England Total: 156/10 (33.2 overs)||Sri Lanka Total: 160/2 (25.4 overs)|
|Ben Stokes 43 (73)||Pathum Nissanka 77* (83)|
|Jonny Bairstow 30 (31)||Sadeera Samarawickrama 65* (54)|
|Lahiru Kumara 3/35||David Willey 2/30|
|Angelo Mathews 2/14||Liam Livingstone 0/17|
It has been a tournament to forget for the reigning champions, with defeats coming thick and fast. They couldn’t put up any resistance against fellow strugglers Sri Lanka. They will face a stern test against hot favorites India to salvage some pride. Sri Lanka fans will hope for a similar performance against Afghanistan on Monday. The battle for the top four places is getting more intense as we enter the business stage of the tournament.