Leeds: A briliant spell by Lasith Malinga (4/43) and Dhananjaya de Silva (3/32) helped Sri Lanka to walk away with a scintillating victory against England by 20 runs in the World Cup match, played here at Headingley stadium on Friday.Earlier, after opting to bat first, the Ceylonese were not able to do much as their batsmen weren't too impressive. Still, they managed to put up a brave face and gave the hosts a target of 232/9.
However, Angelo Mathews' unbeaten 85 off 115 (5 fours, 1 six), Avishka Fernando's 49 off 39 and Kusal Mendis' 46 off 68, helped Lanka post 232/9 in 50 overs against the Britishers.
England got off to disastrous start, as the veteran paceman Malinga reduced the hosts to 38 for two, as they chased a seemingly modest target of 233. Malinga dismissed Jonny Bairstow for a golden duck, as the batsman aimed across the line, with a review unable to spare the local hero.
James Vince (14), then fell in all too familiar fashion, when an edged drive off Malinga was caught by Kusal Mendis at slip in the 6th over.England skipper Eoin Morgan (21) too, was unable to perform and was departed in 18.4 over, leaving England on a score of 73/3. Isara Udana caught and bowled Morgan.
Significantly, the in-form Joe Root played handsomely and scored 57 off 89 balls under pressure and added 54 runs for the fourth wicket with Ben Stokes. In 30.3 over, Malinga took his third wicket as he sent Root to the pavilion.
After Root's dismissal, none of the batsmen from the Queen's land were able to give the much-needed support to Stokes, who from the other end, single-handedly kept the score board running.Jos Buttler (10), Moin Ali (16), Chris Woakes (2), Adil Rashid (1) and Jofra Archer (3) scored, respectively.
However still, there was hope as Stokes remained on the crease, but on the other side, Mark Wood was dismissed by Nuwan Pradeep in the 47th over and with this, the hosts were all out, giving Lankans a reason to celebrate as both the sides fought hard, but eventually the visitors emerged victorious.
Apart from Malinga and de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep took one wicket, while two went in the kitty of Isuru Udana.(UNI)