ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: England vs Sri Lanka - Player ratings
Though he didn’t do much with the bat, Moeen Ali bowled 10 overs for 50 runs while picking up the only wicket to fall in Sri Lanka’s innings.
Ian Bell gave the England innings a rollicking start, punishing Suranga Lakmal in particular. However, the spin of Tillakaratne Dilshan slowed him down, and he was eventually bowled by Lakmal just one short of his half-century.
A perfect number three from an opposition’s point of view, Gary Ballance came in and sapped any momentum the openers had given England. His 6 runs came in 14 balls as the England innings stalled in the middle.
An attacking batsman by nature, Joe Root piled up a 108-ball 121 to help England put up a competitive total on the board. The most impressive aspect about his innings was the way he structured it, nudging singles early on in the innings and then running amok at the death.
The captain settled in very well and looked good for a gargantuan innings, only to be dismissed caught at point. Eoin Morgan’s wicket came at a time for England when they were looking set for a colossal total.
I’m not sure why England would play somebody who has the innate ability to rotate the strike and pick up quick singles at No.6. But that is exactly what they are doing with James Taylor.
Taylor looked very comfortable right from the moment he came to the crease, helping Joe Root go about his business at the other end. His stay during the powerplay paid dividends, and his innings of 25 was exactly what England needed at that stage.
Jos Buttler always had scores to settle against Sri Lanka after the Sri Lankans ‘mankaded’ him in mid-2014. He has always had an affinity for the Lankan bowlers and he, once again, re-established his dominance over them by slamming a 19-ball 39.
Chris Woakes looked dismal and was the most expensive of all the English bowlers. He could not make the ball move in the air as he often does, hence becoming the ideal fodder for the Sri Lankan batsmen.
The lanky bowler did nothing with the ball, but what he did do was make sure that the Sri Lankans were up for a battle during their steep run chase by engaging in unnecessary chatter in the field.
Once again, another English bowler who had little effect on the game, leaking runs at more than run a ball.
Much was expected of England’s ace seamer, and the battle between him and Thirimanne was expected to be a mouth-watering one, but neither of that materialized as Anderson looked toothless throughout his spell.