ICC Cricket World Cup: England vs Sri Lanka - Quick flicks of the match
Sri Lanka romped home with 9 wickets to spare against England at Wellington in New Zealand today, thereby almost confirming their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. After winning the toss, English captain Eoin Morgan chose to bat first on a docile track, and England accumulated 309 runs from their 50 overs. Chasing 310, the Sri Lankan batsmen made light work of the target as they lost only one wicket, becoming the first non-Associate nation to chase down in excess of 300 in this World Cup. Here are the quick flicks from the match:
Herath suffers an injury to his finger
When Rangana Herath was called upon to bowl the penultimate over of the England innings, he did a very decent job as his first four balls yielded only three runs. However, off the fifth ball, which Herath fired into Joe Root cramping him for room, Root unleashed a full blooded drive which struck Herath on his left index finger. The left-arm spinner’s finger started bleeding, and he left the field for treatment immediately.
The extent of his injury is not yet known, but it is unlikely to be anything too serious. With Sri Lanka’s next game being against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), a ground that favours the spinners, Herath would be desperately needed by Sri Lanka.
Suranga Lakmal was initially given a warning for running on the pitch, but in the last over of the innings, Lakmal missed his length and bowled two waist-high full tosses at Joe Root, as a result of which he was taken off from the attack. Thisara Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan were the only bowlers who had their quota of overs remaining, and since Perera had made up for the injured Herath in the penultimate over, Dilshan bowled the last two balls. England finished on a high as the last ball was pummelled for a four.
The mother of all reviews
If wise usage of the Decision Review System (DRS) was a module in the Kindergarten syllabus, then the Sri Lankan captain would have failed at his first academic hurdle itself. Mathews is known for taking preposterous reviews, but the review he took against Root in the 39th over was startling even by his standards.
Lakmal slanted in a full toss into Root’s thighs and the bowler hardly appealed. Kumar Sangakkara, who is known for his histrionic appeals, was running after the ball, this time. But Mathews, standing at covers, went for a review and Hawk Eye showed that the ball was striking the middle of what would have been the 7th stump in the leg side.
Look at the image above to see for yourself, but make sure you don’t cramp your ab muscles laughing.
The gamble with Herath
Dilshan came in very handy for Mathews during the middle overs with the ball, bowling economically and picking up the wicket of Gary Ballance, thereby enabling Herath’s introduction to be delayed. However, Mathews left it a little too late as Herath, one of Sri Lanka’s best bowlers, ended up not completing his full quota of overs. Also, it was a huge risk to bring the left-arm spinner back right towards the end of the innings, especially with Root and Jos Buttler at the crease. However, the risk paid off as Herath managed to get rid off centurion Root.
The sledge that sparked the Sri Lankans
Recently, there seemed to be a sense of disinterest amongst the Sri Lankan top order, and that had haunted them during big chases. But this time around, both the openers were charged up right from the start of the innings. Perhaps, Stuart Broad’s attempt to distract the openers by sledging early on in the innings did the trick as he was spanked to the boundary shortly after. That ignited Sri Lanka’s chase as they never looked back during their pursuit of a mammoth total.