Sri Lanka secured an 8-wicket victory over England in the World Cup match held today (26). The team gained this victory overcoming internal conflicts including the appointment of a new captain while sideling the previous one, injuries, and critical changes within the selection committee and coaching staff.
Furthermore, the team grappled with a series of injuries, and Angelo Mathews, who had not been considered for the squad due to issues in the middle order, was summoned back to the team.
More than ever, the fans were eager for Sri Lanka to gain victory as we have faced an overwhelming amount of losses during this series alone.
The match took place in Bangalore, with England’s Jos Buttler winning the toss. England initially appeared to be establishing a solid opening partnership, making good use of their decision.
Notably, Angelo Mathews played a crucial role in breaking England’s first wicket partnership.
While it initially appeared that John Bristow had been dismissed on the very first ball by Dilshan Madhusankha, the Sri Lankan opening bowler, the decision was not referred for a replay.
Nonetheless, the first wicket fell with 45 runs on the scoreboard, thanks to Angelo Mathews, who joined the World Cup squad at the last moment and made his debut in this match. This marked Mathews’ first ODI wicket in three years.
Following this, Sri Lankan bowlers effectively placed England’s innings in a precarious situation. Early dismissals included Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, and Jos Buttler, all before the 16th over.
Later, a promising partnership between Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali seemed to provide some stability, but Moeen Ali fell to Mathews after contributing 15 runs. Their partnership ended at 37 runs.
An excellent catch by Sadeera Samarawickrama led to the dismissal of Chris Woakes shortly after.
England was heavily reliant on Ben Stokes to achieve a competitive total, but he was dismissed for 43 off 73 balls in the first ball of the 30th over.
In the end, England was bowled out for 156 runs in 33.2 overs.
Notable performances in bowling included Lahiru Kumara taking 3 wickets for 35 runs, Kasun Rajitha taking 2 wickets for 36 runs, Angelo Mathews taking 2 wickets for 14 runs, and Mahish Thiekshana securing 1 wicket for 21 runs.
Sri Lanka, in response, faced the loss of 2 wickets for 23 runs, with Kusal Janith Perera and Kusal Mendis falling early.
However, Pathum Nishanka and Sadheera Samarawickrama, two consistent batsmen, played outstanding innings, marking the first substantial partnership seen in a while.
Pathum Nishanka scored an unbeaten 77 runs with 7 fours and 2 sixes off 83 balls, while Sadheera Samarawickrama contributed 65 runs from 54 balls with 7 fours and a six.
This victory has rekindled hopes for the Sri Lankan team, with Lahiru Kumara being the standout performer, taking 3 wickets for 35 runs.
Sri Lanka now holds the 5th position on the scoreboard, while England is at 9th.
With 5 matches played and 2 wins secured, Sri Lanka will face Afghanistan in Pune on the 30th, with fans eagerly anticipating another successful performance.