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England vs Sri Lanka: Stuck to Plan Against Stokes - Malinga

AFP |June 22, 2019, 3:36 AM IST
England vs Sri Lanka: Stuck to Plan Against Stokes - Malinga

Leeds: Lasith Malinga insisted he had done nothing new despite being hailed as a "legend" after starring in Sri Lanka's stunning World Cup win over England on Friday.

The veteran paceman took four for 43 as Sri Lanka, defending a seemingly modest total of 232-9, beat England by 20 runs to open up the race for a semi-final spot.

England, bidding to win the World Cup for the first time, would have gone top of the 10-team round-robin table with a victory at Headingley.

But instead they suffered their second defeat of the group phase following an equally surprising 14-run loss to Pakistan.

Malinga's haul saw him become just the fourth bowler to take 50 wickets at the World Cup after Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan and Wasim Akram.

And just as importantly for Sri Lanka on Friday, the 35-year-old, renowned for his unorthodox 'slingshot' action, struck telling blows.

Malinga, who briefly returned home earlier in the tournament following the death of his mother-in-law, rocked England at the start of their chase when he had Jonny Bairstow lbw for a golden duck.

England then saw Malinga have stand-in opener James Vince caught at slip.

Malinga had the in-form Joe Root caught behind down the legside for 57 on review and Jos Buttler fell lbw for 10 to a trademark yorker.

Ben Stokes tried to take the game away from Sri Lanka -- now just two points behind third-placed England -- with a blistering unbeaten 82, only for wickets to keep falling at the other end.

"We know how hard Ben Stokes hits it, he got two or three boundaries but we just kept bowling our stock ball," said Malinga.

"We stuck to our basic plan - line and length, no loose balls and add in some variations and bouncers."

Meanwhile, Buttler said Malinga remained as awkward to face as ever.

"He is just different – as much as you do face him he is different," Buttler insisted.

"The stumps are always in play with him, with his release point if it hits you in line it's generally close (to the batsman being out).

"We didn't counter him as well as we could have today but credit to a fantastic bowler."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6939 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more
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