Malinga fiver sinks England
Yesterday night a ferocious 5-wicket haul from Lasith Malinga knocked England out of the Super 8s, and assured Sri Lanka a berth in the semifinals. After posting a decent total of 169-6, the Sri Lankans were troubled by Luke Wright, who was opening in the absence of keeper Craig Kieswetter. However, Malinga removed Wright, took out Johnny Bairstow, and smashed into the pads of Alex Hales to leave England at 18-3 in 3 overs. Then Samit Patel and Eoin Morgan began to revive the innings, before spinner Akila Dananjaya removed Morgan, which triggered a collapse, in which Malinga and Ajantha Mendis took out Ravi Bopara (1) Jos Butler (8) and Stuart Broad (1). Then came a furious counterstrike from Patel and Greame Swann, which took England within range of the total. However, Malinga broke through Patel (67 of 48) to get his fifth wicket to end with 5-32 in his 4, and that was it. A little while later Swann (34 in 20) was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara, leaving Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach to scratch a few singles to end the English innings at 150-9, 19 runs too short. The only bowler whom they could go after was Ajantha Mendis, and they docked him for 40 in his 4. To get to 169, Sri Lanka were guided by Mahela Jaywardene, who continued his great form for his 38-ball 42. He was well assisted by Tillakaratne Dilshan (16 of 12) and Kumar Sangakkara (13 of 12) before he was removed by Greame Swann. Then some thick resistance from the middle order came in the form of Angelo Matthews, who made useful partnerships with Jeevan Mendis (18 of 13) and Lahiru Thirimanne before Thisara Perera (26 of 16) wrapped up the innings with flurry. Once again Jade Dernbach was expensive, going for 42 in his 4. So a sad end to the defending champions’ reign, but better luck next time! Do join us for Australia vs Pakistan at 3:30 PM in Sri Lankan time today. Until then, adios!