England witnessed another catastrophic collapse in their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 match against Sri Lanka on Thursday. Today’s match pitted two sides in the bottom half of the table, something not usually associated with the giants of the game.
The English batting line-up could not find an answer to the Sri Lankan bowlers who kept piling on the pressure taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict their opponents to a paltry 156. England could only bat for 33.2 overs.
The 25th One Day International (ODI) of the grandest tournament in the game of cricket pitted defending champions England against a young Sri Lanka side. The match is being played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Having won the toss, England skipper Jos Buttler decided to bat first. They were off to a solid start by openers Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan. However, the issues that have come to the fore to haunt them throughout their miserable campaign so far, were evident today as well. Soon after Dawid Malan was sent home by Kusal Mendis, the wickets began to fall like a house of cards.
None of the top or middle order batters, except Ben Stokes, could stop the slump as the Lankan Lions kept on raising the heat. Lahiru Kumara was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name as a returning Angelo Mathews alongside Kasun Rajitha picked two. Maheesh Theekshana got one wicket to round of the England innings.
Ben Stokes took the fight to the opposition with an important knock of 43 runs off 73 balls as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Sri Lanka will now have to ensure they pick up the easy win served to them by being careful and not allowing the English bowlers to get a breakthrough. The target will be easy to attain and a win by a good margin could see them move above Afghanistan and Pakistan in fifth position.