England put to the sword by Malinga
CRICKET:SO THIS little adventure is over. England were comprehensively beaten by 19 runs. Despite a defiant lone hand from Samit Patel, who relished taking on the Sri Lanka spinners in an innings of 67 from 48 balls, the target of 170 was way beyond them.
Even with an experienced, in-form batting line-up this would have been a steep task since the totals are getting smaller and smaller as the tournament progresses. Against such a callow collection of young Englishmen it was far too much.
The run chase disintegrated as early as the third over, bowled by Lasith Malinga, who captured three wickets in six balls and was then removed from the attack even though he was on a hat-trick, a rare occurrence in any form of the game.
Malinga’s first wicket came from a short wide delivery, which was cut hard by Luke Wright straight to Tillekeratne Dilshan at backward point. There might have been a run-out from Jonny Bairstow’s first ball, a yorker, but amid the chaos there were two overthrows instead. Next came another slower one, which a duped Bairstow scooped straight to mid-off.
Then Alex Hales received yet another slower one, yorker length, and he was given lbw even though the TV replay suggested the ball was missing the leg-stump. Six balls, three runs and three wickets would be enough to stymie any run chase and were certainly enough to expose England’s naivety. These young batsmen had hardly any experience against this unique style of bowling; they were in uncharted territory. They may have studied and listened but very few of these players had faced Malinga and he exploited that ruthlessly.
But for Patel England would have been humiliated. He does not lack self-belief and could be seen muttering around the team hotel at his latest omission. Undoubtedly he would have played in the semi-final if England had managed to get there. He alone offered any resistance until Graeme Swann swung merrily at the end. There was an early on-driven six from Patel against Angelo Mathews but most impressive was the way he played the spinners.
He took the attack to Ajantha Mendis by staying on the back foot and cutting him through the off-side. His judgment of length against the spinners was precise and he hit with power and superb placement. But no one could stay with him for long, not even Eoin Morgan, who was lbw reverse-sweeping.
Patel batted with endearing freedom as did most of the Sri Lankans who batted with the carefree abandon of a side who knew that they were already bound for the semi-finals.
D P M Jayawardene c Morgan b Swann 42
T M Dilshan lbw b Finn 16
K C Sangakkara c Bairstow b Swann 13
A D Mathews b Broad 28
B M A Mendis c Bopara b Broad 18
H D R Thirimanne b Broad 13
N L T Perera not out 26
K M D Kulasekara not out 1
Extras b4 lb2 w6 pens 0 12
Total 6 wkts (20 overs) 169
Bowling: Finn 4 0 24 1 Dernbach 4 0 42 0 Broad 4 0 32 3 Swann 4 0 26 2 Bopara 2 0 12 0 S R Patel 2 0 27 0
L J Wright c Dilshan b Malinga 12
A D Hales lbw b Malinga 3
J M Bairstow c Kulasekara b Malinga 2
S R Patel b Malinga 67
E J G Morgan lbw b M Perera 10
R S Bopara b B M A J Mendis 1
J C Buttler c B A W Mendis b Malinga 8
S C J Broad c Jayawardene b M K 1
G P Swann b Kulasekara 34
S T Finn not out 1
J W Dernbach not out 2
Extras b1 lb4 w3 nb1 pens 0 9
Total 9 wkts (20 overs) 150
Fall: 1-16 2-18 3-18 4-73 5-76 6-91 7-93 8-144 9-147
Bowling: Mathews 3 0 21 0 Kulasekara 4 0 221 Malinga 4 0 31 5 B A W Mendis 4 0 40 0 M K P A D Perera 4 0 26 2 B M A J Mendis 1 0 5 1.
Sri Lanka beat England by 19 runs