England’s title defence suffers one other crushing blow as Sri Lanka coast to victory

Sri Lanka 160 for two (Nissanka 77*, Samarawickrama 65*) beat England 156 (Stokes 43, Kumara 3-35) by eight wickets

England’s World Cup defence is just not lifeless but. And extra’s the pity, to evaluate by this newest hollow-eyed show from Jos Buttler’s ex-worldbeaters. The humiliations are coming so thick and quick that they’re shedding their shock issue however, suffice to say, this newest crushing loss – by eight wickets and in simply 59 overs of the match’s 100 – was neither the most important nor probably the most stunning of an abject marketing campaign.

It was, nevertheless, the one which confirmed past any lingering doubt that this staff of real England greats not has any miracles left inside its dressing-room. The match-up was nominally eighth versus ninth within the event standings, however by the point Pathum Nissanka had slammed Sri Lanka’s successful six over long-on with an enormous 148 balls remaining, you have been left to wonder if this England staff, on this depressing temper, may even have matched their conquerors’ achievement of creating out of the qualifying event in July that did for the likes of West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

England’s life like problem on this match lasted not than the primary six overs of every powerplay – at 44 for 0 after successful the toss, they momentarily threatened to activate their energy in the end, however then contrived to lose all ten of their wickets for 111 in 26 overs, with the tempo of Lahiru Kumara and the timeless guile of Angelo Mathews foremost amongst their persecutors.

And then, in reply, David Willey bagged two new-ball wickets to trace that, at 23 for two, a low-scoring dogfight may very well be on the playing cards, just for Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama to slam the door shut with a near-chanceless stand of 137 in 122 balls. And that, as they are saying, was a wrap. “We’ve been so far short of the standards that we set ourselves,” Buttler admitted after the match. “And for no apparent reason.”

England had had the most effective a part of per week to regroup from their shambolic loss to South Africa, however earlier than a ball had been bowled, the scars of that trouncing have been plain to see. Not solely did Buttler bat first after successful one other toss – a direct response to that catastrophic toasting within the Mumbai warmth – he additionally offered a team-sheet that was a whole volte face from the Wankhede line-up, with the inclusion of three allrounders in Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, the place none had featured per week earlier.

The idea was {that a} reversion to such depth would free England as much as play their pure attacking sport, and so it proved in a misleadingly energetic powerplay flurry. Dawid Malan lashed six fours in as many overs in one other transient however imposing cameo – 5 of them launched in trademark style over the covers as Dilshan Madushanka provided an excessive amount of width.

But the indicators of England’s nervousness have been by no means removed from the floor. Had Sri Lanka trusted their instincts, Jonny Bairstow would have fallen lbw first-ball, after replays confirmed that his straight drive to a Madushanka yorker had first flicked his entrance pad. And when that first incision lastly got here, the remainder of a devastatingly off-colour line-up adopted all too obediently.

Sri Lanka’s catalyst was a well-known England foe. Mathews wouldn’t have been known as into their squad however for a tournament-ending harm to Matheesha Pathirana, however on the age of 36, his first over in an ODI for three-and-a-half years dripped with nagging intent. His second supply, to Malan, popped with out tempo off an ideal line and size to skim previous the splice; his follow-up was rinse-and-repeat, and this time there was a skinny scuff on ultra-edge as Sri Lanka immediately reviewed the on-field not-out verdict.

Three overs later, and Mathews was again within the motion, this time from backward level. Joe Root’s bereft seek for ODI type has mirrored that of his staff as a complete, and so what higher time for a catastrophic run-out to rear its head? After grinding out three singles from his first 9 deliveries, Root mistimed a lower off Maheesh Theekshana, and set off for a single. The bounce, nevertheless, couldn’t have plopped into Mathews’ grasp extra invitingly, and Root was already off the sector by the point the third umpire’s superfluous verdict flashed up on the massive display.

From 44 for 0 after six overs, England had now misplaced 2 for 15 in the remainder of their powerplay. And with Lahiru Kumara’s arrival including an additional pep to Sri Lanka’s efficiency, Bairstow determined assault was his staff’s solely defence. His subsequent shot in anger was a flappy pull throughout a size ball from Kasun Rajitha, and Dhanajaya de Silva did not have to maneuver as the possibility embedded in his bread-basket at mid-on.

At 68 for 3, enter Jos Buttler: struggling together with his personal type, and with panic seizing his staff as soon as extra. Six balls later, he was gone to one more snick to the keeper, his third such dismissal in 5 ill-at-ease outings. This time, at the very least, it was not a tentative prod to match his downfalls towards New Zealand and South Africa. But his attacking slash to the additional tempo of Kumara had the identical impact regardless, as Kusal Mendis leapt spectacularly to his proper to cling on.

England’s innings was lower than 15 overs outdated, and already they have been into these allrounders. But Livingstone, alas, barely qualifies as such proper now – his sixth ball from Kumara screeched into one other uncomfortably planted entrance pad as he trooped off for 1, for a event tally of 31 runs in 4 innings. His departure left England five-down after 17 overs, and the race to the underside was properly and actually on.

Stokes and Moeen briefly stemmed the tide so as to add 37 runs in 46 balls, riches by the requirements nosediving round them. So lengthy as Stokes was selecting his moments for outright aggression – as he did with 4 pulls of various energy by the legside and a bullet drive by the covers – England retained the idea that their miracle man had one other epic saved up his sleeve.

But to take action, he required assist from the opposite finish, however what he received was a dereliction of responsibility. On a run-a-ball 15, Moeen ruined this fleeting impression of permanence with a floppy lower to level, as Mathews returned for his fourth over and used his nous and lack of tempo to prise out his second key wicket of a killer return. And one over later, Woakes’ dismal marketing campaign hit a brand new low with a fourth-ball duck – a fierce lower to level off Rajitha, properly grabbed by a swooping Sadeera Samarawickrama, whose confidence was ample to persuade the third umpire {that a} blurry replay was no purpose to doubt that the possibility had carried.

Stokes, by this stage, was 34 not out from 58 balls, however at 123 for 7, even he had no inkling of whether or not to stay or twist. He had already survived one flying edge to the gully, the place this time Samarawickrama had not been capable of cling on, in addition to an overturned evaluate for lbw after under-edging a reverse-sweep towards Theekshana. But on 43, and with precisely 20 overs of the innings nonetheless remaining, Kumara’s head-hunting method discovered him out. Another full-blooded pull discovered a top-edge to deep midwicket, and the substitute Dushan Hemantha did not have to maneuver.

Willey confirmed what might need been on the finish of the identical Kumara over by clobbering England’s first and solely six over deep midwicket. But the struggle had been extinguished on the different finish of the pitch. Willey had confronted simply two extra authorized deliveries earlier than Adil Rashid left the constructing, gormlessly run-out on the non-striker’s finish as Mendis gathered a leg-side vast and noticed him dawdling again in the direction of his crease in a much less risky recreation of Bairstow’s Ashes extraction at Lord’s. And when Mark Wood gave the cost to the wonderful Theekshana to be stumped for five, England had been routed, with precisely 100 balls left unused, for 156 – the lowest all-out whole ever made in males’s ODIs on the Chinnaswamy.

Sri Lanka’s personal frailties meant that the run-chase was not a achieved deal, particularly as soon as Willey – considered one of England’s few dependable opponents – had eliminated Mendis and Kusal Perera within the area of his first three overs. But Woakes, England’s white-ball assault chief, lacked penetration but once more, and within the absence of additional powerplay incisions, neither Rashid nor Wood was capable of present the X-factor that such an uncompromising state of affairs demanded.

Rashid’s fifth ball was smoked onto the roof at long-on as Nissanka confirmed the kind of gumption towards his opponents’ chief menace that England as a collective have been unable to search out. His fourth half-century in consecutive World Cup knocks was sealed with a elegant drive by the covers off Wood, however the numbers that mattered probably the most have been the 2 factors that his innings ensured could be added to Sri Lanka’s qualification trigger. They too, should not lifeless but within the race for the highest 4. Unlike England, nevertheless – who’re already braced for impression as they face table-toppers India in Lucknow on Sunday – Sri Lanka will stride onto subsequent week’s conflict with Afghanistan believing that they will get proper again into the combination.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

Source web site: www.espncricinfo.com

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