England vs Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Aging warrior Lasith Malinga exposes England's stoic batting line-up regardless of health considerations

Headingley: Two weeks earlier than Sri Lanka travelled to England for the World Cup, because the selectors known as Lasith Malinga to tell that he had been sacked as captain and Dimuth Karunaratne will take over, he threw within the towel saying that he would name it a day. Malinga was in India at that time enjoying the Indian Premier League (IPL). Ex-players and teammates prompted Malinga out of retirement plans. He made himself accessible to have the final dig at sport’s showpiece occasion. On Friday, he supplied the event’s first main upset as ninth-ranked Sri Lanka upset top-ranked England, the event favourites.

Lasith Malinga picked up 4 wickets in opposition to England. Reuters

Defeat right here would have been sure curtains for Sri Lanka. But as they’ve finished it repeatedly, the previous champions are hanging in there.

A number of gray hairs counsel that Malinga has misplaced tempo. Lots of it! But who cares, he nonetheless surprises batsmen together with his methods. He gives breakthroughs with the brand new ball, comes again for a second spell to upset the apple card and within the dying overs, he’s merely one of the best man within the enterprise.

Chasing 233 would have been a cakewalk for this England facet. They have depth within the batting. Chris Woakes, who has a century in Test cricket comes down at quantity eight. Sri Lanka’s possibilities of defending that whole in opposition to this England facet, which has been breaking all kinds of batting information this World Cup, was subsequent to nothing. But nonetheless, Malinga had a number of methods up his sleeves.

Malinga accounted for James Vince and Jonny Bairstow in his first spell. Then got here again for a second spell within the center overs to dismiss Joe Root and Jos Buttler within the center overs. He ought to have completed with a five-wicket haul however Ben Stokes was dropped by Kusal Mendis at deep mid-wicket. It didn’t matter as he had finished the job.

Batting with tail, Stokes would take no likelihood exposing the tail to Malinga. There had been a number of events the place he turned down a single. Malinga and tail-enders are a lethal mixture. Strangely, Stokes felt that in opposition to Nuwan Pradeep he may expose the tail-ender taking a single within the fifth ball and Pradeep nailed England’s final man.

Inside 14 days, Malinga has returned house twice. He flew to Colombo quickly after the washout in opposition to Bangladesh in Bristol to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. Then he flew again to London on the eve of his group’s conflict in opposition to Australia at The Oval and that evening went again to Sri Lanka once more to be together with his grieving household. He landed in Leeds 48 hours earlier than the must-win conflict in opposition to England and got here up with a match-winning efficiency. Only champions can do this.

There was criticism that Malinga had not skilled correctly earlier than the England conflict. But if he retains profitable you matches, let him fly again to Colombo after each recreation.

Not simply with bowling, however Malinga contributes to this facet in some ways. Despite the frustration of being dropping the captaincy, throughout England’s run chase, it was his mind that skipper Karunaratne tapped into when it got here for subject putting and bowling modifications. Malinga has frequented these Englishmen on the IPL and is aware of their execs and cons. More than Karunaratne, it regarded as if Malinga was working the present.

In 2017, Sri Lanka discarded Malinga completely. They didn’t decide him for 12 months. He was considering retirement even then however Mahela Jayawardene, his mentor, urged him to not give it away. Sri Lanka now realise that it was a clever choice that they didn’t shut the chapter on him utterly. Match profitable bowlers don’t flip up that usually and when they’re round they have to be celebrated.

Sri Lanka had been heading to Durham shortly after their thrilling win. They have gotten again to again video games in opposition to West Indies and South Africa on the northernmost cricket floor in England. They will take a time off on Saturday earlier than resuming coaching on Sunday. They might be hoping that Malinga might be firing on all cylinders to have any likelihood of constructing it to the semi-finals.

Malinga is fourth among the many high wicket-takers in World Cups. He has bought 51 scalps and possibly will finish the competitors as third most wicket taker behind Glenn McGrath (71) and Muttiah Muralitharan (68).

Eoin Morgan, the Irishman in England colors would have learnt a bitter lesson on Friday– don’t rely your rooster earlier than they hatch. The England captain in a scathing criticism in the beginning of the competitors had run down Sri Lankan picks. Well, the event favourites have been caught off guard struggling a shock 20 run defeat. With Australia, India and New Zealand being their subsequent three opponents, making it to the semis appears a tedious process now. And England don’t play that properly when put underneath stress.

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Published Date: June 22, 2019

| Updated Date: June 22, 2019


Updated Date: Jun 22, 2019 10:15:13 IST