Rejuvenated England stun patchy Lankans

Rejuvenated England stun patchy Lankans

HIGH FIVES: James Anderson (left) celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan. AFP
Sri Lanka’s inconsistency returned to bite them, Kumar Sangakkara’s men comprehensively outclassed by six wickets to leave the two teams as well as South Africa with a win apiece in the group and setting up an exciting race for the two semifinal berths.

Sangakkara termed the seamer-friendly Wanderers track less than ideal advertisement for the waning limited-overs game, but the Sri Lankans did little to help their own cause by playing both their spinners on a surface that offered them no joy.
Allied with the fact that the cold didn’t allow Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan to use their fingers with normal dexterity, Sri Lanka were always going to be hard pressed to defend 212.

In the event, they failed to capitalise on the early twin strikes by Nuwan Kulasekara to get rid of Joe Denly and skipper Andrew Strauss, and could only watch haplessly as England cruised to 213 for four with five overs to spare.

While England approached Mendis with extraordinary caution – Owais Shah was entrusted with the responsibility of denying him success – Muralitharan disappointed for the second game running, going for 60 runs from his ten overs.

Paul Collingwood set up the English chase with a brilliantly authoritative innings, smashing Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga around on his way to 46 (51b, 5x4, 3x6) which, combined with eight overs for 24 runs earlier in the afternoon, won him the man of the match award.

Collingwood and Shah added 63 (74b) for the third wicket, setting the stage for feisty 23-year-old Irishman Eoin Morgan to show glimpses of true class on his way to an unbeaten 62 (83b, 7x4). Collingwood’s impetus meant England didn’t have to keep an eye on the run rate, but Shah and Morgan nevertheless scored briskly during their stand of 76 (90b).

Morgan and Matt Prior were involved in a third consecutive meaningful stand, of 55 unseparated (61b), England getting their campaign off to the perfect start.

SCORE BOARD:
SRI LANKA
212 all out
ENGLAND
Strauss c Kandamby b K’ekara    9
(25b, 1x4)
Denly lbw Kulasekara    5
(11b, 1x4)
Shah c S’kkara b M’tharan    44
(74b, 3x4, 1x6)
Collingwood b Malinga    46
(51b, 5x4, 3x6)
Morgan (not out)    62
(83b, 7x4)
Prior (not out)    28
(27b, 3x4)
Extras (LB-7, W-11, NB-1)    19
Total (for 4 wkts, 45 overs)    213
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Denly), 2-19 (Strauss), 3-82 (Collingwood), 4-158 (Shah).
Bowling: Malinga 9-0-43-1 (w-3, nb-1), Kulasekara 9-1-42-2 (w-3), Mathews 8-2-26-0 (w-1), Mendis 9-0-35-0 (w-1), Muralitharan 10-0-60-1 (w-3).
Runs during: Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 36/2; Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 19/0; Power Play 3 (batting): Not taken.

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