Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

‘No six pack but Lasith Malinga still a big-game hunter’

Chris Woakes Moeen Ali Chris Woakes Moeen Ali. Moeen Ali proud to be part of England's ODI revolution 20
Shannon Reynolds | 23 June, 2019, 10:57

England are still strong, but the next game against Australia is going to be massive - both teams will want to win the toss and bat first at Lord's.

"To play 100 ODI games for England is obviously a dream".

"The wicket gave us an advantage, we thought we had a chance".

After the loss against Pakistan, England had won three matches on the bounce and it looked as if they would steamroll their way through to the semis, but the team made some odd moves in the match against Sri Lanka.

Defending a relatively modest target of 233, Sri Lanka bowled out favourites England for 212 for a 20-run win at the Headingley on Friday.

"When we get beaten we tend to come back quite strong, we tend to resort to aggressive, smart and positive cricket so let's hope that's the case on Tuesday", he said referring to the match against Australia at Lord's.

"We have another three games, win another two matches - I think we go to the semi-finals".

England, third in the table, will go ahead of leaders Australia if they defeat Sri Lanka, now sixth in the standings.

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"He has a lot of experience, playing a lot of T20 matches, he has a lot of variation", Kusal told Ommisport of Malinga.

But the skipper fell for one when, off the last ball of the second over, he edged a delivery from fast bowler Jofra Archer that cut away to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

"We have the semi-finals and the final and all of that to play for", he said. Ben Stokes stood firm as all around him lost their heads to finish unbeaten on 55 but just when it seemed he might be able to pull England out of the fire Pradeep struck off the only ball Stokes had left Wood to face at the end of the 47th over. This wicket was hard to bat on, it wasn't coming on to the bat.

"Dot ball pressure was the main thing through the innings".

But Angelo Mathews, who came into the game in poor form with nine runs from three innings, restored momentum with 85 not out to lift them to 232/9 from their 50 overs.

Dhananjaya described the contributions of Malinga and Mathews as "key" and added that Sri Lanka had renewed confidence of gate-crashing the last four, despite complaints from the team's management earlier in the tournament that pitches were being prepared to their disadvantage.

England still have work to do and the only decent team we have beaten so far are the West Indies. Karunaratne was however keen that his players do not get too far ahead of themselves. The team is sitting at the fourth spot with four wins and two losses from six matches and has eight points. Archer went on to take two more, and join Australia's Mitch Starc atop the World Cup wickets list with 15.

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