Sri Lanka stun England by 8 wickets in World Cup 2023, defending champions on the brink of elimination

Sri Lanka pulled off a sensational upset in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, as they thrashed England by eight wickets in the 25th match of the tournament at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. Chasing a modest target of 157, Sri Lanka reached 160 for 2 in just 24.4 overs, with opener Kusal Perera smashing an unbeaten 83 off 67 balls. England, the defending champions, are now in a precarious position, with only two points from five matches and four tough games remaining.

World Cup

England’s batting woes continue

England’s batting woes continued as they were bundled out for a paltry 156 in 41.4 overs after opting to bat first. The top order failed to fire once again, as they lost four wickets for 36 runs in the first 10 overs. Sri Lanka’s pacers exploited the overcast conditions and swung the ball both ways, making life difficult for the English batsmen. Dushmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4 for 32 in his nine overs. He was well supported by Nuwan Pradeep (2 for 28) and Lahiru Kumara (2 for 37).

The only resistance from England came from Dawid Malan, who scored a fighting 58 off 87 balls. He added 51 runs for the fifth wicket with Sam Curran (23) and another 40 runs for the seventh wicket with Chris Woakes (19). However, he ran out of partners as Sri Lanka wrapped up the innings in quick time.

Kusal Perera leads Sri Lanka’s chase

Sri Lanka’s chase was led by Kusal Perera, who played a brilliant knock of 83 not out. He hit 12 fours and a six in his innings and dominated the English attack. He shared a 68-run stand for the first wicket with Danushka Gunathilaka (24) and a 75-run partnership for the second wicket with Avishka Fernando (34). He finished the game with a boundary off Moeen Ali in the 25th over, as Sri Lanka registered their second win of the tournament.

England’s bowlers had no answer to Perera’s onslaught, as they leaked runs at over six runs per over. Mark Wood was the only bowler to take a wicket, dismissing both Gunathilaka and Fernando. Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone and Adil Rashid were expensive and ineffective, while Woakes and Curran failed to create any pressure.

Sri Lanka revive their campaign, England face uphill task

With this win, Sri Lanka have revived their campaign and moved up to sixth place in the points table with four points from five matches. They have three games left against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Netherlands, and will hope to win all of them to have a chance of making it to the semi-finals.

England, on the other hand, are staring at an early exit, as they are languishing at ninth place with two points from five matches. They have four games left against India, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan, and will need to win all of them to have any hope of defending their title. They will also need other results to go their way, as they have a poor net run rate of -1.248.

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