Sri Lanka moved one step closer Sunday to a place in the Cricket World Cup quarterfinal, while England’s hopes are hanging by a thread.Similar to the last match they played in Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, known as the Cake Tin, the English won the toss and opted to bat. Initially things went better than when they were pummeled by New Zealand here just over a week ago.
Helped by stellar batting from Joe Root who scored 121, England racked up a total of 309 for six. It was only the second time this tournament that England had managed to bat the full 50 overs.“We were happy going into the half,” said English captain Eoin Morgan. Things went downhill from there. The loss hurt more given the batting performance, said Morgan.
Sri Lanka eased past that total with nine wickets and 16 balls to spare, as Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara both scored centuries, finishing on 139 not out and 117 not out, respectively. England could only manage one dismissal—of Tillakaratne Dilshan, after the opener had scored 44, including four fours and two sixes.“Today, when we turn up and get beaten in the fashion we were, it’s harder to take,” said Morgan.Sri Lankan supporters got progressively louder and waved their flags higher as their batters hit a series of fours and sixes. They erupted when the final score was 312 for one.
To add salt to England’s wounds, Thirimanne said the bowlers made it easy for him. “I’d rank this innings second or third in my career,” he said.