The 25th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup took place in Bengaluru on October 26, 2023, where Sri Lanka outclassed England, winning by 8 wickets with a whopping 146 balls to spare. Lahiru Kumara was the star of the match, bagging the Player of the Match award.
England, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, struggled to build a substantial total. They managed to post a modest 156 runs in 33.2 overs, with Ben Stokes being the top scorer with 43 runs. England’s innings was characterized by a series of wickets falling at regular intervals. Lahiru Kumara was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers, scalping 3 crucial wickets for 35 runs. Angelo Mathews also made a significant contribution with the ball, taking 2 wickets for just 14 runs.
Sri Lanka’s chase of 157 runs got off to a shaky start as they lost their openers early, with Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis departing after contributing just 4 and 11 runs, respectively. However, Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama steadied the ship with a magnificent partnership. Nissanka’s unbeaten 77 and Samarawickrama’s 65 not out ensured that Sri Lanka reached the target comfortably.
The Sri Lankan batsmen showed great composure and skill, and their approach to the chase was methodical. They reached 160/2 in just 25.4 overs, illustrating their dominance in the match. The England bowlers, including Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Liam Livingstone, and Moeen Ali, were unable to break through the resilient Sri Lankan partnership.
The match’s turning point was Lahiru Kumara’s exceptional performance both with the ball. His economical spell and crucial wickets put England on the backfoot early on.
This victory significantly boosts Sri Lanka’s chances in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. It not only showcased their strength in the bowling department but also their batting prowess in the lineup. Pathum Nissanka’s composed innings and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s aggressive yet calculated approach were a testament to Sri Lanka’s well-rounded team.
England, on the other hand, will need to regroup and rethink their strategies for the upcoming matches. In this game, their batting line-up failed to put up a competitive total, and their bowlers struggled to break through the Sri Lankan partnership.
Sri Lanka’s comprehensive victory over England was a brilliant display of teamwork and individual brilliance. Lahiru Kumara’s all-round performance made him the standout player of the match. With this win, Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign gains momentum, while England must work on their weaknesses to stay competitive in the tournament. Cricket fans can look forward to more thrilling encounters as the World Cup unfolds.