Eoin Morgan expressed disappointment at his side’s batting display after England slumped in their chase of 233 against Sri Lanka to succumb to their second defeat of the 2019 World Cup, in Leeds on Friday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sri Lanka managed a modest 232 for nine, riding on an unbeaten 115-ball 85 by Angelo Mathews.
The 1996 World Cup champions then returned to dismiss England for 212 in 47 overs to register only their second win in the ongoing World Cup.
WHAT A MOMENT! 🙌🇱🇰
— ICC (@ICC) June 21, 2019
Malinga (4/43) emerged as the star for Sri Lanka as he dismissed the top three – James Vince (14), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (57) and also accounted for Jos Buttler (10).
Off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (3/32) then moped up the tail with a quick three-wicket burst.
After Joe Root’s 89-ball 57, Ben Stokes (89 not out) kept England in the hunt but he ran out of partners.
“You look at the basics of a run chase. You know, partnerships are very important,” Morgan told reporters after the match.
“We struggled to get enough partnerships going, or one substantial one. There were a couple of individual innings. But that is not good enough to win a game.”
After beating South Africa in the tournament opener, England suffered a surprise 14-run loss to Pakistan when also failing in a run chase but they bounced back with thumping victories over Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan.
Defeat against Sri Lanka also raises questions about England’s temperament after starting as World Cup favourites following a dominant period in ODI cricket where Morgan has led them to No. 1 position in the ICC rankings.
England will now face the remaining three sides occupying semi-final positions and they need to beat one of Australia, India or New Zealand to assure they remain in the top four.
Morgan, who was out for 21 following his record-breaking 148 against Afghanistan, has faith in England’s ability to bounce back and they next face Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday.
“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,” Morgan said.
“The message is quite simple, we need to do the basics along with the way that we play as well.
“There is no reason why it shouldn’t be, we are going to play competitive games and are not going to win every game in this World Cup. We need to go back to the process that has taken us to be a strong side in the world.”