PALLEKELE – England’s defence of their World Twenty20 title came to a screeching halt when they were defeated by 19-runs by Sri Lanka in their final Super Eight match at Pallekele today.
West Indies’ win over New Zealand earlier in the day left England needing to beat Sri Lanka to progress to the last four. But it proved beyond them as, chasing a victory target of 170 in Pallekele, they finished on 150-9.
England’s run chase never fully recovered from losing three wickets in the third over when Lasith Malinga (5-31) removed Luke Wright, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales. That was despite the best efforts of Samit Patel, who hit 67 from 48 balls before becoming Malinga’s fifth victim in the penultimate over to effectively seal his side’s fate.
Earlier, Sri Lanka – who only needed to avoid a heavy defeat to progress to the last four – produced a solid team effort with the bat after being sent in. Opener Mahela Jayawardene top scored with 42 and received solid support from all his top order colleagues, including Angelo Mathews’ 28 off 19 balls and a final flourish from Thisara Perera, whose 26 not out contained a couple of sixes.
Stuart Broad was England’s most successful bowler with 3-32, while spinner Graeme Swann dismissed Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara with successive deliveries on the way to 2-26.
The result means West Indies advance alongside Sri Lanka to the semi-finals from Group One. All four sides in Group Two still have a chance to make the last four. Australia play Pakistan and India take on South Africa in the final Super Eight matches in Colombo tomorrow at 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Barbados time, respectively. (Sky)