England end title defence with a whimper

Aaron Moores | cricket20

England’s grip on the t20 World Cup was ended by an inspired display of bowling from Lasith Malinga who picked up five wickets to help Sri Lanka end the defending champions reign after a 19 run defeat at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

It proved to be a disappointing day for England who crashed out of the tournament after another poor display with the bat thanks to Malinga (5-31) he picked up three wickets in the 3rd over to leave Stuart Broad’s side 18-3.

Samit Patel offered some hope with a spirited 67 which included eight boundaries and two sixes but with the exception of Graeme Swann (34) nobody stayed around longer enough at the other end, his task with almost impossible as England failed to chase down Sri Lanka’s total of 169-6.

The defending champions kept themselves in contention thanks to impressions spells with the ball from Swann (2-26) and Stuart Broad (3-32) but it was their lacklustre batting which proved to be their down fall which in some ways was expected.

Mahela Jayawardene (42) led the way for the hosts earlier on before late cameo from Angelo Matthews (28) ensured England would face a nervous run chase against Sri Lanka’s mystery spinners.

Having been put into bat by Broad, Sri Lanka got off to a good start thanks to Jayawardene before Swann struck back in the 10th over to remove Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (13) to leave the game evenly poised.

Broad followed this up with the wickets of Jeevan Mendis (18) and Mathews in the 16th over before Thisara Perera (24) and Lahiru Thirimanne (13) tipped the balance of the game once more in favour of the hosts after a quick fire 6th wicket stand of 35.

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