Headingley – Sri Lanka beat England by 20 runs. While England lost the match, Ben Stokes made an unbeaten 82.
This was not the World Cup result England needed or their supporters expected. The hard-boiled fact is, England’s batting misfired. Probably, Ben and also Joe Root will escape the blame game.
Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 232. England’s innings got off to the worst possible start. Jonny Bairstow was out LBW with the score on 1. Joe Root came out and played is his usual reliable and sensible style, but wickets were falling at the other end.
Then Joe was joined by Ben. The pair put on 57 for the 4th wicket, before Joe was out for an 89 ball 57.
It was down to Ben to provide the swash as England’s batting continued to buckle.
An England victory was possible with Ben at the crease. When the last batter, Mark Wood, walked to the middle England still needed 42. All seemed possible when Ben smashed 23 runs from 8 deliveries.
A win was not to be. With 20 runs left to be scored, Wood was caught behind. The scorebook records that Ben was left on 82no off 89 balls (7 fours, 4 sixes).
England may now have to secure at least one more win to move onto the semi-final stage of the World Cup.
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)