Slinging bowler Lasith Malinga took a career-best five wickets as Sri Lanka beat England by 19 runs to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals and send the defending champions crashing out last night.
Malinga took 5-31 as England, chasing a daunting 170-run target, were restricted to 150-9 in the Super Eights match at the Pallekele Stadium before a packed and rowdy 30,000 crowd.
Lasith Malinga celebrates the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler. Pic/AFP
The victory meant Sri Lanka and the West Indies reach the semi-finals after the hosts won all their three matches in the Super Eights. West Indies earlier enjoyed a dramatic Super Over win against New Zealand.
England batsman Samit Patel scored a career-high 67 but Malinga and spinner Akila Dananjaya (2-26) ensured SL didn’t lose control after scoring 169-6 having been sent in.
England’s chase was rocked by Malinga in the third over when they lost Luke Wright (12), caught off the third ball, Jonny Bairstow (two) off the fifth and Alex Hales off the sixth for three.
It needed a fourth-wicket stand of 55 between Patel and Eoin Morgan (10) to repair the early damage but England then lost Morgan and Ravi Bopara in the space of three runs.
Malinga then returned for his second over to dismiss Jos Buttler, caught in the deep for one, while captain Stuart Broad gave a simple catch off Dananjaya for one to leave England in disarray.
Patel and Graeme Swann (34) then added a brisk 51 for the eight wicket to raise hopes of an unlikely win. But Malinga bowled Patel in the penultimate over to improve on his previous best figures of 3-12 against New Zealand in 2010.