The defending champions England came in to this game having won only one of their two games in this phase, they needed to win this match to qualify for the semi-finals. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, already had 4 points so they would qualify either way.
Stuart Broad won the toss and chose to bowl with Bopara, Patel and Dernbach replacing Kieswetter, Bresnan and Briggs. Meanwhile Sangakarra replaced Jayawardena as the Sri Lankan captain in this match to avoid slow over-rate ban in the semi-finals, and Dananjaya was brought in for Herath. The Sri Lankan batsmen proved too good for the English bowlers as they charged on to 169 runs despite losing 6 wickets. Jayawardena top-scored with 42 runs, while all of the middle-order batsmen chipped in with handy cameos. Skipper Stuart Broad picked up 3 for 32 whereas Swann picked up 2 for 26.
England got off to a slow start with the in-form Luke Wright opening in place of the dropped Craig Kieswetter but Sri Lanka drove another nail in the coffin as Malinga took three wickets in his first over leaving England railing at 18 for 3. No batsman got going for England except Samit Patel as the Sri Lankans kept taking wickets. He finally found some support from Swann as they shared a 51-run partnership for the 8th wicket and constituted 67% of the runs in England’s total. Patel ended up scoring 67 off 48 balls and Swann 34 off 22 as England were restricted to 150-9. The man-of-the-match Malinga picked up his career-best 5 wickets for 31 and the young Akila Dananjaya picked up 2 for 26.
Sri Lanka topped the group table with 6 points and West Indies came second with 4 points in this stage. Sri Lanka will face the second-position team from Group B whereas West Indies will be up against the top team of that group.
The blog was first published on the defunct KheloPakistan.com.