England captain Eoin Morgan expressed disappointment at his side’s batting botch-up against Sri Lanka, at Headingley, but maintained that the team will come back strong in the upcoming games of the ongoing World Cup 2019.
“We didn’t deserve to win today’s game,” Morgan told reporters after England folded for 212, 20 runs short of the target, in their second loss of the tournament. “You look at the basics of a run chase. Partnerships are very important and we struggled to get enough going. We had a couple of individual innings but that’s not good enough to win a game.”
At 127-3, England looked on course to overhaul Sri Lanka’s target of 233, built on the back of a painstaking knock by Angelo Mathews, but lost their last seven wickets for just 85 runs, despite Ben Stokes’ rearguard act worth 82.
Morgan lamented the lack of a proper approach while chasing the below-par target, “There were a couple of challenges that presented themselves with the wicket and we didn’t overcome them. We need to do the basics along with the way that we play as well.”
However, the England skipper expressed faith in his well-oiled setup to return to winning ways soon, acknowledging that they are ‘not going to win every game in this World Cup’.
“We still need to go back to the process that’s taken us to be a strong side in the world. I think when we get beaten we tend to come back quite strong. We tend to resort to being aggressive, smart, positive cricket, so let’s hope that is the case on Tuesday [against Australia].”
England’s chase was dented by a sustained bowling effort from the Sri Lankans, led by veteran Lasith Malinga, who ended up taking four wickets, becoming only the third pacer ever to claim 50 World Cup wickets.
Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was effusive in his praise for his 35-year-old talisman, who had flown back from home after his mother-in-law’s last rites, to rejoin the squad just in time for the team’s previous match, against Australia.
“I think he’s a legend. He knows what he has to do, I think. Whatever he does he is doing his best, so that is why I said, if he wants to go home and come back, that’s fine. So I think he did that and he comes back again and he gave a good example for the rest of the guys.
“He just keeps doing what he knows, that is the main thing, the basic things. Those things we want to set as an example for the youngsters. So I think he did a really good job and even Angelo, both of them did a really good job.”
Sri Lanka’s indifferent run in the World Cup continues; they are currently fifth on the points table with two wins and as many losses. Karunaratne isn’t overly concerned about a semi-final spot at the moment, and wants his side to take small steps as the tournament progresses further.
“We are not thinking about it [semi-final chances]. We are taking it one by one. Next game is against South Africa. We want to win that. The focus is on that match. We’re planning it one by one.”