By BV Swagath
England defeated Sri Lanka at Chittagong with opener Alex Hales scoring a stunning century. The Englishmen chased the stiff target of 190 with four balls to spare with 6 wickets in hand. Hales stayed right till the end to wrap up the run chase as England got their first win of the tournament in two games.
England were in big trouble losing Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali in consecutive deliveries in their first over to Nuwan Kulasekara. Eoin Morgan with Alex Hales took England out of woods with a superb stand of 152 runs in 15.2 overs. Morgan had decimated the Lankan spinners Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake with utmost ease. With a sublime knock of 57 from 38 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes, Morgan got his team back on track with Hales.
The run chase was slightly tricky after Morgan’s exit with Jos Buttler departing cheaply. But Hales by sticking till the end ensured that Sri Lanka had no chance of a shock win. Hales remained unbeaten with 116 in 64 balls with 11 fours and 6 sixes. Kulasekara’s 4 for 32 went in vain for the Lankans.
Earlier, Sri Lanka had a terrific partnership of 145 for the 2nd wicket between veterans Tillakaratne Dilshan (55 from 47 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes) and Mahela Jayawardene (89 from 51 balls with 11 fours and 3 sixes). Mahela should have been dismissed for a first ball duck but the third umpire gave him a life by giving him not out despite getting cleanly caught low by Michael Lumb at cover point.
England had a poor day on the field dropping quite a lot of easy catches. Sri Lanka courtesy of all that reached a huge total of 189 for 4.
Toss and Teams: England have won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first at Chittagong. Both the teams are unchanged. Sri Lanka would book their spot in the semis if they win this match. England are in a must win situation having lost in the rain-affected game against New Zealand.