England’s torrid batting display against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup 2023 was summed up by Adil Rashid’s bizarre run out. The defending champions were bundled out for a low total, and Rashid’s dismissal was a microcosm of their mindset in the must-win encounter. With David Willey not playing down the leg-side delivery from Mahesh Theekshana, Rashid found himself out of his crease.
Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis spotted this quickly and effected a direct hit, leaving Rashid well short of his crease. Rashid was unaware that Mendis had spotted him outside the crease, but he himself was to blame as there was no chance of completing a single. His wicket crumbled England further, as the Jos Buttler-led side looked under immense pressure right from the start.
England opted to bat first and seemed on course for a big total, with Jonny Bairstow (30) and Dawid Malan (28) getting off to a strong start. However, they couldn’t convert, and the defending champions suffered a collapse, losing wickets in clusters.
Ben Stokes tried to keep the side in the hut with a vital knock of 43, but he couldn’t continue. Sri Lanka bowlers were all over the England batters, with Lahiru Kumara picking three wickets and Angelo Mathews and Kasun Rajitha bagging two scalps each.
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Coming into the game, England were desperate for a win, but they now have very little chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. They have already lost three games out of their four matches, and they can’t afford to lose another game.
England’s batting collapse against Sri Lanka was a major setback for their hopes of retaining the World Cup. They will need to improve their batting significantly if they want to avoid elimination. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were excellent in all departments. Their bowlers were ruthless, and their fielders were sharp. They will be looking to build on this momentum and continue their winning run.