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Archer and Wood shine as England limit Sri Lanka to 232 at Headingley

Angelo Mathews top-scored with an unbeaten 85 off 115 balls

Jofra Archer has 15 World Cup wickets (Simon Cooper/PA)
Jofra Archer has 15 World Cup wickets (Simon Cooper/PA)

Jofra Archer moved alongside Mitchell Starc for most wickets in this World Cup as England’s polished bowling display left Sri Lanka bereft at Headingley.

Sri Lanka produced something of a throwback one-day innings, with Angelo Mathews (85 not out off 115 balls) top-scoring but one of several batsmen who struggled on a pitch that offered slow turn and appreciable bounce.

Archer and Mark Wood took three wickets apiece as Sri Lanka posted 232 for nine, which, if overhauled, would restore England to the top of the group stage table and a near-certainty to progress to the semi-finals.

Archer, in taking his fifth three-wicket haul in six innings in this tournament, went to 15 scalps. Nobody has taken more and only Australia paceman Starc is his equal.

Starc and Australia had been given a scare last week by Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera, who put on 115, but both batsmen were back inside the pavilion within 14 balls after England were asked to field first.

Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne nibbled at Archer before, two balls later, a thick outside edge from Perera off Chris Woakes flew to third man, where Moeen Ali, on his 100th ODI appearance, completed a simple catch.

England’s bowlers limited Sri Lanka to 232 for nine (Tim Goode/PA)

The tone seemed to be set on four for two after four overs but Avishka Fernando, on his first appearance of the tournament and playing in only his seventh ODI, briefly sparked.

Archer was in his cross hairs, Fernando twice clearing the leg-side boundary after a couple of bouncers from the paceman had sat up, with the second six sailing over deep square-leg and out of the ground.

Poised for a second successive ODI half-century, having made 74 against Scotland in his last international match a month ago, Fernando steered Wood straight to Adil Rashid at third man to depart for 49 off 39 balls.

Angelo Mathews was the only Sri Lankan to pass fifty (Simon Cooper/PA)

Sri Lanka never quite recovered from his dismissal, adding only 36 between overs 10 and 20 with the out-of-form Mathews requiring 13 balls to get off the mark.

Boundaries were at a premium for both Kusal Mendis and Mathews, playing on the ground where his century had inspired Sri Lanka to a famous Test victory over England in 2014.

Moeen and Rashid, in particular, were disciplined and Mendis’ attempts to force the issue led to an ill-judged swipe which Eoin Morgan pouched low at short midwicket.

Jeevan Mendis offered a return catch to Rashid off the next ball as Sri Lanka continued to struggle, Moeen getting through his 10 overs without conceding a single boundary.

Indeed, between overs 10 and 40, Sri Lanka only found the boundary rope six times before Mathews brought up an 84-ball half-century with his third four.

Archer’s return led to the downfalls of Dhananjaya De Silva for 29 and Thisara Perera for two, while Wood picked up a couple of wickets as Sri Lanka added 61 in the final 10 overs.



From Belfast Telegraph