#ThisDayThatYear: Malinga rattles England, enters the elite list of bowlers
On this day in 2019, veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga reached yet another historic feat in international cricket. He became the fourth bowler to pick 50-plus wickets in World Cup history. Hosts England were handed a surprising, yet crushing defeat by Sri Lanka in the 27th game of tournament at Headingley. Here is how the high-voltage clash panned out.
Batting first, Sri Lanka could muster only 232 at the end of 50 overs. The two Sri Lankan openers were removed for mere 3, however, Avishka Fernando (49) and Kusal Mendis (46) instilled hope. Meanwhile, Angelo Mathews' 115-ball 85 made all the difference. Notably, Dhananjaya de Silva added 29 towards the end. For England, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood scalped three wickets apiece.
Although England's openers departed early on, the middle order batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking. Joe Root's (57) dismissal was a crucial turning point as Malinga and Dhananjaya de Silva ran through the batting line-up. However, Ben Stokes remained unbeaten till the end, having scored 82 off 89. Malinga finished the match with a four-for as Sri Lanka won the thriller by 20 runs.
During the course of the match, Malinga scripted history after becoming the fourth bowler to reach the 50-wicket mark in World Cup history. He is also the second Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralitharan (68) to have joined the elite club. Others in the tally are Wasim Akram (55) and Glenn McGrath (71). Following the tournament, Malinga (56) overtook Akram to hold the third spot.
Malinga's 4/43 against England became his second best bowling figures in a World Cup game. Overall, the Sri Lankan bowler accounted for 13 wickets from seven games at an average of 28.69, in the tournament.