Archer on top of World Cup bowling standings as England hold Sri Lanka to 232-9


Leeds (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jofra Archer moved joint top of the World Cup bowling charts as England restricted Sri Lanka to 232-9 in a group match at Headingley on Friday.

The fast bowler took 3-52 — his fifth three-wicket haul in six matches this World Cup — to join Australia’s Mitchell Starc on 15 wickets.

Fellow quick Mark Wood followed up with 3-40.

Sri Lanka’s total represented something of a recovery after a collapse to three for two.

Angelo Mathews’ painstaking 85 not out helped them bat their full 50 overs after Avishka Fernando revived the innings with a dashing 49 in his first match of the World Cup.

“We started off brilliantly to get two early wickets and then spinners controlled it in the middle,” Wood said.

“They didn’t get away from us at all.Angelo Mathews played well but we restricted them.It was a great team performance.

“I’m in the form of my career and have got to keep this form going.”

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and decided to bat under sunny skies — a welcome sight at a World Cup marred by washouts.

But the skipper fell for one when, off the last ball of the second over, he edged Archer to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

And two balls later, without another run on the board, Kusal Perera slashed Chris Woakes to third man where Moeen Ali, in his 100th one-day international, held a safe catch.

But number three batsman Fernando, in just his seventh match at this level, hit 14 runs off one Archer.

And off the penultimate delivery off the 10-over powerplay, Fernando hooked Archer for a six out of the ground that saw the umpires call for a replacement ball.

Fernando fell in similar fashion to Perera, with a loose uppercut, this time off Wood, caught by Adil Rashid at third man.

It was the end of a 39-ball innings featuring two sixes and six fours, with Sri Lanka now 62-3 in the 13th over.

Former captain Mathews looked badly out of touch during an 84-ball fifty — the slowest of the tournament so far — with Sri Lanka managing just six boundaries in total from the 11th to 40th overs.

Sri Lanka’s fourth-wicket partnership of 71 ended when Kusal Mendis (46) slogged Rashid to England captain Eoin Morgan at short midwicket.

And 133 for four became 133 for five when next ball leg-spinner Rashid, on his Yorkshire home ground, caught and bowled Jeevan Mendis for a duck after deceiving the batsman with a well-flighted delivery.

Mathews, showing some belated aggression, hooked Archer’s first ball of the last over for six.

England, third in the table, will go ahead of leaders Australia if they defeat Sri Lanka, currently sixth in the standings.

The top four sides at the end of the 10-team round-robin group stage will qualify for the semi-finals.


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