Colombo, March 26: Some tight bowling from the Lankans ensured that England post only a modest total of 229/6 in their quarterfinal match of the World Cup 2011. After a slow and unsteady start, the English batsmen built up some momentum through the innings with Jonathan Trott making a sheet-anchor's 86 off 115 balls with a decent amount of support from Ian Bell (25), Bopara (31), Eoin Morgan (50) and later in the innings, Matt Prior (22). All the 6 Lankan bowlers used, who were mostly spinners, picked up at least one wicket each except off-break Rangan Herath who instead had a couple of close but unsuccessful reviews (scorecard).
After tottering to 89/2 in 25 overs, England kept crawling along. But not before another setback. The old war horse Muttiah Muarlitharan trapped Ravi Bopara in front for 31 off 56 balls and England were 95/3 in 27 overs. Together with JOnathan Trott, the new batsman Eoin Morgan took England past 100 in the 28th over.
The batting duo began to get a move on, knocking 13 runs off Murali in the 31st over, including a four from each batsman. In the following over, Morgan came in for some luck when he was dropped at deep midwicket off Ajantha Mendis. One over after that, Trott took a three off Dilshan to notch up his 50 off 71 balls.
Then in the 36th over, Trott ran a double off Herath to bring up England's 150. MOrgan was a second and third time lucky in the 39th over, when Angelo Mathews dropped him in the deep off Murali and the man at point also put him down. Then at 182/3 in 42 overs, England took the batting powerplay. Morgan ran a single off Malinga to move to fifty but was immediately out to the same bowler. England were 186/4 in 43 overs.
Then in the very next over, Graeme Swann was lbw to Mendis for a duck and England were in trouble at 186/5. It was not before the 47th over that England finally reached 200, courtesy a three from Trott off Malinga. Then in the 48th over, Trott swept Herath for a four as England moved to 211/5. Then in the penultimate over, Trott was caught off Murali at deep midwicket for 86 off 115.
Then later in the over, Matt Prior struck Murali for a four to take the score to 222/6. In the final over, Prior upper-cut Malinga for a four and Luke Wright ran a single to end England's innings at 229/6 in 50 overs.
The English innings opened with Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell. In the first over itself, Bell showed belligerent intent when he smacked Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga for a boundary. But at the other end, Strauss began to struggle against the spin of Tillakaratne Dilshan, till he was eventually bowled by him for 5 off 19 and England were 29/1 in 8 overs.
In the very next over, Bell was caught at midwicket off Angelo Mathews for 25 off 32 balls and the English were in some distress at 31/2 in 9 overs. With Ravi Bopara for company, Jonathan Trott pressed ahead, taking his side past 50 in the 16th over.
The batting duo kept pushing for ones and twos, but the boundaries had long since parched up, enabling them to reach a mere 89/2 in 25 overs.