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Cricket news - World Cup Head to Head: England vs Sri Lanka

In 2015, Sri Lanka hammered England by nine wickets.

June 11, 1983: England flex batting muscle to thrash inexperienced Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, after losing their first World Cup match as a Test nation against Pakistan, faced off against England, who had just beaten New Zealand resoundingly in the World Cup opener, on a road of a surface in Taunton. After electing to bat first, England's openers, Fowler and Tavare, started off cautiously, playing out the new ball, before David Gower entered the fore and gave the world an exhibition of his stroke play with a phenomenal 130 off 120 balls which included 5 sixes - a big deal, back in the day. He was supported ably by Allan Lamb in a 96-run partnership, and by Ian Gould and Graham Dilley lower down the order, to carry England to a mammoth 333/9 after 60 overs. Sri Lanka were never in the game after two quick wickets, and even half-centuries by Duleep Mendis and Guy de Alwis weren't enough to get them close to the total as they crashed to a 47-run defeat in the end. Vic Marks picked up five wickets - all batsmen - but the century by David Gower was far too glorious to overlook as he received the Man of the Match award for his efforts.

October 17, 1987: Lamb carnage helps England bat Sri Lanka out

England and Sri Lanka faced off in the 10th league match of the 1987 Reliance World Cup in Peshawar, as England won the toss and opted to bat on a road of a wicket. After the wicket of Chris Broad for 28, Gatting (58) and Gooch (84) laid the platform for a massive score with stable knocks. Allan Lamb and John Emburey didn't disappoint, scoring an explosive 58-ball 76 and a 19-ball 30 respectively to launch England to a massive 296/4. The Sri Lankans were never in the hunt, despite a half-century partnership after a 31/0 to 37/3 collapse. Madugalle (30) and Ranatunga (40) tried to salvage some pride, but the rain and a revised target (267 in 45 overs) did the Sri Lankans no good in terms of momentum as they managed 158/8 in 45 overs, losing the game by a massive 109 runs in the end. Allan Lamb was awarded the man of the match for his explosive 58-ball 76 which launched England to an intimidating total and an eventual win.

October 30, 1987: England beat Sri Lanka twice in two weeks

England and Sri Lanka met for the second time in two weeks for another World Cup encounter, this time in Pune, where Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first. The decision to bat first looked questionable, as they lost both their openers with the score on 25. However, Gurusinha (34) and Roy Dias (80) put together a partnership of 88 to set the platform for the middle-order. With lower-order contributions from Jeganathan, de Silva, and Madugalle to support Dias, Sri Lanka posted a middling 218/7 in their 50 overs - a par score to defend. England's openers, Gooch and Robinson, however, had other ideas, scoring half-centuries to set the middle order up for the chase. Gatting and Athey obliged, scoring 46 and 40 (both not out) respectively to close out the chase and beat Sri Lanka resoundingly for the second time in two weeks, by 8 wickets, with 52 balls remaining.

March 9, 1992: All-round Lewis helps England thrash Sri Lanka

England faced off against Sri Lanka in the league stages of the 1992 Benson and Hedges World Cup, winning the toss and opting to bat first at the Eastern Oval. After the early wicket of Graham Gooch, Ian Botham and Graeme Hick scored a couple of forties to lift England to 164/4 before the middle-order carnage by Stewart (59 off 36) and Neil Fairbrother (63 off 70) provided England with a hundred-run partnership to get them to a defendable score. It was, however, a six-ball cameo by Chris Lewis (the eventual Man of the Match), in which he scored 20 runs, which made it a match-winning score - 280/6 in 50 overs. After Chris Lewis skittled the top four with the score at just 60, Sri Lanka were never really in the race. Ranatunga showed some obstinacy, and the resistance by the lower order only delayed Sri Lanka's doom as they were bowled out for 174 in 44 overs, losing the face-off by a margin of 106 runs.

March 9, 1996 (Quarter-final): Violent Jayasuriya drives Sri Lanka into semi-final

In the first quarter-final of the 1996 Wills World Cup, England faced off against Sri Lanka in a neutral venue - Faisalabad, Pakistan. After England won the toss and elected to bat first, Mike Atherton and Robin Smith started off cautiously. However, after the wicket of Atherton, no major partnership flourished as England continued to lose wickets in regular intervals. Stewart and DeFreitas put together 51 runs before the former was knocked over by Muralitharan. DeFreitas departed soon after for a 64-ball 67, before Reeves and Gough put together 62 runs to get England to a par total of 235/8. However, as the world was just getting to know about the phenomenon of Jayasuriya, 235 could definitely look like a cakewalk. An early wicket of Jayasuriya, however, was not to be. The opener absolutely butchered the England bowled on his way to a 44-ball 82, with supporting roles throughout the middle-order before Hashan Tillakaratne and Roshan Mahanama closed out the chase with almost 10 overs to spare. Sri Lanka had stamped their authority in the World Cup, and marched ahead to knock out India in the semi-final and to eventually win the World Cup final against Australia on a night of pure ecstasy in Lahore.

May 14, 1999: England thrash defending champions in World Cup opener

In the ICC Cricket World Cup opener at Lord's, Sri Lanka faced off against England at the iconic Lord's stadium in London. After putting Sri Lanka into bat, England got a wicket only after a decent first-wicket partnership of 42. However, the first wicket triggered a collapse of 5 wickets for 23 runs, which left Sri Lanka reeling at 65-5. Ranatunga and Kaluwitharana however, came to the rescue with an 84-run stand and dragged the score to 149-6 and a few lower-order contributions dragged the score to 204 all-out in 48.4 overs. Mullaly was the pick of the bowlers, picking up the wickets of four specialist batsmen including the openers. The England team took a conservative approach and only lost the wickets of Hussain (14) and Stewart (88), before Thorpe(13*) and Hick (73*) guided the hosts to the target in the 47th over, getting their campaign off to an auspicious start.

April 4, 2007: Heartbroken England fall two runs short

Sri Lanka and England's face off in the super eight encounter at North Sound in the 2007 World Cup was the vintage ODI nail-biter. After England won the toss and elected to field first, the openers got off to a steady start, putting together 37 runs before Jayasuriya departed. Sangakkara was dismissed early too, but Tharanga held fort at one end to put together a 91-run partnership with skipper Jayawardene, as both scored contrasting fifties to stabilize the innings. In a bid to up the ante, however, Sri Lanka lost 8 wickets for 75 runs, and were all-out for 235 off the final ball of the innings. Sajid Mahmood and Flintoff were the pick of the bowlers, scalping four and three wickets respectively.

England got off to a poor start, losing their openers rather quickly, but the 90-run partnership Bell and Pietersen calmed things down in the English camp. Another mini-collapse followed, and England found themselves in a spot of bother with a panicking middle-order - from 101-2 to 133-6. However, they found saviours in the level-headed Bopara and the gritty Paul Nixon, who stitched together an 87-run partnership to take the game deep - perhaps a little too much, as the required rate was closing in on ten runs per over. With 16 to win off 8, Malinga scaled Nixon, and almost closed it off, but Bopara, who had crossed over, hit the last ball for four, to leave 12 to get off 6. With 13 to defend off the final over, Fernando bowled a decent over and off the final ball, with 3 to win and 2 to tie, Ravi Bopara was knocked over to send the Sri Lankan team into a frenzy - a thrilling two-run win to seal another fantastic nail-biter. Bopara, despite the heartbreak of a loss, was rewarded with the consolation of the Man of the Match award for his gallant effort in the chase.

March 26, 2011 (Quarter-final): Sri Lanka knock England out in embarrassing defeat

The most one-sided quarter-final of them all. After England's decision to bat first, Sri Lanka started off early with spin against a struggling England side to send both the openers back with just 31 runs on the board. Trott and Bopara put together 64 runs to stabilize things, before the dismissal of the latter. Another good partnership between Morgan (50) and Trott (86) meant that England were well on their way to a good score, but they lacked the final flourish given that most of their recognized batsmen were back in the hut.

However, on a wicket that offered spin, England's 229/6 was a below-par score, but a defendable one - something to bowl at. That, however, was not to be. The Sri Lankan openers absolutely ravaged through the English bowling attack, creaming individual hundreds (Dilshan scored 108* and Tharanga, 102*), to further assert their dominance at home as they became the last team to march ahead to the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup, set to face New Zealand in Colombo. A scarred England side, on the other hand, were set to return home after a brutal end to a disappointing campaign.

March 1, 2015: Sangakkara makes short work of a tall chase

The competitive score that wasn't. One would think that, on any given pitch, the 309/6 posted by England would be at least a challenge, if not a match-winning score. After a platform-setting 49 by Bell, a magnificent century by Root (121) and a couple of impressive cameos lower in the order by Buttler and co., England galloped to 309 on a batting-friendly Wellington wicket. Sri Lanka got off to a steady start, reaching a hundred before losing Dilshan's wicket, and were scoring at just over 5 runs an over at that stage.

The run-rate was a bit of a concern at this point, but not after the great Kumar Sangakkara walked to the crease. The Sri Lankan veteran (117* off 86), and Thirimanne (139* off 143), scored brisk centuries to put on 212 for the second wicket, making a steep chase look like a cakewalk, and racing to a clinical win with almost three overs to spare. Kumar Sangakkara was awarded the Man of the Match title for his fastest hundred (70 balls), his second in a row, and would go on to score hundreds in his next two matches as well to make it an unprecedented four in a row - a world record that still stands.

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