Pallekele: Lasith Malinga blew away the England top-order by dismissing three batsmen in a single over as Sri Lanka thrashed the defending champions by 19 runs in their Super Eights match to qualify for the semi-finals of the World T20 along with the West Indies, here on Monday.
With the West Indies’ run-rate better, England needed to chase the 170-run target in less than 13 overs to qualify for the semi-finals but paceman Malinga’s performance (5/31) made it a lop-sided affair.
England finished on 150 for nine thanks to a fighting 67-run knock from Samit Patel and his 51-run stand for the eighth wicket with Greame Swann (34).
Sri Lanka’s win knocked England out of the tournament since they had just one win from three Super Eight matches in Group I while the Caribbean side had two.
Sri Lanka rode on a collective batting effort to reach a competitive 169 for six.
Mahela Jayawardene (42), Angelo Mathews (28) and Jeevan Mendis (18) got good starts but could not convert them after the hosts were sent in to bat.
Thisara Perera (25 not out) and Lahiru Thirimanne (13) hit a few lusty blows towards the end to lift the side to a fighting total.
But Malinga’s sensational over — the third of the Englnd innings — got rid of Luke Wright (13), Jonny Bairstow (2) and Alex Hales (3).
England were reeling at 18 for three in three overs and never recovered.