England's campaign in the ICC World Cup 2023 took another massive hit on Thursday after they lost by 8 wickets against Sri Lanka at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
Chasing a paltry 157 for victory, the Lankans rode on the unbeaten 137-run partnership between Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama to cross the finish line in the 26th over.
Nissanka top-scored with 77 not out while Samarawickrama was unbeaten on 65 as Sri Lanka registered their fifth successive win over England in ODI World Cups.
The islanders have been beating England in ODI World Cups since 2007. This is also the first time England has lost three consecutive matches in a World Cup edition since 1996.
England vs Sri Lanka in last 5 WC matches:
2007 - SL won by 2 runs
2011 - SL won by 10 wickets
2015 - SL won by 9 wickets
2019 - SL won by 20 runs
2023 - SL won by 8 wickets*
England led Sri Lanka 6-1 in World Cups before this sequence, Sri Lanka's only win coming in the 1996 quarter-final.
The win also helped the Lankans keep their campaign alive and move up to fifth position on the points table with their second win out of five games.
Lahiru Kumara stars with the ball
The win was actually set up by Sri Lanka bowlers, pacer Lahiru Kumara in particular who took 3 wickets for 35 from 7 over while former skipper Angelo Mathews and Kasun Rajitha bagged a couple of scalps each.
Kumara was adjudged Player of the Match for his bowling performance in the first innings.
"Playing a team like England, I’m very happy to perform this way today. Didn't make a lot of changes after the previous match, the Australia game was an off day for me.
"I’ve worked hard on my bowling. The plan was to hit the middle overs with discipline, we stuck to the plan and were rewarded with wickets," Kumara said after the match.