ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Sri Lanka v England, 4th quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Colombo

Of broken bats and the man with nine lives

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth quarter-final between England and Sri Lanka in Colombo

Sidharth Monga at the Premadasa

March 26, 2011

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Eoin Morgan was gifted the first of a series of lives when Thilan Samaraweera spilled a catch, Sri Lanka v England, 4th quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 26 2011
Sri Lanka's butter-fingers © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Eoin Morgan
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: England | Sri Lanka

The misunderstanding
Jonathan Trott and Ravi Bopara did a good job of knocking the ball around later on during their partnership, but the there was the odd potential run-out thrown in too, especially because of the extensive employment of the reverse-sweep. One such effort from Trott, in the 23rd over, lobbed over Kumar Sangakkara's head, and he got so engrossed in watching over his wicket that he didn't realise the ball had reached the vacant short third-man region. Bopara wanted the run, Trott didn't, Bopara wanted it more, Trott was even more opposed, until he realised Bopara had reached his end and there was enough time for him too to make it to the other.

The cat
At least half a cat for sure. Eoin Morgan may as well head off to the casino after the game. They just didn't seem to be capable of catching him. He was dropped by Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath, on 16, 33 and 34 respectively. In between was the usually argumentative Sri Lankan captains' failure to dispute a not-out call when Lasith Malinga had Morgan lbw on 29. Murali's reaction when Herath grassed one at point was priceless: pointing at the fielder, shouting, cursing, competitive as ever at 22 days short of 39 years.

The break
When Morgan dug out a yorker from Malinga in the 43rd over, the ball flew square on the off side, and a piece on wood square on the leg side. On first look it looked like Malinga had bowled him, but it was a chunk of the bottom of the bat that had come off. The single that Morgan took was also his 50th run, so in one wave of a broken bat towards the dressing, he acknowledged the applause and also asked for a new piece of wood.

The switch-hit
It went horribly wrong, by the way. England have tended to promote Graeme Swann during the batting Powerplay overs, and Swann in turn has tended to employ the switch-hit to the first ball he faces. When he came to bat in the 44th over, despite all England's unpredictability, it was clear to all who have followed the World Cup that Swann was going to try the switch-hit. Mendis bowled straight, within the stumps, Swann swung, missed, and was caught dead plumb.

The slip
It's humid in Sri Lanka. If you didn't know it already from the two cramping centurions, go back to the highlights package, and check out Tillakaratne Dilshan's attempt at a pull shot in the 34th over of the chase. It was a good slower bouncer from Tim Bresnan, and Dilshan gave it a mighty thwack, except he didn't connect and the bat went flying towards square leg. Good that there was no square leg in place, and the umpire was deeper than where the bat landed.

The drama
With seven runs required for a win, and Upul Tharanga on 98, Dilshan - already past his century - cut Graeme Swann for a four to send a surprised murmur across the partying stands. He had played a part in denying Virender Sehwag a century last year, surely he was not going to deny his partner one here? Two balls to go in the over. Cheekily Swann bowls short and wide, this time Dilshan goes right across, and defends to send across a wild cheer. Now Swann tosses it up, and Dilshan stretches well forward for a defensive. And all is right with the world with Tharanga on strike for the next over.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 8 
Posted by cricketfan803 on (March 28, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

Just a thought(coming from a sri lankan supported). Remember the no-ball,which was bowled by srilanka(it was Dilshan(the irony) who suggested it) to deny Sehwag the century....Would it have been apt if Swann just fired a wide down the leg side for four? Atleast England did not resort to that tactic...

Posted by Fazeemf on (March 27, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

Sri Lankans have showed why they deserve the world cup 2011.

Posted by courierpost on (March 26, 2011, 20:43 GMT)

Good on you Dilshan super batting with Tharanga

Posted by ActionCJ on (March 26, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka, you have beaten my team now its time to win the World Cup, 10 wickets not to bad!

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (March 26, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

Congratulations Sri Lanka! Great win! Now go and do the same to New Zealand, like what you did to England today. Wonderful.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 17:22 GMT)

LOL.. title of the page "Plays of he Day"

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 16:39 GMT)


Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 16:11 GMT)

Terrible display by England. Well played Srilanka. Rest assured this world cup belongs to the ASIANS ony.

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