1987-88 World Cup - Group B

†ENGLAND v SRI LANKA

At Pune, October 30. England won by eight wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka. England had to win to be sure of a place in the semi-finals and they did so convincingly, though not having things entirely their own way. Dias, playing only for the second time in this World Cup and benefiting from being dropped by Downton when 1, batted with considerable charm on an easy-paced pitch. His 80, from 105 balls, included three sixes and six fours, and with Sri Lanka snatching 75 runs from the last ten overs, England received a timely reminder that lapses can be costly in this kind of game. They dropped four catches, the first of them in the opening over by Gooch, who in doing so dislocated a finger on his right hand and was allowed to sit out the rest of the innings. Any discomfort was well concealed as he and Robinson built a perfect platform with 123 in 23.3 overs against the friendliest of attacks. Gooch faced 79 balls, Robinson 75, each hit seven fours, and when they were out, Athey (55 balls) and Gatting (40 balls) quickly finished off the job.

Man of the Match: G. A. Gooch.

© John Wisden & Co