Bowling at the death in limited-overs cricket is a thankless business. With Jos Buttler hitting even the good deliveries to the boundary, Lakmal found himself struggling for answers. The first delivery of the final over - perhaps an attempted yorker - was a high full toss that was called as a no-ball due to its height and pulled to the boundary. Later in the over, after a perfectly respectable full ball had been driven over mid-off for six, Lakmal delivered a head-high beamer - presumably an attempted slower ball - and was removed from the attack by the umpire. With Rangana Herath forced to withdraw midway through the previous over due to a hand injury, it meant Sri Lanka had utilised four bowlers in the final two overs of the England innings.
England enjoyed a bright start, reaching 61 without loss by the end of the eighth over mainly because of Ian Bell. He enjoyed some fortune, though, at one stage surviving two chances in successive deliveries. First Dinesh Chandimal, diving full length to his right, was unable to cling on to what would have been a spectacular catch at cover off Suranga Lakmal in the fourth over before, next ball, Tillakaratne Dilshan failed to lay a hand on a more straightforward chance at point as Bell failed to keep his cut shot on the ground.
Joe Root was on just two when he edged a delivery off Angelo Mathews to first slip. But Sri Lanka had gone funky and posted Mahela Jayawardene wider, at a position more like second slip, and though he flung himself to his left and laid a hand on the ball, he was unable to cling on. Root went on to make 121, becoming England's youngest World Cup centurion, and provide the platform for the England total.
The other drop
Root was also involved in the other key drop of the day. Lahiru Thirimanne had scored only three when he was drawn into poking at a delivery angled across him by Stuart Broad and edged towards the slip cordon. Initially it seemed that Jos Butter was going to go for the catch and it may be that his movement either impeded Root's sight or just distracted him. Either way, Root seemed to react late to the chance and was only able to parry it to the boundary. Thirimanne went on to score 139 and, in the process, became Sri Lanka's youngest World Cup centurion.
The grand-prix impersonation
Root had flicked through the gears seamlessly to help yank England out of mild trouble while batting, but when he drilled one past point on 96, he was in such a hurry to get back to the striker's end, he ended up celebrating his first World Cup ton in a memorable manner. Root had expected the cover-sweeper to reel his shot in, and perhaps beset by nerves, dropped his bat as he turned for the second run. In the end the ball would cross the boundary, and Root would have nothing to acknowledge the crowd's applause with. He raised his gloved hands and his helmet above his head - more like a victorious formula one driver than a cricket centurion.
Most of the DRS referrals in this tournament have vindicated the umpires; this one just made you wonder if the players were watching the same game. The delivery from Lakmal would, in other circumstances, have been called a wide but with Root giving himself room, the full toss hit him on the thigh or knee and he hobbled through for a run. But Sri Lanka surprised everyone by calling for a review. It showed the ball passing down the leg side by such a long way - getting on for a foot - that it raised the question: was this the worst review in history?
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent