England had up to this point of the tournament served us with the most exciting matches. These were matches where they snatched victories and draws from the jaws of defeat, and then lost matches that they should really have won. The tired, fatigued English team have entertained, with their unpredictable results winning them more fans than any other component of their play.
But Sri Lanka ensured that there really wasn’t any surprises in store for them tonight. They bowled well, restricted the England batsmen, and then quietly batted their way to a comprehensive 10-wicket victory, without giving even a sniff to the English team. The English team had no luck going their way, with almost every difficult chance in the field going down. They probably used up all their quota of luck in most of their earlier matches, and in the batting innings, where Eoin Morgan got reprieve after reprieve. He and Trott build the innings to a par score, which might just have been enough, but their bowlers and fielders failed to trouble the Sri Lanka batsman in any way.
The two openers went around getting their respective centuries and England suffered the ignominy of being absolutely outclassed in the quarter-finals of the tournament: a below-average performance by an average team, and an uneventful end to an eventful World Cup for England. We have with that thankfully gotten rid of most of the teams that do not know how to play spin.
The only negative, if Sri Lanka do decide to nitpick their fine performance, is the lack of match practice for their middle-order, which didn’t looked very fluent in the last few games.
So now 3 out of the 4 teams in the Semi-finals are from the sub-continent : India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The 4th team, New Zealand, has just about sneaked through, and will have a very difficult task against an in-form Sri Lanka. The help that bowlers are getting from the pitches in this tournament will definitely make for some exciting and intriguing matches.