(Corrects to say Malinga fourth bowler to reach 50 or more wickets in par 3)
LEEDS, England, June 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga ripped through the England batting line-up with four wickets as the former champions handed the favourites a 20-run defeat in a low-scoring World Cup match at Headingley on Friday.
Chasing 233 for victory on a slow track, England struggled against veteran Malinga’s variations before they fell to their second defeat of the tournament, squandering an opportunity to join holders Australia at the top of the standings.
Malinga, who finished with figures of 4-43, became only the fourth bowler to capture 50 or more wickets in the competition after Australia’s Glenn McGrath (71), his compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan (68) and Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (55).
England were in control after a slow start as Joe Root made a patient half-century, but he was caught behind off Malinga for 57 to trigger a collapse, and despite Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 82 ensuring a tense finish, the hosts fell short.
Earlier, England’s pace duo of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood claimed three wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to a modest total of 232-9 from their 50 overs with Angelo Mathews top-scoring with an unbeaten 85 off 115 balls.
Archer’s 3-52 made him the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament alongside Australia’s Mitchell Starc with 15. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis and Toby Chopra)