June 21, 2019 / 7:44 PM / 4 months ago

England forgot how to chase, Morgan rues after Lanka humbling

LEEDS, England (Reuters) - England forgot the basics of a run chase, captain Eoin Morgan said after his team’s shock defeat by Sri Lanka in a low-scoring World Cup thriller on Friday.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - England v Sri Lanka - Headingley, Leeds, Britiain - June 21, 2019 England's Eoin Morgan in action Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Three days after posting the tournament’s highest score of 397-6 against Afghanistan, Morgan’s men imploded chasing 233 for victory against another Asian side in a major upset that breathed fresh life into the tournament.

Old warhorse Lasith Malinga led Sri Lanka’s bowling effort with 4-43 to upstage England despite Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 82.

“You look at the basics of a run chase. You know, partnerships are very important,” Morgan said after his team’s second loss in the tournament which complicates their passage to the semi-finals.

“We struggled to get enough partnerships going, or one substantial one. There were a couple of individual innings. But that is not good enough to win a game.”

England face tough tests in their next three matches when they take on holders Australia next week before facing India and New Zealand, the only two unbeaten sides in the tournament.

England have not beaten any of them in the World Cup since 1992 but Morgan had faith in his team’s ability to bounce back.

“When we get beaten we tend to come back quite strong, we tend to resort to aggressive, smart and positive cricket so let’s hope that’s the case on Tuesday,” he said referring to the match against Australia at Lord’s.

“The message is quite simple, we need to do the basics along with the way that we play as well.

“There is no reason why it shouldn’t be, we are going to play competitive games and are not going to win every game in this World Cup.

“We need to go back to the process that has taken us to being a strong side in the world.”

This was England’s second match without opener Jason Roy who is nursing a hamstring injury.

Replacement James Vince followed his 26 against Afghanistan with 14 but Morgan would not say the injury setback has disrupted their plans.

“I don’t think it has at all,” said the left-hander, who smashed a career-best 148 against Afghanistan in the previous match.

“If you look at the games that we have played, obviously we would love him in the side and he is a huge strength at the top of the order, but that’s not why we lost the game today, or why we might have struggled on this wicket.”

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Southampton; editing by Christian Radnedge

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