Captain Morgan tells beaten England to 'front up' against Australia

By Sports Desk June 21, 2019

England captain Eoin Morgan said his team must banish the disappointment of their Headingley defeat to Sri Lanka and show their true colours against Australia.

The Cricket World Cup hosts suffered a 20-run defeat in Leeds, their second loss in six games at the tournament, with Ben Stokes left stranded on 82 not out.

Sri Lanka were driven to victory by their experienced pace bowler Lasith Malinga, who has taken a fancy to English batsmen in the past and again proved the main tormentor with a four-wicket haul.

Morgan said the main frustration was with the way England batted rather than the bowling that allowed Sri Lanka to post 232-9.

"I thought we were really good with the ball, adapted to conditions and held Sri Lanka to a chaseable total," said Morgan, whose side wilted to 212 all out. "I think we were probably at fault with a lack of substantial partnerships to chase down a total like that.

"There were a couple of individual performances that almost got us over the line but it wasn't enough."

Australia at Lord's present the next challenge for England on Tuesday, as both sides look to move closer to a semi-final place.

"We are going to lose games throughout this tournament," Morgan said. "It's about fronting up for the next game, learning as much as we can about today and bouncing back well on Tuesday.

"It's a tournament where you have to dust yourself off quite quickly and turn things around. We tend to come back quite aggressively so hopefully we'll look better on Tuesday."

Morgan does not feel England have suffered a major blow to their semi-final hopes.

"No, not at all," he said at the post-match presentations. "It's a long, long tournament with huge opportunities in every game. Every game's a tough game and we've got three more of them."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said removing Joe Root had been "the turning point", after England's Test skipper made 57 and looked poised to anchor the innings.

Malinga removed Root to leave England 127 for four, and they went downhill from there.

Man of the match Malinga said of the threat posed by Stokes in the closing overs: "We know how good a player he is and how hard he hits, but we stuck to our basics. We kept bowling our stock balls, and we ended up winning.

"We know how good the England team are and we want to carry on our momentum into our other matches."

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