Magic Malinga sends England home
England wilted in the face of an inspired Lasith Malinga to crash out of the World Twenty20 by virtue of a defeat against hosts Sri Lanka at Pallekele.
The defending champions headed into the encounter knowing only victory would keep alive their hopes of retaining the title.
Yet they could not manage that as Malinga claimed three wickets in his first over to undermine their efforts of pursuing a daunting 170.
Bowling his usual variety of yorkers, bouncers and slower balls, Malinga at times bamboozled England's batsman with outstanding guile, returning to complete figures of 5-31 by also accounting for Jos Buttler and Samit Patel.
Patel had struck an outstanding 47-ball 67 in response to the paceman's initial trio of wickets, prospering against both seam and spin while his partners often struggled on a slow surface.
Yet his effort, and a superb cameo of 34 from 18 balls from Graeme Swann, could not rescue England, who were restricted to 150 for nine and subsequently beaten by 19 runs.
Earlier, Mahela Jayawardene top-scored for Sri Lanka - who were asked to bat - with 42, while Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera chipped in with 28, 18 and 26 not out respectively.
Those efforts overshadowed excellent bowling performances from Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn, who did their best to restrict Sri Lanka.
An imposing total of 169 for six proved too much for an England side desperate to hold on to their crown.
England made an impressive start with the ball and, after being dropped by Swann at first slip off Jade Dernbach, Tillakaratne Dilshan was trapped plumb in front by Steven Finn.
Jayawardene soon had Sri Lanka back on track, courtesy of an innings in which he typically favoured finesse over power.
He then slog-swept Swann to midwicket, however, and the off-spinner had two wickets in as many balls when Kumar Sangakkara was caught behind.
At that stage, England looked in good shape having removed the much-vaunted 'big three', yet more unheralded names such as Mathews, Mendis and Perera chipped in with handy contributions.
Broad got rid of Mathews and Mendis with back-to-back deliveries, but their efforts set up a launchpad for Perera, who showed great brute force - epitomised by a quite ridiculous one-handed six off Jade Dernbach.
Indeed, it was his unbeaten knock that took Sri Lanka to their eventual commanding score.
Luke Wright showed his form early in the reply, pulling Nuwan Kulasekara for a maximum over midwicket - only to depart when Malinga was introduced.
Wright, promoted after Craig Kieswetter was dropped, struck straight to point, Jonny Bairstow skied one to mid-off and Alex Hales was trapped leg before - albeit with replays showing the ball was missing the stumps - in the same set of six.
Patel was the only top-order batsman to get going, striking fluently through the off side off Ajantha Mendis, in particular, and also adding sixes over cow corner off Angelo Mathews and mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya.
Yet England continued to lose wickets; Morgan was trapped in front by Dananjaya, who later had Broad caught at cover after Ravi Bopara was bowled by Jeevan Mendis.
After Jos Buttler had pulled Malinga to long-leg, Swann proceeded to give England slight hope with four excellently timed fours and a slog-swept six.
Malinga, though, completed his first T20I five-wicket haul by bowling Patel, who gave himself too much room, before Swann fell to Kulasekara in the same fashion.
Live Text Commentary
6:40pm - ENG OF MATCH - ENGLAND LOSE BY 19 RUNS - Kulasekara comes back for the last over and bowls the impressive Swann before Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn see out the final deliveries. Fine performance from Sri Lanka, but I am afraid that is the end of the road for England, who have not been able to repeat their heroics from two years ago.
6:30pm - WICKET! Patel b Malinga 67; ENG 144/8 - Well, the dream was fun while it lasted. Swann continues his fine effort by chipping Malinga down the ground for four, but the paceman responds by uprooting the off stump of Patel, who was looking extremely tired at the end.
6:24pm - Graeme Swann is producing a quite remarkable little cameo here. Having hit Malinga for three boundaries in the previous over, the number nine slog-sweeps Mendis for a six. England need 33 off two overs. Victory seems unlikely, but they have a chance.
6:15pm - DROPPED CATCH! - Patel is seemingly undeterred by the wickets tumbling as he slog-sweeps Dananjaya over midwicket for a maximum before cutting for four through cover. Graeme Swann then edges the spinner behind, only for Kumar Sangakkara to shell a difficult chance. Dananjaya finishes with figures of 4-0-26-2.
6:10pm - FIFTY! Patel (37b 7x4 1x6); WICKET! Broad c Jayawardene b Dananjaya 1; 93/7 - Patel brings up an excellent half-century with a single, but watches on as Broad hits the mystery spinner straight to Jaywardene, who palms the ball up and takes the catch at cover.
6:08pm - WICKET! c Mendis b Malinga 8; SL 91/6 - Another fine over from Dananjaya, who has yet to concede a boundary. Malinga returns and is on a hat-trick after claiming two wickets is as many deliveries in his last over. Jos Buttler sees that out, yet top-edges a swivel-pull straight to long-leg later in the over.
5:57pm - WICKET! Bopara b Mendis 1; ENG 76/5 - Well, Ravi Bopara never looked comfortable during his six-ball stay and is bowled tamely by leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis playing across the line.
5:52pm - WICKET! Morgan lbw Dananjaya; SL 73/4 - More fine work from Patel, who capitalises on Mendis again dropping short by cutting through third man before delivering his best shot yet - a flowing drive over cover. Morgan departs in the next, however, as he completely misses an attempted reverse-sweep and is pinned in front by Dananjaya. That was plumb.
5:47pm - Morgan follows his partner’s lead by launching Mathews over long-off for four before the bowler drags it back a little. Sri Lanka then turn to their other mystery spinner, Akila Dananjaya, who earned a call-up after bowling to Mahela Jayawardene in the nets. He starts solidly, conceding just five runs.
5:39pm - England were not expecting this. A dreadful start by Mendis, who bowls two short-and-wide deliveries that are put away by Patel before a frankly awful full toss offers easy pickings.
5:35pm - More excellent work from Patel, who strikes Kulesakara for two glorious boundaries through cover as England end the powerplay on 36 for three. We’re about to see spin in the shape of Ajantha Mendis.
5:31pm - After that over, Malinga is taken out of the attack! Mathews replaces him, but cannot repeat the heroics as he is planted for six over long-on by Patel. Plenty more of those please, Samit!
5:24pm - WICKET! Hales lbw Malinga 3; ENG 18/3 - Malinga has three in an over. A slower-ball yorker completely deceives Hales, who is rapped on the pad. Umpire Steve Davis raises the finger, although HawkEye later shows the ball was missing leg. England in the mire now. Can Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel lead a rescue mission?
5:22pm - WICKET! Bairstow c Kulasekara 2; ENG 18/2 - Well, Bairstow has not lasted much longer. He is deceived by a Malinga slower ball and skies one, allowing Kulasekara to run back and take a simple catch.
5:18pm - WICKET! Wright c Dilshan b Malinga 12; ENG 16/1 - That's a really soft dismissal. Malinga bowls a rare poor delivery - short and wide outside off stump - and Wright cuts it straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan at point. England are fortunate not to lose another as Jonny Bairstow and Hales get into a huge mix-up, but they survive and collect two overthrows in the process.
5:16pm - Another fine shot from Wright, profiting from Nuwan Kulasekara dropping short with a pulled maximum. The ease with which he hit that shows what good form Wright's in. Here comes Lasith Malinga.
5:11pm - Wright, England's form batsman, gets going with an early pull through midwicket off Angelo Mathews before Hales clips a two in the same area. Seven come from the first set of six.
5:07pm - The players are back out and there's the blow for England of knowing they need to score a run more than originally anticipated. Apparently an extra one has been added due to what was called a one-short on the field. Either way, Luke Wright and Alex Hales will try and make some early inroads into that.
Sri Lanka Innings
4:57pm - END OF INNINGS - SRI LANKA 168/6 - Excellent last over from Dernbach, who does not concede a boundary as Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara are foced to settle for ones and twos. Chasing 170 will be a tall order for England; we'll see how they do in a moment.
4:53pm - WICKET! Thrimanne b Broad 13; SL 161/6 - Imposing indeed! Perera carts Broad over midwicket for another maximum before his partner somehow edges through third man for four. The England skipper gets some revenge by bowling the left-hander, but his little cameo could well prove key. Sri Lanka already have 161 with an over to go.
4:46pm - I am struggling to believe what I've just seen. Thisara Perera has just hit Dernbach for a one-handed six over square-leg. The power he generated was quite incredible given his bottom hand came off the bat. Lahiru Thirimanne follows that up with another maximum over long-on and this score is beginning to look imposing to say the least.
4:41pm - Excellent, excellent over from Finn that costs just three runs; quite brilliant from the paceman at this stage of the innings. He, Broad and Swann have been exceptional.
4:35pm - WICKET! Mathews b Broad 28; SL 126/5 - We have two wickets in as many balls for the second time in the innings as Broad bowls Mathews, on the pull, off a bottom edge. Their chances of restricting Sri Lanka have just got better!
4:33pm - WICKET! Mendis c Bopara b Broad 18; SL 126/4 - The 52-run partnership comes to an end as a Broad short ball gets big on Mendis, who mis-times his pull to midwicket. England could do with getting rid of Mathews too; they will be aiming to keep Sri Lanka under 160.
4:30pm - Huge over for Sri Lanka as Patel gets the treatment after Bopara had kept things tight. Mathews trots down the pitch and clips the left-arm spinner over midwicket for six before Mendis slog-sweeps another maximum despite the best efforts of Finn, who somehow took a remarkable one-handed catch beyond the boundary.
4:22pm - MISSED STUMPING! - Swann almost adds another wicket in his last over as Mathews runs down the pitch and is beaten by big turn. Bairstow, however, does not retrieve the ball and Sri Lanka collect three byes. England will be happy with what they have seen from Swann, yet a little worried by the prodigious turn we are seeing. Anyway, the off-spinner ends his spell with figures of 4-0-26-2.
4:18pm - This is really exciting cricket now; Broad bowls four dot balls to Angelo Mathews, only for the number four to then hit two gorgeous boundaries through the off side.
4:11pm - WICKET! Sangakkara c Bairstow b Swann 13; SL 74/3 - Got another one! Magical stuff from Swann as he gets two in as many balls. Turning one from an off-stump line, the spinner locates the edge - Bairstow doing the rest. Sangkkara was not happy; he did not think he hit it. England don’t care, though. They have taken two big wickets - not that Jeevan Mendis seems to realise, slog-sweeping over midwicket and reverse-sweeping another boundary after seeing out the hat-trick ball. It's all happening.
4:09pm - WICKET! Jayawardene c Morgan b Swann 42; SL 74/2 - Samit Patel comes in and almost gets rid of Jayawardene with a beauty that turns big and beats the edge. However, the stylish opener responds with a gorgeous cut and fine sweep for boundaries. But he departs in the next over, clipping Swann to midwicket, where Eoin Morgan takes the catch. Huge wicket for England at a key time.
4:01pm - Broad introduces Swann immediately after the powerplay and, having guided the first ball fine for two, Jayawardene reverse-sweeps to the boundary. Ravi Bopara follows that up with a fine set of six, conceding just four runs.
3:52pm - Finn almost adds the wicket of Sangakkara, who nicks his second ball - only for it to drop comfortably short of Jonny Bairstow and go for four. Stuart Broad then keeps up the pressure with an excellent over that yields just three, during which Jayawardene fortuitously hits just over cover having been deceived by a slower ball.
3:47pm - WICKET! Dilshan lbw Finn 16; SL 35/1 - And Finn delivers said breakthrough! Cracking delivery that comes back in to Dilshan, whose wild heave shows no sign of connecting with the ball. That looked plumb; umpire Steve Davis certainly thought so.
3:43pm - This is why early wickets are crucial. Having played themselves in, Jayawardene and Dilshan are starting to open their shoulders now. The former grabs the first six of the game by nonchalantly flicking Dernbach over square-leg before Dilshan adds another with an upper cut. England could really do with a breakthrough.
3:39pm - Excellent over from Finn, who twice beats Jayawardene’s edge after the opener had produced a lovely swivel-pull to the fine-leg boundary. Solid stuff from England thus far, but they would love a wicket or two.
3:35pm - DROPPED CATCH! - England cannot afford too many of these, I'm afraid. An excellent Jade Dernbach delivery locates Dilshan's edge, but Graeme Swann drops a sharp chance at first slip. Given his usual high standards, he would have expected to take that.
3:30pm - A solid first over from Finn, who finds the right line and length - only to see his figures hurt somewhat by a sweetly timed Dilshan strike through cover. That's the opener's strength.
3:25pm - The national anthems have finished and Sri Lanka's openers are now out in the middle. The aim for England will doubtless be to strike early, with Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara the wickets they covet most. Steven Finn will start things off.
3:15pm - The Sri Lanka captaincy question has been answered; they only changed because Jayawardene had lost every toss. Sangakkara said that at the time, but I just assumed he was joking. Oh well, it never worked anyway. It seems likely Mahela will be calling the shots in the field.
3:08pm - Here are the teams in full:
Sri Lanka - Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.
England - Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach.
2:54pm - ENGLAND WIN TOSS AND BOWL - Stuart Broad has called correctly at the toss and opted to ask Sri Lanka to bat. Bizarrely, Kumar Sangakkara is skippering the hosts instead of Mahela Jayawardene, who is actually still playing in the game. England, meanwhile, have brought Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel and Jade Dernbach for Craig Kieswetter, Danny Briggs and Tim Bresnan. I assume Jonny Bairstow, who is set to bat three, will keep wicket.
2:40pm - Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have delivered the goods for West Indies in the Super Over, in which they were chasing 18. Both hit sixes off Tim Southee and England now know victory will seal their place in the semi-finals.
2:25pm - While you're waiting for England, why not have a read who Eoin Morgan thinks the two biggest threats are in Sri Lanka's team. Can you guess?
2:17pm - Does this just happen every time I'm doing the commentary? The England match will be delayed as West Indies versus New Zealand is headed to a Super Over following one of the best pieces of fielding you're likely to see from Dwayne Smith, who has run out Doug Bracewell. The Kiwis lost in this manner earlier in the competition against Sri Lanka. Can they deliver this time?
2:10pm - England, of course, should be brimming with confidence following their resounding victory over the Black Caps last time out. The test of hosts Sri Lanka will probably prove considerably more difficult, however.
2pm - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of England's crucial World Twenty20 clash with Sri Lanka. Given New Zealand look favourites to beat West Indies at the ground, the requirement for Stuart Broad's side will likely be simple: win or they'll be heading home.