Morgan: England ‘punished’ for poor bowling

2015 World Cup

England captain Eoin Morgan didn't look for excuses when asked about his side's nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in Wellington on Sunday, saying they were outplayed by a better side on the day.

England had scored 309 for six in their 50 overs, which they thought they could defend, but the bowlers were well below par and allowed Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne to score unbeaten tons and win the game with 16 balls to spare.

England fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were particularly worrying, as they now only have two wickets each in the tournament so far, while they've conceded nearly 400 runs between them.

Morgan said: "We were punished today by a very experienced side. We were way off the mark. When we are bowling well, it’s a good attack but you can pick it apart when we’re not bowling well and we didn’t bowl well.

"We probably bowled a bad ball every one, one and a half overs, which at this level you get punished for. We were punished today by a very experienced side."

Morgan went on to give credit to batsman Joe Root. who made 121 runs while the wickets fell around him and the other batsmen got set but failed to captialise. Morgan thought the score would be enough when they had the dinner break though.

He added: "At half-time we went in thinking we had a more than par score. Joe Root was exceptional, it sums up the year he’s had. I was happy at half time."

Morgan wasn't the only skipper who thought 310 would be a tough ask, as Angelo Mathews was also awed by the score. The Sri Lanka captain had faith in his batsmen though, and was pleased they stepped up after the bowlers faltered.

Mathews said: "I thought 310 was a bit too much but it was a brilliant partnership by Sangakkara and Thirimanne. We knew we could chase 300 but they were two of the best knocks we’ve ever seen.

"If the bowlers fail, the batters need to step up and get us a win and the top four have really been great in these last few days. Not many teams have chased 300 in this World Cup but it was a great performance."