England's 'doze'ball show in ODI World Cup 2023 defeat to Sri Lanka enrages fans; sparks meme fest
Sri Lanka defeated defending champions England by eight wickets in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 on Thursday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, sparking a massive uproar among cricket fans, who took to social media to ridicule Jos Buttler and Co's 'doze'ball show in the showpiece event.
The England cricket team, which popularised the fearless 'Bazball' style, suffered yet another shock defeat in the ODI World Cup 2023 after Sri Lanka registered an 8-wicket win against the defending champions at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, on Thursday. Jos Buttler and Co. found themselves caught in a 'doze'ball show against the Lankans, leading to a shocking loss that left fans both enraged and amused. With the loss, England are all but out of contention for a semifinal spot and has not only sparked a wave of frustration among supporters but also ignited a meme fest across the cricketing world.
After having lost to Afghanistan earlier in the tournament, England were expected to bring out their A game in the must-win ODI World Cup 2023 clash. The defending champions started with a rapid flurry of boundaries, reaching a promising 44/0 within the first six overs against Sri Lanka. It seemed like England was gearing up for another dominant performance. However, the script dramatically flipped as England's batting lineup suffered a sudden and baffling collapse. They were bowled out for a mere 156 runs in just 33.2 overs, marking their second consecutive total below 200 in the tournament.
One of the shocking moments of the England's innings that enraged fans was the wicket of Adil Rashid in the fag end of the England innings, which was a result of a bizarre run out. In the 32nd over of the game, Sri Lankan skipper Kusal Mendis caught Rashid napping at the non-striker's end fired in a gun throw to the stumps. The direct hit was referred to the third umpire and eventually the England cricketer was given out.
Several cricket fans took to X to slam the England player for being careless and not alert at the non-striker's end. Some even claimed that the England team would spark a 'spirit of the game' debate once again that hit the headlines during their Ashes series against Australia earlier this year, owing to a bizarre stumping by Jonny Bairstow that got Alex Carey's wicket in the Lord's Test.
In Sri Lanka's successful bowling effort, Lahiru Kumara stood out as the standout performer, securing three wickets while conceding 35 runs in his seven overs. Angelo Mathews and Kasun Rajitha also made significant contributions, each taking two wickets during England's innings.
Sri Lanka efficiently chased down the target, reaching 160 for the loss of two wickets in just 25.4 overs. The unbeaten partnership of opener Pathum Nissanka (77 not out) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (65 not out) played pivotal roles in guiding Sri Lanka to victory after the team encountered early setbacks.
Cricket fans were also left unpleased with captain Jos Buttler's tactics despite having a paltry total to defend. David Willey was England's most successful bowler, managing to take two wickets while conceding 30 runs in his spell. But the lack of creativity in the field and a lacklustre bowling strategy continued to enrage fans during the Sri Lankan chase. Some cricket lovers even questioned why pacer Mark Wood, who even clocked 150.8 KPH during the game, was brought into the attack late. A few even wondered if Ben Stokes, who was the only saving grace in England's batting show, should have been given an over or two early on.
England: 156 all out in 33.2 overs (Jonny Bairstow 30, Ben Stokes 43; Kasun Rajitha 2/36, Angelo Mathews 2/14, Lahiru Kumara 3/35).
Sri Lanka: 160 for 2 in 25.4 overs (Pathum Nissanka 77 not out, Sadeera Samarawickrama 65 not out; David Willey 2/30).
Cricket enthusiasts, as well as humourists, seized the opportunity to create a plethora of memes, GIFs, and humorous posts, highlighting England's 'doze'ball performance and taking a jibe at the team's popular 'Bazball' style. While some cricket fans expressed their disappointment and disbelief, a few also demonstrated their ability to find humour in the most unexpected situations.
"Dreadful World Cup performance. A proper review is needed," noted on English fan on Twitter, while another added, "Start focusing on ODIs too as you guys are focusing on Tests."
"Where is Bazball?" simply asked a third X user, while a fourth said, "The way England has just unraveled in this World Cup is concerning!"
"Sad ending to this great generation of players. Need a big rebuild now," said a fifth user, while a sixth added, "Embarrassing performance. Should be ashamed."
Here's a look at some of the memes that exploded following England's defeat to Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2023: