Meanwhile, Buttler said Malinga remained as awkward to face as ever.
“He is just different – as much as you do face him, he is different,” Buttler insisted.
“The stumps are always in play with him. With his release point, if it hits you in line, it’s generally close (to the batsman being out).
“We didn’t counter him as well as we could have today, but credit to a fantastic bowler.”
Sri Lanka – who have now beaten England in four successive World Cups – next play strugglers South Africa in Chester-le-Street a week on Friday, and an elated Malinga said: “We want to carry on the momentum and confidence into the other matches.”