Australia

Jos Buttler brilliance puts England in World T20 semi final box seat

Twenty20 World Cup favourites England effectively sealed a place in the semi finals after Jos Buttler’s incendiary century fashioned a 26-run victory against a spirited Sri Lanka in their Group I match on Monday.

Put in to bat, England looked under pressure for the first time in the tournament but Buttler’s unbeaten 101 off 67 balls fired them to a strong 163-4 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Sri Lanka threatened to pull off an upset at one stage before being bowled out for 137 in 19 overs, falling to defeat despite Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-round brilliance.

England, looking to become the first team to hold the ODI and T20 World Cups at the same time, consolidated their position as group leaders with their fourth victory in as many matches.

Buttler, the obvious choice for the man-of-the-match award, also effected two run-outs and led the team as they walked off the field.

Loading

“I found it really tough early on,” Buttler said.

“I managed to get a really good partnership going with Morgs [England skipper Eoin Morgan] and we tried to attack the back end. We were finding the spin bowlers a bit tricky and thought 120 might be a good score.”

The win was significant for Morgan, who returned to form with a knock of 40, and also became the world’s most successful T20 captain with his 43rd win.

“We’re just delighted with the win. Sri Lanka have pushed us further than we’ve been pushed so far in this tournament.”

Chasing teams had won 13 of the previous 16 matches in the Super 12 stage, making Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka’s decision to field after winning the toss hardly a surprise.

Sri Lanka put up a brave fight, but their tournament is effectively over.(Getty Images: Alex Davidson)

Shanaka deployed four different bowlers to bowl the first four overs and their spinners dictated terms early in the match to restrict England to 36-3 after the powerplay overs.

Leg-spinner Hasaranga, fresh from his hat-trick against South Africa, deceived Jason Roy with a googly to knock back his off-stump.

Kusal Perera spilled an edge from Dawid Malan but Dushmantha Chameera crashed the next ball onto the stumps, negating the error.

Hasaranga (3-21) returned to trap the scoreless Jonny Bairstow lbw and England laboured to 47-3 at the midway stage of their innings.

Struggling to get to grips with the spinners on the slow, low-turning track, Buttler and Morgan decided to go after the pacers instead and hit Lahiru Kumara for three sixes in the 15th over.

Loading

With Buttler going berserk with the bat, England plundered 116 runs in the final 10 overs.

The stumper-batsman brought up his maiden century in T20 Internationals with his sixth six off the final ball of the innings.

Sri Lanka endured a top order wobble of their own when they began their chase.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid dismissed Charith Asalanka and Perera in successive overs to wreck Sri Lanka but the 2014 champions refused to throw in the towel.

Hasaranga shone with the bat too, top-scoring for his side with a quickfire 34 off 21 balls to boost Sri Lanka’s hopes of pulling off an upset while the dew was making things difficult for the England bowlers.

But when he fell to a superb relayed catch between Jason Roy and Sam Billings on the edge of the boundary in the 17th over, the collapse started. 

Buttler then threw down the wicket to run out Shanaka (26) to effectively seal the match in England’s favour.

Jos Buttler stands in the action of throwing with the ball in his hand, cocked behind his head
Jos Buttler backed up his innings with the bat with a brilliant performance behind the stumps.(Getty Images: Alex Davidson)

Moeen Ali (2-15) and Rashid Khan (2-19) were miserly and Chris Jordan also bowled a decent four overs to finish with 2-24.

Off spinner Ali perfectly filled the shoes of the injured Tymal Mills in the death overs after the fast bowler had to go off having injured his right quad — Mills’ injury the only downer for an England side that was already without fellow quick Mark Wood.

“In the whole tournament, the bowlers have been outstanding in the first 10 overs,” Shanaka said after Sri Lanka slumped to their third loss in four matches.

“In the second half, we knew the dew factor will be a big factor but losing wickets at regular intervals really cost the match for us.”

Sri Lanka is now all but out of semifinal reckoning after losing its third game out of four.

England takes on South Africa on Sunday, looking to go through the group phase unbeaten.

ABC/Wires


Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: