England beat Sri Lanka by 26 runs in a highly contested match to secure their semi-final spot in this World Cup T20.
With 164 runs as the target on a dual-faced wicket to bat on, Srilanka lost their star opener Pathum Nissanka (1 off 1) cheaply in a lazy run-out. Charith Asalanka smashed boundaries to Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali’s offspinners. However, he soon walked to the pavilion, charging down Adil Rashid’s slider got caught by Moeen Ali.
Adil Rashid bowled a brilliant spell of (4-0-19-2) and took Kushal Perera and Charith Asalanka’s crucial wickets to put Srilanka’s chase into pressure.
Bhanuka Rajapakshe played a quick 26 off 32 balls innings only to leave it to the middle order to finish.
Wanindu Hasaranga took on Tymal Mills, Livingstone and Jordan and successfully hit them all over the park with his brilliant timing. Things fell apart for Sri Lanka when he was caught at long on by a diving catch of Sam billings.
Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali took 2 wickets each of the tail-enders to take England to a comfortable win of 26 runs.
Earlier in the innings, England’s top order faced the ultimate test for the first time in this World Cup. Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan were dismissed quickly by a well disciplined Sri Lankan bowling attack.
Wanindu Hasaranga picked up 3 valuable English wickets to restrict them to a chaseable total. He was magnificent with his line and length which made it almost unplayable for the batters. He bowled Roy (9 off 6) and trapped Bairstow (0 off 1) for an lbw during the powerplay overs.
A set Morgan’s (40 off 36) stumps were shattered again on the 19th over completing his magical spell of (4-0-21-3).
Theekshana maintained a strict wicket to wicket line ensuring the batters couldn’t score off his offspinners and skidding deliveries. He along with Hasaranga put pressure on the English top order and dominated.
Jos Buttler started off slowly after sensing the collapse in the batting order. Eoin Morgan joined him at that crucial time and helped him to get set with the slower pitch.
Once Hasaranga and Theekshana’s spell were done, Jos Buttler took over the seamers and smacked them all over the ground for boundaries. He scored a magnificient 101* off only 67 deliveries with a staggering strike rate of 150.74.
An all round performance of Wanindu Hasaranga couldn’t make it up for Srilanka as their chance of a semi-final spot is slimmer than ever.
Buttler was judged Player of the Match for his maiden T20 century.