England displayed another dominating performance to become the first team to qualify for the 20-20 World Cup semi-finals. The Eoin Morgan-led side defeated Sri Lanka by 26 runs to end their qualification chances. The win will be pleasing for England as the team came back from behind to win the game.
Put into bat, England lost early wickets and at one point were tottering at 35-3 in 6th over. At the halfway mark, they were 47-3 and looked like settling for a subpar total. However, Jos Buttler stood firm and with great support from Eoin Morgan pushed the team to 163-4. Buttler scored a magnificent 101 off 67 balls, while Eoin Morgan ended his dry patch, scoring a valuable 40, even if it was not his most fluent innings.
Given the records, the chase was on. However, Sri Lanka’s batting woes continued with Kusal Perera and Pathum Nissanka getting out in single-digit scores. None of the top order batters could resist the English bowling and left the team in dire state at 76-5. A late blitz by Wanindu Hasaranga and skipper Dasun Shanaka brought Sri Lanka back in the game with a 53 run stand off just 36 balls. However, both players departed in quick succession and took along with them Sri Lanka’s hopes of a win.
With England through, it will be a tough battle between Australia and South Africa for the second spot in the semi-finals from this group. Both teams are tied on points. However, South Africa have a better run rate.