England win knocks Proteas and SL out


In a thrilling game at Delhi on Saturday, England beat Sri Lanka by 10 runs in the ICC World T20 Super 10s to advance to the semi-finals. 

This victory had huge implications on the tournament as England have now made it through to the semi-finals, knocking out South Africa and Sri Lanka. 

West Indies are the other team from Group 1 to qualify for the semi-finals. The game between South Africa and Sri Lanka on Monday at Delhi will be an inconsequential encounter.

England started their defence of 171 in style as they reduced Sri Lanka to 15 for four inside three overs. Most had written epitaphs for Sri Lanka’s World T20 campaign, but skipper Angelo Mathews was a determined man. 

In tandem with Chamara Kapugedera, they put up 80 runs to lift Sri Lanka out of the muddle. Mathews was severe on the spinners. Adil Rashid went for 21 runs in the 12th over. Later, Moeen Ali was dished out a similar medicine in the 16th over.

Mathews was struggling with a hamstring injury, yet soldiered on. What was impressive was the way he picked up pace later in the innings and picked boundaries. 

Thisara Perera’s 10-ball 20 was handy as Sri Lanka gave England a scare, getting the required rate within acceptable range in the slog overs. Once Perera was dismissed, it got tougher for Sri Lanka as the wickets kept falling. 

Mathews kept fighting despite the handicap. His effort will remain one of the most heroic ones in this World T20. Sri Lanka needed 15 off the last over and Ben Stokes bowled a good final over to seal victory. Mathews finished unbeaten on 73.

Earlier, Sri Lanka put England in to bat. Alex Hales returned to the side and was dismissed for no score when Rangana Herath trapped him leg-before in the second over. Jason Roy (42 of 39 balls) and Joe Root (25 off 24 balls) stabilised the innings and setup a platform in the first 10 overs. 

It was the entry of Jos Buttler that infused life into the England innings though. Skipper Eoin Morgan too gave him good support from one end as the pair took England over 160.

Buttler’s innings was flamboyant as usual. He used all his power to smash the ball to all parts of the ground. His 37-ball stay featured eight fours and two sixes.

Sri Lanka’s bowling figures were quite telling. Mathews, Herath and Jeffrey Vandersay conceded 78 runs for three wickets in the 12 overs between them. All the damage was done in the remaining eight overs from the other bowlers.