With a better net runrate in their favour, England needed to just win over Sri Lanka in their final match of the Super 12 stage. And Jos Buttler’s men did just that in Sydney.
Sri Lanka, who were already out of contention, got off to a strong start with the bat, but the England bowlers put up a clinical display, with player-of-the-match Adil Rashid turning in clinical figures to restrict Sri Lanka to a below-par total. Despite a fightback by the Lankan bowlers, the blistering opening stand by England set the win up for Jos Buttler’s men.
New Zealand, England and Australia finish with seven points in the group stage. But the Kiwis and England finish in the top two to enter the semis and knock the defending champions out of the World Cup.
After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka’s openers handed them a strong start. But Dasun Shanaka’s side failed to capitalise on their dominant show in the powerplay. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis opened the innings on a blistering note as they raced to 39 off 24 for the opening stand. Lanka looked set for a big total, before Chris Woakes handed England the first wicket, removing Mendis for 18 off 14.
Nissanka kept the scoreboard ticking as he breached 1000 runs in T20I cricket. The opener rotated his strike as he brought up his half-century off just 33 deliveries. Nissanka’s second fifty in the ongoing World Cup which came off 33 deliveries, was peppered with five sixes and a boundary.
But despite Nissanka scoring at one end, Lanka kept losing wickets as regular intervals as they fell to a below-par score. With the England bowlers turning the tables, Lanka posted the lowest lowest total by a team batting first at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the ongoing World Cup.
Mark Wood, who pocketed all three wickets in the final over, led with figures of 3/26 as Buttler’s side restricted Sri Lanka to 141/8 in 20 overs. But Adil Rashid’s over following the powerplay was the turning point of the match after Sri Lanka enjoyed a strong powerplay. Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Adil Rashid pocketed a wicket each to put England in control.
In reply, England openers hammered the Lankan bowlers around the park as they posted 70 in the powerplay. Following a destructive powerplay with Hales’ hammering 42 off 19 and Buttler 25 off 18, England lost their first wicket in the eighth over. Hasaranga broke the opening stand as Buttler was picked up by Karunaratne at deep midwicket as he departed for a 23-ball 28. The openers put England in a strong position, scoring 74 off 45 for the first wicket.
Hasaranga accounted for both openers as Alex Hales, falling three short of his half-century, was picked up by Hasaranga is a freaky follow-on catch. Hales departed for a 30-ball 47 as England lost two quick wickets. Needing 60 off 65, England lost a flurry of wickets as Lanka derailed England’s chase.
In the last two overs, England needed a run a ball. With both Australian and England fans waiting with bated breath. The T20 World Cup witnessed another thrilling finish, with five needed off the final over. Though the England middle-order failed to fire, Ben Stokes played a crucial knock of 42 off 36. Needing two of three, Stokes found the boundary ropes to knock Australia out of the World Cup and guide England into the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2022.