England held their nerve to come out in front by 10 runs despite a valiant 73 from Mathews against Sri Lanka and qualified for the semi-finals of the ICC WT20 2016 in India.
Sri Lanka captain Mathews nearly pulled off a miracle, that too hobbling on one leg, and was unbeaten on 73 from 54 balls in the end. He struck three fours and five sixes in his knock.
|England v Sri Lanka|
|Sri Lanka: 161/8 (20/20 over)|
|England: 171/4 (20/20 over)|
Two brilliant overs late in the innings from Jordan and Stokes snuffed out Sri Lanka’s fire. Jordan picked his best T20I figures tonight with 4 for 28 in four overs. Willey grabbed two while Plunkett took a wicket.
Sri Lanka’s sixth wicket stand of 42 gave them some hope, but Perera’s departure after scoring 20 in the 17th over sealed their fate.
England struck in the 19th over to remove Shanaka for 15. Jordan got both Perera and Jordan.
England finally managed to breathe easy again when Plunkett stopped the Sri Lankan fifth wicket resistance at 80 runs.
Kapugedera went for one big hit too many, and Stokes didn’t make any mistake at deep midwicket under pressure.
Sri Lanka batsman made 30 from 27 with two fours and a six. With skipper Mathews, Kapugedera halted the slide.
Sri Lanka’s chase turned into a nightmare inside the third over, as they had lost four wickets within the first three overs in T20Is for the first time. They had lost three only twice.
Willey got in the act and picked up Siriwardana for seven in the last ball of the third over. Lankan batter tried to loft the ball over cover but failed to clear Morgan.
Hara-kiri on show.
Thirimanne was run out when a brilliant piece of fielding from Stokes sent him back to the dug-out for three runs. Mathews sent his partner back, but saw him depart.
England got their second wicket in the second over when Sri Lanka opener Chandimal paid the ultimate price for his indecisiveness.
Quickish delivery for Jordan but very wide, Chandimal didn't know whether to play or leave, and edged to Buttler's right who took an easy catch. Sri Lanka in deep trouble.
Sri Lanka were rattled only three balls into their chase when England bowler Willey got the big wicket of Dilshan for two runs with a sharp short ball.
Dilshan went for the pull but straight down deep square-leg's throat, who barely had to move a muscle!
Great start for England.
Earlier, unbeaten 66 from Buttler and Morgan’s cameo late in the innings propelled England to 171 for 4 after 20 overs against Sri Lanka under the lights at Delhi.
The fourth wicket stand of 74 between the duo in quick time after the 61-run partnership earlier allowed England to post a daunting total on a not-so-easy pitch.
Josh Buttler was unbeaten on 66 from 37 balls with eight fours and two sixes to his name. Roy made 42 from 39 while Morgan chipped in with 22.
Sri Lanka bowlers conceded too many runs in the death overs for their liking, and failed to put pressure on English batters.
Vandaersay was the most successful bowler for the Lankans with two for 26 in four overs.
England were rocked in the 13th over when Vandersay picked up his second scalp of the game. England opener Roy was looking good but fell after making 42 from 39. He smashed three fours and two sixes in his knock.
Sri Lanka struck in the 11th over, and got their second breakthrough. Vandersay dismissed Root for 25 runs.
Root smacked the short ball from the spinner straight into the hands of Thirimanne at deep midwicket. Poor shot!
England recovered well through their second wicket stand, as Roy and Root produced 61 runs in quick time.
England were rocked early and lost their opener in the second over of the innings. Herath sent back Hales for a four-ball duck.
Herath fired his delivery in, that didn’t turn and trapped England batter in front of the wickets. Hales falls while sweeping…
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews decided to bowl first after winning the toss given the conditions at Delhi under the lights against England led by Eoin Morgan in the Super Ten Group 1 match of ICC WT20 2016 in India.
"We'll bowl first. Looks a good wicket. There is a tinge of grass on the wicket and won't change much. One change for us, Shanaka is brought in for Kulasekara. Would have loved to play Senanayake but the conditions are not allowing it. Have to win today to stay alive.” Sri Lanka captain explained.
"Would have loved to bowl as well, simply on the fact that it looks a slow wicket and we don't know what a good score is. Just means that we have to adapt better. Hales is in for Vince. I think the cricket we have played so far has been good.” Engliand captain said after the toss.
Drubbing at the hands of West Indies, a sensational run chase against South Africa, and a nerve-jangling finish against Afghanistan - England have perhaps had the most interesting campaign in Group 1, and they haven't even had their customary big-tournament meltdown yet.
Sri Lanka should be worried about Sri Lanka's batsmen. It would be a waste of time to unpack the top order's failure against West Indies, because those same flaws had been evident in Sri Lanka's previous series, and the one before that, and the one before even that.
Defending champions Sri Lanka have to win to stay alive (barring a no-result), after West Indies overcame South Africa in Nagpur.
With just one game remaining, England will book their berth in the semi-finals with a victory, but a loss - by any margin - will see them eliminated since their net run rate is lower than that of South Africa.
Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Jos Buttler(w), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett
Dinesh Chandimal(w), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews(c), Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dushmantha Chameera, Rangana Herath and Jeffrey Vandersay