Sunday, March 27, 2016

Buttler, Jordan Power England to the ICC WT20 Semi Finals; SL, SA Knocked Out!

England Vs Sri Lanka – Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi 26th March 2016 - ICC WT20 Match Review

England Beat Sri Lanka by 10 Runs

It was a must win game for both England and Sri Lanka and somewhere in Delhi the Proteas, after losing to both England and West Indies, would also have been backing the Lankans as their fate lay in the hands of the men from the emerald isle.

Mathews won the toss and elected to bowl first on a pitch which looked much better for batting than some of the previous Delhi wickets. Sri Lanka opted for the hard hitting Dasun Shanaka in place of Kulasekara while England brought in Hales for Vince.

Herath drew first blood for the Lankans when he trapped Hales leg before in the second over of the match for a blob. Mathews was using his trump cards in Herath and Vandersey in the power play and the going was tough for the English batsmen. At end of six overs England were 38-1, just about getting some good overs together. Chameera came on after the power play and have away just 7 in his first two overs to keep England in check. England were not going anywhere as they reached 65-1 in 10 and Root fell to Vandersey off the first ball of the 11th, holing out to a rank long hop. Buttler was promoted up the order and he started with a delicious reverse sweep. Vandersey, in his next over trapped Roy right in front with a googly to reduce them to 88-3 in 13 overs. Two more good overs from Mathews and Herath meant England were 99-3 at the end of 15 and staring at a sub-par score.

It was at this point that England seized the game by the scruff of its neck, Perera came in to bowl and Morgan took a four and a six to steal 18 off it. Chameera returned to deliver his final two overs but was carted all over the ground by an enterprising Buttler who by now was going in full throttle. Chameera went for 29 in his final two overs to finish with 0-36 in his 4 overs. Perera came in to bowl the final over after Shanaka had also been taken to the cleaners and bowled a good right over until the final delivery which was a juicy full toss and which was gleefully deposited into the stands by Stokes. Buttler had raced to his 50 off just 28 balls and finished unbeaten on 66 off 37 deliveries, England reaching a mammoth 171-4 in their 20 overs. England had scored 72 off their final five overs with Buttler and Morgan running riot.

Sri Lanka would have been hoping for a steady start but they lost Dilshan in the first over going for a wild hack to the leg side. Chandimal was caught behind off Jordan in the second over and Siriwardene was caught at cover by Morgan in the third before Thirimanne was run out by Stokes off the very next ball to leave the Lankans breathless at 15-4 at the end of 3 overs.

Mathews along with Kapugedara then set out to restore some sensibility back into the innings, both playing cautiously without any risks. Sri Lanka reached an underwhelming 59-4 at the end of 10 overs.  This was a knock out game for them and there was no point in dilly dallying, they might have as well perished while giving it a proper crack.

Mathews and Kapugedara lay into Rashid smacking 3 monsterous sixes in the 12th over which cost English 21 runs. Kapugedara fell in the next over, going for another big hit but finding Stokes on the deep mid wicket boundary. Perera walked in and biffed one into the stands in the next over from Moeen Ali to keep Sri Lanka in the game. Mathews meanwhile did his hamstring and was rendered almost immobile. Sri Lanka needed 61 from 30 and Mathews and Perera took 21 off Ali to bring the equation to a manageable 40 off 24.

Jordan got Perera in the next over but Shanaka clattered a six and a four in the 18th to keep the chase on track. When he hit another 4 off the second ball of the 19th it seemed like Sri Lanka will win at a canter but Joe Root took a blonde of a catch to dismiss Shanaka off the third ball and Herath was cleaned up on the final delivery to leave Mathews needing 15 off the last over. He tried manly but he was not able to move properly and he could not run so it was way too much especially since all other specialist batsmen were in the pavilion by now. Sri Lanka fell short by 10 runs as England progressed to the semi final of the WT20 2016. Mathews had played a captain's innings of 73* off 54 balls which included 5 huge sixes. With this loss South Africa also bowed out of the World Cup.

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