England is through to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, knocking Australia out in the process, thanks to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka. They will now travel to Adelaide. It won’t be wrong to say that Sri Lanka did give a scare to the English side by picking up quick wickets in the death but in the end, they made it to the 2nd spot in Group 1. Throughout this article, we’ll examine the game’s top performances and overall match analysis.
Sri Lanka’s Innings Analysis:
Earlier in the match, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis came up with positive intent as the duo took on the English bowlers in the powerplay. They added 39 runs for the first wicket in no time. Liam Livingstone took a very good outfield catch to break this stand in the 4th over as Mendis (18 off 14) was taken care of by Chris Woakes. Dhananjaya de Silva (9 off 11) and Charith Asalanka (8 off 9) didn’t contribute much.
But from the other end, Nissanka kept on going with his glorious shots as he notched up his 9th T20I fifty. Nissanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa added 34 runs for the fourth wicket, and it was Adil Rashid who broke this partnership by picking the well-set Nissanka (67 off 45) in the 16th over. England was successful in drying up the runs in the fag end of the Lankan innings as Mark Wood finished off with a three-wicket over, which also included the run-out of Wanindu Hasaranga.
England’s Innings Analysis:
Alex Hales and Jos Buttler gave a flying start to England after respecting Maheesh Theekshana in the first over of the innings. Hales and Buttler smoked the bowlers apart in the start – be it Kasun Rajitha or Wanindu Hasaranga or Lahiru Kumara. The first wicket to go was Jos Buttler when England was at 75. It was Wanindu Hasaranga with the first blood and soon the wickets kept on flowing. Hales soon followed him and went out for (47 off 30).
Soon, Lahiru Kumara, and Dhanajaya de Silva joined the party and removed the middle order of England barring Ben Stokes who had come up the order at one-down in place of an injured Dawid Malan. Whenever England needed someone to stand up at the crucial stages, it has been Ben Stokes for them. Once again he does it and takes England through to the semi-finals. They needed 5 runs off the ultimate over but in the end, Chris Woakes scored the winning runs with Stokes at the other end. Sri Lanka was terrific with the change-ups and turned the tables for some moments.
The spinners were always likely to shine on this used pitch, but the quicks got in on the act with variations of their own. England’s attack sussed this halfway through and by the halfway stage, pace-off deliveries were going at 4.87 runs per over, while pace-on checked in at 8.46. The most notable element of this in the second innings came in the 18th over, when Sri Lanka’s own speedster Lahiru Kumara bowled six balls – almost entirely reserved and into the pitch – that yielded just two runs and the wicket of Sam Curran, leaving England needing over a run a ball for the last two overs.