Ben Stokes hit a gutsy unbeaten 42 as England made the T20 World Cup semi-finals on Saturday with a tense four-wicket win over Sri Lanka, shattering the hopes of defending champions Australia whose title defence is now over.
England wanted to win to make the final 4 from Group 1 alongside already-qualified New Zealand, they usually achieved the feat in a nailbiting end with two balls to spare.
If that they had misplaced, Australia would have gone by means of.
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Sri Lanka appeared on monitor for an enormous whole after they reached 2/80 after 10 overs, however the aggressive Pathum Nissanka was out for 67 they usually crumbled to eight/141 with Mark Wooden taking 3-26.
England raced to 75 with out loss in reply and appeared on monitor for a straightforward win. However they collapsed to five/111 beneath stress from the Sri Lankan spin assault and it went to the wire.
The victory was not sufficient to dethrone New Zealand on the prime of the desk with England settling for second. The destiny of Group 1 will likely be decided on Sunday.
Sri Lanka’s defeat ended Australia’s stuttering match, with their title defence by no means recovering after dropping closely to New Zealand on the opening day then having to share the factors with England as a result of rain.
Sri Lanka, who haven’t overwhelmed England in a T20 since 2014, gained the toss and requested England to area, acutely aware that every one 5 earlier video games on the floor through the World Cup had been gained by the staff batting first.
Nissanka pulled Stokes for an authoritative six off the second ball and two extra sixes within the third over, off Wooden, signalled their intent.
However an aggressive 39-run opening stand got here to an finish when Kusal Mendis (18) tried one other boundary from Chris Woakes and Liam Livingstone held a catch close to the ropes.
Nissanka saved the runs flowing however his new associate Dhananjaya de Silva (9) slogged at a slower Sam Curran ball and was caught by Stokes within the deep.
They reached 80-2 on the midway level, however then Livingstone took a easy catch to take away Charith Asalanka (8).
Nissanka introduced up his second 50 of the match and ninth total then crunched Stokes for six to go 1,000 T20 profession runs.
However tight bowling from spinner Adil Rashid slowed the run-rate and he finally accounted for Nissanka, who heaved to substitute fielder Chris Jordan at long-on after a 45-ball knock.
Sri Lanka by no means regained momentum, making simply 25 off the final 5 overs with three wickets falling within the ultimate over.
In reply, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler plundered 70 off the six-over powerplay, smashing 11 boundaries within the course of.
Sri Lanka gave themselves hope when Buttler (28) and Hales (47) have been out within the area of three overs, with the spin of Wanindu Hasaranga accounting for each of them.
Harry Brook (4) shortly adopted, caught and bowled by De Silva, then Livingstone (4) carelessly threw his wicket away with a slog and Moeen Ali (1) quickly joined them again within the pavilion.
However Stokes saved his cool because the wickets tumbled and steered his aspect into the semi-finals alongside Woakes.