England reach the semi-finals of the World T20 for the first time since their successful campaign in the West Indies in 2010. Bettering a defiant Sri Lankan side, the English got over the line courtesy a sensational knock by Jos Butler and some top notch death bowling from Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes. Here are the talking points.
5. Captain’s knock in Vain.
It seemed as though the Sri Lankan innings was dead and buried in the 3rd over itself , which saw them reeling at 15/4, but their skipper Angelo Mathews in the company of Kapugedera, initially, and later with Perera, kept the English in check and almost fought a lone battle in the end. Battling a hamstring issue at the end, Matthew’s valiant contribution wasn’t enough, as the holders crashed out of the premier T20 tournament.
4. Jos Butler proves his worth.
In the first innings, England set up 171 on a wilting Kotla track, thanks largely to the Lancashire man Jos Butler. His stellar knock of 66 from just 36, paved the way for England’s handsome total. Walking in at 4, Butler in the company of Root initially stabilised the English innings and then capitalised on some ordinary, Malinga-less Srilankan death bowling to power his side to the 170 mark.
3. English Spinners need to step up.
Although England were in control of most of the game, an over of Moeen Ali cost them 23 runs, turning out to be almost a game changer. The Indian conditions at this time of the year are spinner friendly. It’s highly possible England could well play their next game on a rank turner against New Zealand, whose spinners have been sensational. The England spinner sin Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been less than impressive so far and conceded 31 and 32 runs in their 2 overs respectively. They will have to step up if England want to go further in the tournament.
2. Stokes and Jordan- Key at the death?
England also seemed to have found two gems in Stokes and Chris Jordan at the death. While Jordan bowls yorkers, at the stumps and also wide of them, Stokes angles the ball in making life difficult for the pinch-hitters. Having 22 runs to defend, the duo conceded just 10 of their 2 overs against the likes of Matthews and Chanaka, paving way for an English win.
1. England seem to have hit the mark
With some very ordinary World T20 campaigns in the past, England had to shrug off their indifferent baggage, and start afresh and have seemed to have gotten back their mojo. Although not as dominant as the side back in 2010, this young English side has been playing some refreshing brand of cricket, if not the best. With match-winners like Root, Stokes and Butler in their ranks the English could fancy themselves to yet another final of the World T20.