World Twenty20 2016: England hold on to reach semi-finals

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
ICC World Twenty20, Group 1, Delhi:
England 171-4 (20 overs): Buttler 66* (37), Roy 42 (39)
Sri Lanka 161-8 (20 overs): Mathews 73* (54), Jordan 4-28
England won by 10 runs
Scorecard and standings

England held on to reach the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with a 10-run win over Sri Lanka in Delhi.

Sri Lanka looked beaten after they were reduced to 15-4 in reply to England's 171-4, in which Jos Buttler plundered 66 not out from 37 balls.

But captain Angelo Mathews hit five sixes in an unbeaten 54-ball 73.

Chris Jordan took two wickets in the 19th over and, with 15 required off the 20th, Ben Stokes' yorkers sealed a likely tie against New Zealand.

Eoin Morgan's side will meet the Kiwis in Delhi on Wednesday if West Indies record an expected win against Afghanistan on Sunday.

If not, and West Indies' net run-rate drops below England's, they will play hosts India or Australia on Thursday.

Group 1 table

Mathews makes England sweat

Sri Lanka looked all but beaten when their top four were removed inside the first three overs of the chase.

But Mathews remained, rebuilding with Chamara Kapugedera, with the skipper offering a very difficult chance to a flying Morgan at cover when on 30.

That moment, with nearly 12 runs per over needed from the last nine, was the signal for Mathews to launch his assault on England's slow bowlers.

Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali were smashed for a combined 63 from four overs, including eight sixes.

Pacers pull England through

The pace bowlers had done the early damage for England and, with Sri Lanka needing 40 from the final four overs, Morgan turned to Jordan, David Willey and Stokes.

Jordan was magnificent, regularly finding the blockhole to first have Thisara Perera held at mid-off.

Then, after Willey was hit for a six and a four by Dasun Shanaka, Jordan had the same man brilliantly caught by Joe Root at mid-off and then bowled Rangana Herath.

Mathews was on strike for the final over, an injury to his left hamstring adding to the drama, but he could not find a boundary in the face of Stokes' accuracy.

The Buttler did it

Stokes and Buttler had earlier walked off arm-in-arm at the end of England's batting effort, Stokes having hit the only ball he faced for six.

With the ball not coming on to the bat, England made only steady progress in the first half of their innings - Jason Roy and Root sharing 61 in 51 balls before both fell to the leg-spin of Jeffrey Vandersay.

However, when Sri Lanka exhausted their slow bowling options, Buttler burst into life with slaps through the off side and two mighty straight sixes.

In tandem with Morgan, who made 22 from 16 balls, Buttler took 72 from the final five overs.

It was just enough to get England, champions in 2010, to only a second World Cup or World Twenty20 semi-final in 24 years.

What they said

England captain Eoin Morgan: "To replicate what we did in 2010 would be something special. One thing we did well in that tournament was adapt really well. If we can continue to do what we have done so far, it will hold us in good stead."

Man of the match Jos Buttler: "We're delighted to get through - a young bunch of guys going through to the semi-finals of the World Cup is very exciting.

"I've played a few games and as one of the more experienced guys you want to stand up and play well."

England all-rounder Ben Stokes on having to bowl the final over: "You'd rather be doing it than sitting there watching. Knowing I have done it a few times definitely helped and throughout the tournament I have been working on my yorkers.

"The way Chris Jordan bowled the over before was an amazing effort. Jos also was an amazing effort and he is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world."

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