Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Bowlers step up after Buttler's ton in England's 4th win. Jos Buttler now has centuries in all three formats for England
Jos Buttler now has centuries in all three formats for England
In a nutshell
Jos Buttler became the first male England player to score a century in all three formats of the game as England defeated Sri Lanka by 26 runs to bag their fourth consecutive win. Buttler made unbeaten 101 and powered England to 163 before the bowlers overcame the dew factor to catch Sri Lanka short.
Win the toss and win the match?
At one stage, it seemed England will also succumb to the toss. Wanindu Hasaranga removed Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow while Dushmantha Chameera knocked over Dawid Malan. England were able to manage just 36 in the powerplay and were on the backfoot with three early wickets. Sri Lanka did well to dominate and kept England to just 47 for 3 in the opening ten overs.
Buttler, Morgan lead the charge
The first delivery after the drinks break from Lahiru Kumara was a gift and that's when England's resurrection began. Buttler smashed a boundary and went on to collect 12 from the 11th over. Eoin Morgan, struggling with the bat given his credentials, was 9 off 20 at one stage but absorbed the pressure and allowed Buttler to flourish. The opener didn't have to worry about wickets falling from the other end and could take his time to settle in.
Buttler scored the slowest half-century by an England batter in T20 WC but got to the mark off 45 deliveries. England were 83 for 3 in 14 overs and that's when Morgan also cut loose. Kumara conceded three sixes in the 15th as England collected 58 in overs between 10 and 15. It was only at the end of the 17th over that Morgan had a strike rate of 100 but Buttler had raced to 69 off 55.
Dasun Shanaka's 18th over went as 1, 6, 6, 4, 1 and 1 as the Sri Lanka captain leaked 19. Hasaranga was hit for a six in the next over but removed Morgan to give just eight and hold England back. Chameera was brought on to bowl the final over and was taken for 14 as Buttler helped England post a fighting total. Buttler started the opener with a boundary, was dropped on the third, played two dots and then smoked the final delivery for a six to complete his century.
Sri Lanka's poor start
Pathum Nissanka came into the game with 72 against South Africa. In the opening over, Kusal Perera tapped one straight to square leg, called Nissanka for a single only to find his partner well short. Nissanka's night ended with 1 next to his name while Charith Asalanka fell after a promising 21. At the end of the powerplay, Sri Lanka were 40 for 3 with Adil Rashid bagging two.
It seems Sri Lanka got close. How?
Bhanuka Rajapaksa struck 26 off 18 with two fours and two sixes. England problems were compounded by the dew and Tymal Mills also walked off with a quad issue. Morgan was left a bit handicapped with his options. Dasun Shanaka (26) and Hasaranga (34 off 21) made 57 off 36 for the sixth wicket to revive the chase but once the latter fell in the 17th over, England were able to once again tighten the noose.
What does this result mean?
England have eight points and are almost through. Even if they lose their final game against South Africa, they have a very healthy net run rate to keep them in safe waters. Both Australia and South Africa can also reach eight points but England seem to have done enough to reach the knockout encounter. Sri Lanka now have lost three and need to win their final match against West Indies to stay in contention. They also need other results to go their way.
Brief scores: England 163/4 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 101*; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-21) beat Sri Lanka 137 in 19 overs (Wanindu Hasaranga 34; Moeen Ali 2-15) by 26 runs.