New Delhi: Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 37-ball 66-run blitzkrieg lifted England to 171 for four against Sri Lanka in a Group 1 clash of the World Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Saturday.
England’s top-order batsmen Jason Roy (42) and Joe Root (25) shared a 61-run stand for the second wicket. But they were not able to score freely as England lost their third wicket for 88 runs in 12.5 overs. But the partnership between Buttler and Eoin Morgan (22) gave them the spark they needed in the must-win game.
Buttler hit eight fours and two sixes as he and Morgan registered a 74-run stand in just 6.3 overs. Due to their mayhem, England collected 106 runs in the final 10 overs.
At the start, veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath trapped Alex Hales (0) in front of the wicket in the second over of the innings. But Jason Roy and Joe Root (25) handled the pressure exerted by Herath and leg-spinner Jefferey Vandersay. They mixed caution with aggression as England were 65/1 after 10 overs.
In the first ball of the 11th over bowled by Vandersay, Root was caught at deep midwicket by Lahiru Thirimanne, ending the 61-run second-wicket stand. The wicket dented England to a greater extent as the partnership was just looking threatening for Sri Lanka.
Vandersay struck again in the 13th over as he got a leg before wicket (LBW) decision against opening batsman Roy, who was guilty of playing the ball across the line. Roy scored 42 in 39 deliveries. His innings included three fours and two sixes.
Later, captain Morgan and Buttler played quickfire knocks, scoring the bulk of the runs against pacers Thisara Perera, Dushmantha Chemeera and Dasun Shanaka.
Buttler was especially harsh on Chameera, hitting the right-armer for two sixes and two fours in his final two overs. Shanaka conceded 15 runs in an over, as they undid the good work done by the spinners.
Brief scores: England: 171/4 (Jos Buttler not out 66, Jason Roy 42; Jefferey Vandersay 2/26, Rangana Herath 1/27) against Sri Lanka.