Buttler leads charge for England
Jos Buttler plundered an unbeaten 66 to lead England to a challenging 171 for four against defending champions Sri Lanka on a tricky Feroze Shah Kotla pitch in a crucial Group 1 match of the ICC World Twenty20, here on Saturday night.
Buttler, who came in the 11th over, sent the Sri Lankan bowlers on a leatherhunt as England fetched 72 runs in the final five overs.
Buttler hit eight boundaries and three huge sixes in his 37-ball knock. He completed his 50 off 28 balls with a six, a classic lofted on-drive off Dasun Shanaka. The third six was a monstrous hit over long-on off Dusmantha Chameera that sailed over covering a distance of 97 metres.
With skipper Eoin Morgan (22), Buttler added 74 runs for the fourth wicket in only 6.3 overs.
The momentum shifted in England’s favour in the 16th over bowled by Thisara Perera in which 18 runs were scored. Skipper Morgan first whipped Thisara over short fine leg for a boundary and then lofted him over long-off for a six.
The over set the perfect platform for acceleration in the final four overs. In the very next over, Buttler hit Dusmantha Chameera through covers and a straight hit for a one bounce four. The third one was a cheeky boundary through point region as 14 came off that over.
Put into bat, England batsmen countered the Lankan spin threat admirably displaying good technique and character with opener Jason Roy (42) playing a completely contrasting innings compared to his carnage at the Wankhede Stadium, last week.
There were few significant partnerships including 61 for the second wicket between Jason and Joe Root (25). To describe the pitch, it would be fair to say that the ball was gripping and there was some slow turn on offer with the occasional deliveries keeping low.
Strokemaking wasn’t easy which prompted skipper Angelo Mathews to straightaway bring in his premier bowler Rangana Herath into action in the very second over.
Alex Hales (0) looked distinctly uncomfortable as he tried playing for the turn during the first three deliveries. The fourth delivery was an arm ball that he tried to sweep and was caught plumb in-front.
Brief scores: England: 171/4 in 20 overs (Buttler n.o. 66, Roy 42; Vandersay 2/26, Herath 1/27) vs Sri Lanka 150/6 in 18 overs.