England will attempt to seal their place in the semi-finals when they face Sri Lanka in their do-or-die clash of Super 12 in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Saturday at the SCG in Sydney.
For England right now it’s a do-or-die clash, the calculation is rather straightforward. A win here guarantees them a position in the semi-finals, but a loss ends their trip in this T20 World Cup. Afghanistan made things considerably simpler for Jos Buttler and his team on Friday by preventing Australia from receiving a major lift in their NRR. So all England has to do now is win against Sri Lanka to go to the last four.
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England did appear a little off-color in their first couple of matches. Although they began with a five-wicket victory over Afghanistan, it was far from convincing, as the Afghan spinners had them work hard to reach the mark of 113. The next match was much worse, as they were defeated by Ireland by five runs (DLS method). The following match against Australia was rained out, therefore ending their chances of reaching the semi-finals. However, England appeared to be in their element against New Zealand.
Jos Buttler hit form with the bat, Alex Hales continued his fine form, and the bowlers gave a magnificent effort to keep the Kiwis 20 runs short of their total. Sri Lanka, on the other side, has already qualified for the semi-finals. They now have four points, and a win today would only bring them to six points, which is insufficient given that two clubs in their group have already amassed seven points.
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They will, however, be ready to leave on a good note. They have nothing to lose now, which may encourage them to be more daring. That is most likely why England must walk carefully against the Asian champs.
Dasun Shanaka’s men are also coming off a convincing win against Afghanistan. The bowlers limited the Afghans to 144/8, which Sri Lanka chased down with six wickets and nine deliveries remaining. They come into this match with confidence and momentum, and they will do everything they can to ruin England’s party. Australia, on the other side, is considering this match as a do-or-die clash for them to qualify, as their hopes are placed on Sri Lanka since only a win in this match will put them in the semi-finals.
Jos Buttler: The England captain has a major influence whenever he bats through the innings and scores a lot of runs. Buttler hit 73 off 47 deliveries in the last match against New Zealand, helping England to an important victory. He will also play an essential part in this competition.
Wanindu Hasaranga: The spinner got three wickets in the last encounter against Afghanistan and will be looking to make an impact in this game as well. He is also the leading wicket-taker in this T20 World Cup, with 13 wickets at a fantastic average of 13.53.