Ben Stokes takes England to a victory in a virtual quarterfinal against Sri Lanka. His calm and composed innings under pressure helped England reach the semifinals of the World Cup.
Chasing 142 for victory, England looked comfortable to chase down the total at one stage. Alex Hales and Jos Butler had an opening stand of 75. But wickets in quick succession made the match interesting. England kept losing wickets against the Sri Lankan spinners as pressure began to mount.
In the course of 65 deliveries, six wickets fell, adding just 54. These dismissals were evenly divided among the trio of Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Lahiru Kumara, and for a brief while, it appeared as though an upset was definitely possible.
But as usual, Ben Stokes stood tall amidst all the chaos at the other end. Stokes came at number 3 in place of Dawid Malan who injured himself during the first innings. Stokes played a patient knock of 42 off 36 deliveries which consisted of only 2 boundaries. He kept the scoreboard moving and maneuvered the ball into gaps for single and double.
Sri Lankan Innings
Batting in the first innings, Sri Lanka could just manage 141 runs in their 20 overs. The openers had a brisk start but thereafter Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Sri Lanka was 65 for 1 in 7 overs. They could manage just 76 runs in the remaining 13 overs.
Mark Wood took 3 wickets, Rashid was very economical giving only 16 runs in his 4 overs, and also took a wicket. Sam Curran bowled beautifully at the death showing his rise as a T20 bowler. He bowled cutters into the pitch and surprised with a fast wide yorker to keep batsmen under check.
England will face India in the second semifinal at the Adelaide Oval. England would be hoping to win the title this time after narrowly missing last year.
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