England's bowling attack continued its impressive show as they defeated Sri Lanka by 26 runs in a Group 1 match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Monday.
After Jos Buttler's unbeaten 101 took England to 163/4 in 20 overs, Sri Lanka overcame an early wobble and looked set to chase the target. But England's persistence with the ball, despite dew coming into play, meant that the islanders were all out for 137 in 19 overs.
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start as they lost Pathum Nissanka on the third ball of the innings to a run-out. Charith Asalanka took a brace of boundaries against Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali in successive overs. But his joyride was cut short when he chipped an Adil Rashid googly to mid-off in the fourth over. Rashid came back in his next over to take out Kusal Perera, who miscued a googly to extra cover.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit Rashid inside-out for a four followed by hitting Liam Livingstone down the ground in the next over. He also got a reprieve from Woakes in the eighth over, dropping the catch at deep square leg. Though Avishka Fernando was trapped lbw by Chris Jordan in the ninth over, Rajapaksa didn't stop his boundary spree. He pulled Woakes for a six followed by driving uppishly for four. But Woakes had the last laugh as Rajapaksa miscued the loft to long-on.
Wanindu Hasaranga and Dasun Shanaka had a stand of 53 off 36 balls for the sixth wicket. Liam Livingstone broke the stand in the 17th over as Hasaranga miscued the loft to a running Jason Roy at long-off, who tossed the ball to Sam Billings running from deep extra cover.
Three balls later, Shanaka was run-out by a terrific direct hit by Jos Buttler and was soon followed by Dushmantha Chameera flicking straight to deep square leg off Jordan. Moeen Ali took out the last two Sri Lankan wickets to se'l England's fourth straight win of the tournament.
Brief scores: England 163/4 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 101 not out, Eoin Morgan 40, Wanindu Hasaranga 3/21, Dushmantha Chameera 1/43) beat Sri Lanka 137 all out (Wanindu Hasaranga 34, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 26, Moeen Ali 2/15, Adil Rashid 2/19) by 26 runs