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Great serve from England skipper Jos Buttler in T20 World Cup match against New Zealand : The Tribune India

Brisbane, November 1

England survived Glenn Phillips’ late onslaught to beat Group 1 leaders New Zealand by 20 points, giving a major boost to their T20 World Cup semi-final hopes here today today.

England skipper Jos Buttler led by example and crushed 73 while Alex Hales made 52 to propel the 2010 champions to 179/6 after opting to bat in the crucial Super 12 contest. Phillips threatened to launch a daring chase for New Zealand, hitting 62 from 36, but he had little support from anyone except skipper Kane Williamson (40).

New Zealand still lead Group 1 with a higher net points ratio, followed by England and Australia, with all three tied on five points.

“You don’t become a bad team overnight,” Buttler said of their turbulent campaign after receiving their Player of the Match award. “We had a bad performance, but we have great players in our formation, really dangerous players and a lot of confidence in the group. I thought we went out tonight and left everything there.

It was a must-have game for England after losing to Ireland and dropping out of last week’s encounter with defending champions Australia.

Hales sped up after four relatively calm overs, hitting Tim Southee for a six-and-two in a rematch of last year’s semi-finals, which New Zealand won. At the other end, Buttler was at eight when he started to pull away after Williamson appeared to have taken a cover diving catch. Replays, however, confirmed the ball burst into the defender’s hands and hit the turf before a plummeting Williamson clutched it to his chest.

Hales went down immediately after completing his fifty and Buttler got another reprieve at 40 when Daryl Mitchell dropped him in the middle of the wicket. Buttler then overtook Eoin Morgan as England’s most prolific batsman in the T20 Internationals before being knocked out in the penultimate.

Brief scores: England: 179/6 in 20 overs (Buttler 73, Hales 52; Ferguson 2/45); New Zealand: 159/6 in 20 overs (Phillips 62, Williamson 40; Curran 2/26).

SL knock out Afghanistan

Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Kumara (centre) is congratulated by his team mates after winning a wicket against Afghanistan. AP/PTI

Earlier, former champions Sri Lanka knocked out Afghanistan with a six-wicket win. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3/13) led Sri Lanka’s disciplined bowling as the Asian Cup champions limited Afghanistan to a modest 144/8 in the Group 1 match at Gabba’s ground.

Dhananjaya de Silva shot an unbeaten 64 to help the Lankans win with nine to spare and revive their campaign after back-to-back defeats to Australia and New Zealand.

Short scores: Afghanistan: 144/8 (Gurbaz 28; Hasaranga 3/13); Sri Lanka: 148/4 in 18.3 overs (De Silva 66*; Mujeeb 2/24). — Agencies

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