Welcome to Wisden’s match centre for the live coverage of the England v Sri Lanka T20 World Cup 2021 fixture – follow this space for live updates from the ground in Dubai, including commentary and score, along with where to watch details: TV channels, broadcast and live streaming for Eng vs SL.
England vs Sri Lanka: Live scorecard and stats.
England in the semi-finals officially.
The last 15-20 minutes changed the tone of this game completely and it could have all gone right for Sri Lanka, but they will go down fighting and should take heart from this performance. Right then, England are officially in the semi-finals now. This group could still have a few surprises with South Africa and Australia in a close tussle for the second berth. South Africa take on Bangladesh tomorrow in what could be a huge game for the Proteas. That’s all for tonight from us.
Over 18.2: SL 134-9 – The last hope goes
Chamika Karunaratne was Sri Lanka’s last hope, but that’s gone too and England are all but assured of a win, and qualification to the semi-finals (officially). England turned it around brilliantly with the bat in the first innings, and here with Mills gone and the overs harder to manage by, Eoin Morgan played his cards carefully to swing the result England’s way.
As if Buttler needed to do anything more in this game…
Spectacular run out from Buttler as he throws down the stumps in a magnificent reaction. England firmly ahead thanks to their fielding. Two big wickets in quick succession with two mind-boggling bits of fielding. Really got to feel for Sri Lanka here. They fought hard to bring this game down to the wire, but lost those two wickets at a crucial juncture.
Over 16.5: SL 129-6 – Fifty partnership up and England breakthrough right after
Hasaranga was nailing those inside out lofts in the last two overs, but then holes out trying another in the Liam Livingstone over. Huge blow to Sri Lanka’s chances. Jason Roy substitute Sam Billings take a tag team catch to see off Hasaranga. WHat an innings from him, though! 34 off 21 balls and really scared England with his hitting. All on Shanaka and Chamika Karunaratne (he can smash it, mind you).
Over 15: SL 114-5 – 51 needed from 30 balls
We are offocially into the death overs and there’s no sign of Tymal Mills yet. Chris Jordan has two overs left and will likely bowl the last over. Chris Woakes has one left. England still need one more over from Moeen or Livingstone. Interesting to see how they manage here. Sri Lanka will look to maximise that third bowler’s overs, but then Woakes and Jordan aren’t too great in the death either.
Wait, what’s happening? Some discussions between Tymal Mills, Eoin Morgan and Chris Jordan. Mills is now walking off mid-over. He pulled up in his stride and looked in some kind of discomfort. That’s a huge blow for England. He has only bowled 1.3 overs. How will they manage the overs now if he cannot bowl in the rest of the innings? They do have enough bowlers, but none are really death bowlers. Huge, huge moment in the game. Can Sri Lanka take advantage? Woakes to complete the over. Interesting!
Over 13: SL 89-5 – 75 off 42 balls
The required run rate is over 10 runs per over. It is now or never for Sri Lanka to start making rapid advances to that target. England have bowled out Rashid, so that threat is done, but it could still be tricky with Tymal Mills, who excels in the second half of the innings, having three overs up his sleeve. Crucial couple of overs coming up. Sri Lanka will want quick runs without losing wickets before the death overs.
Over 10.4: SL 76-5 – England get the big breakthrough and Bhanuka goes now
A six and a four later, Bhanuka has holed out off Chris Woakes. It most definitely could be the decisive moment in the game, but with Hasaranga still in there, Sri Lanka aren’t out of this. This could go horribly wrong, but I am betting on Sri Lanka to get really close.
Over 10: SL 66-4 – Ahead of England at this stage, but…
England were just 47-3 at the same stage of the innings, but they of course went on to boss that innings thanks to Jos. Sri Lanka need one of these two to really take control of the innings and get that required run rate down. Must say it was slightly surprising to see Shanaka come in ahead of Hasaranga. The latter is really good in such situations and would have been quite handy in these overs.
Over 8.3: SL 57-4 – Huge blow for Sri Lanka
Chris Jordan has been really good for England this tournament and he lands a crucial blow in the middle overs by breaking this budding partnership. Over to Shanaka and Hasaranga now. Something tells me we are in for something special from the Sri Lanka all-rounders. It will take some doing, though.
Update: England (Adil Rashid) might have had Bhanuka that over, but Chris Woakes has shelled a sitter. Mind you, it’d be foolish to think Sri Lanka are out of this. Bhanuka and Avishka are really good batters. There is Hasaranga and Shanaka waiting to come and the dew is getting profound.
Over 7: SL 50-3 – Sri Lanka’s batting template
Someone pointed out how brutal Sri Lanka were on the fifth and sixth bowling options against Australia. Here, despite the abyss they are in, Bhanuka uses his feet to cart Liam Livingstone down the ground for a six in the first over after the powerplay, an over that most batting teams prefer to rotate strike in. They make 10 runs in the over and England may not use Livingstone for a second over until Bhanuka is gone.
Over 6: SL 40-3 – Rashid doing the damage again
Two googlies, two ugly hoicks and Rashid has two wickets in the powerplay against two lefties. Sri Lanka sorely need some Hasaranga magic with the bat. He usually turns up when the team is ain a bit of a strife. Yet to walk in today with Bhanuka Rajapaksa ahead of him. The left-hander has been outstanding in the middle overs this tournament. Sri Lanka need these two to emulate what Buttler did.
Over 3.2: SL 24-2 – England take a leaf out of Sri Lanka’s plans and sends Asalanka back
Right then, that was good from England. Adil Rashid on early before the dew really sets in despite the two lefties at the crease. He started off with a googly that beat Asalanka’s bat and two balls later, another teasing googly gets him mis-hitting a loft. Good plans, excellent execution. Tempted Asalanka with the leggie, who just bowls the ones turning away from the left-hander.
Update: More shots from Asalanka and he has taken down Moeen Ali, bossing the off-spinner v left-hander battle with some audacious sweep shots.
Over 2: SL 15-1 – THAT Asalanka shot
The third ball of the over Charith Asalanka stepped out, met the Chris Woakes delivery mid-pitch and pulled it all the way for six. It is excellent batting as Woakes likes to settle down to a particular line and length early on in the powerplay and that shot, in particular that movement down the track, will help unsettle the bowler. Before this game, Asalanka had the best powerplay strike-rate for any batter to play 50 balls in the powerplay. It tells about the kind of talent Asalanka is, but also about how Sri Lanka’s openers haven’t been upto the mark.
Right then, back on as Moeen Ali, England’s powerplay bowling beast this tournament, gets ready to do his magic again…
End of innings: England finish on 163, take 116 in the last 10 overs!
Maiden T20I hundred for Jos Buttler as he finishes the innings with a six!
Exhilarating finish there for England after a really slow start. Buttler was ambling along at less than run-a-ball even after facing 30 balls. But he chose his battles well, wait for it and took down Sri Lanka’s weak bowlers. Sri Lanka were outstanding with their bowling plans early on, but with Eoin Morgan holding one end up and Buttler patiently picking his bowlers, the frustration got to them and they clearly erred with their plans later. Should they have used up Hasaranga’s overs earlier? Possibly. But all that is hindsight. Buttler has made this game tilt England’s way with an innings for the ages. We saw a terrific hundred the last time these two teams met in a T20 World Cup (Alex Hales in 2o16). Buttler has bettered that knock in my view. England were 47-3 after 10 overs. They take 116 runs in the last 10 overs to completely change the momentum of this game.
Over 18: Eng 141-3 – Buttler carnage in full swing
Buttler has gone from 50 off 46 balls to 86 off 59 balls, smashing 36 runs off the last 13 balls on this wicket.Mindblowing batting and calculated hitting combined with some very ordinary bowling from Sri Lanka in the second half of this innings. The latter probably has to do with how Buttler forced them to bowl their weak bowlers at him.
Buttler has the highest average as an opener in T20I history (min 25 innings)
Jos Buttler – 58.72* (still batting)
Babar Azam – 47.21
Kane Williamson – 38.52
To go with that incredible average is a strike-rate of 147! What an outstanding player!
Over 15: Eng 105-3 – England showing just how good they are
Top class batting from Buttler as he times the attack on Sri Lanka’s bowlers to perfection. Three sixes (one by Morgan) in that Lahiru Kumara over. Got through the difficult period, and then cashed in on the overs Sri Lanka had to get out of the way before the death overs. Excellent batting. The last three overs have yielded 44 runs for England.
Update: Fifty for Buttler now and he has really been outstanding tonight, wading through some really tricky overs and choosing his moments to attack. Back-to-back fifties in the tournament for the wicketkeeper batter.
Over 13: Eng 75-3 – Buttler turning it on now
Excellent from Jos Buttler as he targets the weak link in this Sri Lankan attack, Chamika Karunaratne. With Hasaranga still having overs up his sleeve, England could not have afforded to just see through the Karunaratne over and Buttler recognises it. 14 runs taken off it and Buttler closes in on another fifty. This one’s been a real hard grind, and hhe has been top-notch so far in weathering the storm. Over to Hasaranga now. This is the battle we have been waiting for in the middle overs.
Over 11: Eng 59-3 – Runs are a struggle
It does not help Buttler that Eoin Morgan isn’t in the greatest form. The runs have dried up too. Since the end of the powerplay, only 22 runs have come in five overs and Hasaranga still has two overs in the bag. England will want Buttler to bat till the end, but he will need some help from the other end. Morgan is on 7 off 16 balls and really not looking great. More spin to tackle him from Sri Lanka?
Over 9: Eng 44-3 – Buttler tied down
It’s not often you would see Jos Buttler amble along at a strike-rate under 100 after 25 balls in a T20I, but Sri Lanka have managed to tie him down with wickets at the other end. Mixing up their bowlers and not trying to sneak in overs after wickets have also worked in their favour. England bat deep, but they still like to start off on a great note, and they have been denied that today by some shrewd planning from Sri Lanka. Really impressed with how Sri Lanka have tackled England’s batting plans.
More on Maheesh Theekshana
Sri Lanka’s newest mystery spinner has had a great start to his international career. He weighed around 105 kilograms in 2019, but in one year he lost about 22 kgs. He has already played eight T20Is and his quickish arm speed has made him a real threat, especially as he has a top-notch carrom ball and other variations.
33 T20I wickets in 2021 for Wanindu Hasaranga – no one has taken more in a calendar year in T20Is. What a game he is having!
Over 6: Eng 36-3 – Bairstow goes too!
Believe it or not, Sri Lanka have bossed the powerplay here, and full credit to them for going all out in attacking England’s top-order with their best bowlers. Hasaranga traps Bairstow in front with his dreaded googly and it’s not given immediately, but they take a very sharp review and overturns the call. Wow, Sri Lanka have been excellent here. They used their best two bowlers to finish off that powerplay and it worked the charm. They not only put England under pressure to up that scoring rate, but also got two wickets.
Over 5: Eng 34-2 – Chameera sends Malan back
Sri Lanka have struck at the other end and Malan’s dreadful 2021 continues. He is cleaned up by Chameera and now has an average of 27 with a strike-rate around 112 in T20Is this year. Not quite the numbers you’d expect to see from the No.1 batter in this format according to ICC rankings. But it brings the destructive Jonny Bairstow to join Jos Buttler. A trial by spin awaits, but Bairstow loves taking on spin. Can Sri Lanka push them further?
By the way, in case you missed it, England are sporting red trousers today rather than the dark blue ones. “Due to ICC kit regs, we have to wear red trousers against Sri Lanka in the tournament. If India and England meet in the latter stages, we will also wear red trousers for that match,” according to the England media manager.
Over 4: Eng 28-1 – Should Sri Lanka go all out with spin against Buttler?
It is a tricky one, but should Hasaranga have gotten one more over there? Probably not. Buttler is Sri Lanka’s biggest threat at this stage, and they have chosen to go with the mystery spin of Maheesh Theekshana over a second over for Hasaranga. It’s not a bad ploy, and Buttler did seem a tad circumspect taking him on, especially as he is very new for him.
Will they go with Hasaranga from the other end and go all out in attacking Buttler early on? That should be really interesting if they do. Two early wickets could really peg England back.
Over 1.2: Eng 13-1 – Hasaranga strikes early
It makes sense to bring in your best bowler against these two and Sri Lanka have done that and reaped the rewards. Wanindu Hasaranga cleans up Jason Roy with his first ball against him, mocking my earlier monologue on Roy against spin. Sri Lanka have an early breakthrough to now attack Malan with more spin.
Roy against spin
The broadcast just showed Roy having a strike-rate of 180-plus in the powerplay against spin and it takes me back to the 2019 ODI World Cup when in the first over of the first game of the tournament, Faf du Plessis threw the ball to Imran Tahir to give South Africa a breakthrough against Roy and Bairstow and Tahir responded with the wicket of Bairstow, although the trap was laid for Roy.
A lot has changed since then, and as Roy himself said after the last game, it is quite evident that he has worked on not just seeing out spin, but bossing it. This means two things: 1) Teams can’t use spin to counter Buttler and Roy together because Roy now absolutely murders spin. 2) Teams can’t use pace against Roy and Buttler because both are ruthless against it. Basically, just hope to take a wicket early to minimise the damage, because there’s no other way to do damage control against these two.
No changes for either side and England batting first the major news from the middle. England have the best scoring rate in the powerplay this T20 World Cup after Afghanistan, but that’s partly due to the fact that they have had the luxury to chase, and chase low scores thanks to their bowling, in each game. Will they continue to look for big powerplays? Likely will, given how they approach the two limited-overs formats. For Sri Lanka, the powerplay will be really crucial. If they can peg England back early, especially with the wicket of someone like Buttler, they will have an out-of-form Dawid Malan in the middle early and it could get interesting.
Toss update: Sri Lanka win the toss and will bowl first
Here in Sharjah tonight we should have a really good contest. England, the batting giants on paper, have been outstanding with the ball, having not conceded more than 125 runs against teams this T20 World Cup in all three games and once bowling out a team (West Indies) for 55.
Sri Lanka have been quite the bowling team too. Totals made against Sri Lanka this World Cup include 96, 101 and 44. However, they haven’t quite managed to be as ruthless against the Test sides. The Sharjah track, though, should suit their spinners. That said, the surface has been decent for batters with the short boundaries and England, especially, will fancy looking for those big hits.
England are yet to bat first this tournament and have been outstanding in chasing down the runs the bowling has restricted opponents to. Will it chage tonight? Toss coming up.
T20 World Cup 2021 England v Sri Lanka: Preview
Match time: 6 pm local time
Date: November 1, 2021
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah
England lead the Group 1 table with six points at a net run rate of 3.948. On the other hand, Sri Lanka languish at the fourth spot with only two points and a net run rate of -0.35.
England team news and predicted XI
Injury update: They are the only side to have garnered flawless wins in the tournament, despite injury related absences of Mark Wood and Tom Curran. If fitness permits, Wood can replace Tymal Mills, who looked off-colour against Australia.
Predicted playing XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
T20 World Cup 2021 England squad: Full team list for Eng
Sri Lanka team news and predicted XI
Injury update: Sri Lanka have little-known injury related concerns, but are afflicted by out-of-form players. Mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana hasn’t had the same impact the bigger sides, and might find himself axed.
Predicted playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera (wk), Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dinesh Chandimal, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushamantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Binura Fernando.
T20 World Cup 2021 Sri Lanka squad: Full team list for SL
T20 World Cup 2021 England v Sri Lanka: Where to watch live
India: Star Sports Network: Star Sports 1 (and HD), Star Sports 2 (and HD), Star Sports 1 Hindi (and HD), Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu and Star Sports 1 Kannada
Start time 7.30 pm (IST)
UK & Ireland: Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Mix; Sky Sports app, www.skysports.com
Start time 3 pm (BST)
Sri Lanka: Siyatha TV, Star Sports ;www.siyathatv.lk
Start time 7.30 pm (SLST)
The complete list of broadcast (TV and live streaming) options for the tournament can be found here.