ICC Twenty20 World Cup | Stokes can play a lot of roles, he affects the game in all three facets, says Buttler

England, who finished second in Group 1, will play their semi-final in Adelaide against the winners of the second group.

England, who finished second in Group 1, will play their semi-final in Adelaide against the winners of the second group.


England skipper Jos Buttler is delighted that Ben Stokes has returned to form as the T20 World Cup nears the end of business, saying the all-rounder can play many roles in the team thanks to his talent.

After a disappointing tournament so far, Stokes kept his composure in a mid-order meltdown to lead England into the semi-finals with a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Saturday.

After a solid start from Buttler and Alex Hales, the England batters lost ground with half the squad back in the dugout, largely due to mysterious spinner Wanindu Hasaranga before Stokes took the former champions on the line.

“These kinds of situations are what he’s made for and I’m delighted for him. As long as he’s in the crease, it gives you a sense of calm,” Butller said during the post-game presentation.

“He can play a lot of roles. It affects the game in all three facets. He’s a real competitor. Getting to this stage of the competition is where you see it grow and grow.” Sri Lanka had gone for a flier on the back of Pathum Nissanka’s sizzling 50s, before England bowlers came back strong to limit the Asian Cup champions to under 150.

“They got off to a really good start, and we thought the wicket would play that way because it was a second-hand wicket. But the way Adil Rashid picked us up was wonderful.

“A lot of people watch the final product with him, he doesn’t have the wickets but he bowls well.” Youngster Sam Curran has been sensational on death for England throughout the tournament, and the skipper has been full of praise for playmaker and fly-half Hales.

“Sam continues to grow and grow, he’s a key member of this team and he loves being in those tough times. I think Alex (Hales) in that one really got the better of Sri Lanka.” England, who finished second in Group 1, will play their semi-final in Adelaide against the winners of the second group.

“Happy to go, we just needed to find a way to win today. Now is the time to go out there and think about the semi-finals,” added Buttler.

Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka felt his side’s chances of winning the title were dashed by multiple injuries to key players.

“I think we played good patch cricket, but we had a few injuries that cost us the tournament. Otherwise, we could have done better.

However, the skipper said there were a few areas that needed improvement.

“When we get home we will have to polish the areas where we haven’t done well. (Wanindu) Hasaranga and (Maheesh) Theekshana played well throughout but the other bowlers struggled, today they played well but that is an area we need to improve.” “Catching has been a problem in this tournament, we have to go back and improve,” he added.

Leg spinner Adil Rashid was voted player of the match for his brilliant 1/16, which included the all-important wicket of Pathun Nissanka, who hammered and tonked the England bowlers.

“I think all the bowlers played well, Stokes, Wood, everyone. We received help (lathe and sewing) from this counter, you don’t get such assistance on Australian counters.

“I felt pretty good, even before the tournament I felt good. I did my job, I was focused on it, the rest is history. The terrain can turn, sew, you have to assess the conditions accordingly,” he added.


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