Jos Buttler says England 'full of confidence' after beating New Zealand at T20 World Cup

'Big relief' at 20-run win that keeps alive qualification hopes going into final game against Sri Lanka

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Jos Buttler said England have had their confidence restored by a 20-run win over New Zealand which kept alive their T20 World Cup title hopes.

England went into the game, against the side who knocked them out at the semi-final stage in Abu Dhabi last year, knowing defeat would likely rule them out of reaching the last four this time around.

New Zealand had been the outstanding side in the competition to date, but England put up a formidable display in Brisbane.

Buttler top scored with 73, having shared in a partnership with 81 with Alex Hales, who also made a half century. England reached 179-6 from their 20 overs.

New Zealand appeared well placed in the chase on 119-2 in the 15th over, with Glenn Phillips, who benefited from a remarkable drop by Moeen Ali early in his innings, leading the charge.

They fell short, though, with Phillips becoming one of two players to fall to fine outfield catches by substitute fielder Chris Jordan during the closing overs.

New Zealand, England and Australia are now all tied on five points. The Black Caps, who have a considerable net run-rate advantage over the rest, play Ireland in their final game on Friday.

That match is followed at the same ground in Adelaide by Australia against Afghanistan.

England, who hold second place by virtue of a better net run-rate than Australia, face Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday.

“I think it's a big relief to be heading to that last game knowing we have a chance at progressing,” Buttler, England’s captain, said.

“It would be a tough flight tomorrow if we'd lost tonight. We go there really excited.

“I think the team is in a really good place after tonight. It showed great character in a must-win match.

“We'll head to Sydney full of confidence and expecting a really tough game against Sri Lanka.”

Quote
I got a bit lucky, but I felt really good in the middle, and enjoyed it
Jos Buttler

Buttler’s innings was his best of the competition so far, having made 18 and zero in his previous trips to the crease.

He benefited from being dropped by Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell, and he said he was glad to be back in the runs.

“I got a bit lucky, but I felt really good in the middle, and enjoyed it,” Buttler said.

“I think a lot of the time watching is harder. You just want to be in the middle and have some semblance of control. I felt in a really good place in the middle today.”

Mitchell Santner, the New Zealand spinner, said his side still felt well placed halfway through the match, despite the chances they had given Buttler.

“He's obviously a very, very good player,” Santner said. “To put them down a couple times is not easy, but I felt that we were still in a pretty good position.

“The wicket was pretty good. It looked like it slowed down a little bit, so we knew the chase was going to be a challenge.

“But I think we put ourselves in a pretty good position to get there. We just fell a little bit short with some good death bowling in the end.”

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka had given their slim hopes of progressing from the group a boost with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan at the Gabba.

Dhananjaya de Silva led the way with an unbeaten 66 as the Asia Cup champions chased 145 to win with nine balls to spare.

Wanindu Hasaranga had taken 3-13 to help send Afghanistan to a defeat which ended their chances of making the semi-finals.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 3:23 PM
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