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T20 World Cup: England face Sri Lanka with a view to net run rate and semi-finals in sight | Cricket News

SYDNEY: A highlight England find themselves in a three-way battle for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup T20 but skipper Jos Buttler has the advantage of knowing exactly what to do in their final group game against Sri Lanka.
The 2010 champions are wedged between New Zealand and Australia, the two teams that played last year’s final, in terms of net run rate, although all three are tied in points and with one game to go.
With Australia and New Zealand wrapping up their Super 12 campaigns on Saturday, Butler knows exactly what margin of victory will be enough to make it to the last four with a top two finish in the group.
“I think it plays to our advantage. Look at what happens today, and then we can adapt to what is needed tomorrow,” England opener Alex Hales told a new conference on Friday.
“I think we’re pretty confident in whatever we need to do, we have the skills and firepower to do it.”
Shocked by Ireland in a rain-stricken Super 12 match, England appeared to be in their element during the 20-run win against New Zealand, with Buttler leading by example with the bat.
While discussing the net run rate in the dressing room, Hales said theirs looked “pretty good” and he was confident England would make it to the last four.
“It’s a pretty tight competition and it’s hard to get through it,” he said.
“It would be a great achievement if we can get through it, in a pretty tough group in my opinion.”
Openers have struggled in the tournament thus far, but both Hales and Buttler crushed half a century against New Zealand.
Their deep punch and profusion of all-rounders make England favorites against Sri Lanka, whose unlikely chances to reach the semi-finals would require two upset wins – theirs against England and Afghanistan’s over defending champions Australia.
Sri Lankan batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa said the Asian Cup champions, led by former national team coach Chris Silverwood, were simply out to finish their campaign on a winning note.
“Unfortunately, not all results have come our way, but tomorrow’s game is quite important to finish at a high level,” said the 31-year-old.
“We just want to play good cricket and justify our presence in Australia. That’s about it.”



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