Buttler hits first ton of World Cup as England post 163-4 against Sri Lanka

By: AFP      Published: 08:58 PM, 1 Nov, 2021
T20 world cup
Sri Lanka's captain Dasun Shanaka (C) reacts as England's captain Eoin Morgan (L) and his teammate Jos Buttler run between the wickets during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between England and Sri Lanka

Jos Buttler hit the first century of the Twenty20 World Cup as his unbeaten 101 steered England to 163 for four against Sri Lanka on Monday and to the brink of the semi-finals.

Buttler smashed six fours and six sixes in his 67-ball knock and put on 112 runs with skipper Eoin Morgan, who made 40, after being invited to bat first in Sharjah.

The England opener, who hit an unbeaten 71 in the win over Australia, surpassed his previous T20 best of 83 and now has 214 runs in the tournament.

Sri Lanka had England on the backfoot at 35-3 after electing to field first but Buttler stood firm and the took the attack to the opposition as he got to his hundred on the final ball of the innings with another hit over the fence.

Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed a hat-trick in his team's previous match, struck second ball as he bowled Jason Roy for nine with a googly that skidded on to the stumps.

Buttler took on Lahiru Kumara with two boundaries in the third over but England still found it tough to get runs in the first six overs of powerplay.

Dawid Malan tried to break the shackles with one boundary off Dushmantha Chameera but the pace bowler soon dismissed the left-hand batsman for six.

England suffered another blow when Jonny Bairstow fell first ball with Hasaranga coming back to trap him lbw that was denied by the on-field umpire but successfully reviewed by Sri Lanka.

The right-left batting pair of Buttler and Morgan then stood firm to grind down the Sri Lankan attack with some sensible batting.

Buttler reached his fifty in 45 balls and then changed gears with powerful hits that unsettled the Sri Lankan bowling.

Morgan joined the charge with one four and three sixes in his 36-ball knock before being bowled by Hasaranga.

But Buttler finished off in style to bring up his maiden T20 century.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.