Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20 century and together with skipper Eoin Morgan shared a century stand to take England to a challenging 163 for four after early setbacks against Sri Lanka in a Group 1 Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here on Monday.
Sent into bat, England lost three wickets for 35 runs before Buttler (101 not out off 67 balls) and Morgan (40 off 36) joined hands to stitch a crucial 112 runs for the fourth wicket that came off 78 balls.
England lost Jason Roy (9) in the second over. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva (3/21) followed up his hat-trick against South Africa by castling the English opener’s stumps with his second ball of the day.
The script went from bad to worse for England as they lost two more quick wickets. First Dawid Malan (6) was cleaned up by Dushmantha Chameera in the third over and two overs later Jonny Bairstow (0) was out LBW to de Silva after Sri Lanka successfully asked for a review.
In between, Buttler found the fence on a few occasions to keep England’s scoreboard ticking, managing a meagre 47 runs in the first 10 overs.
The onus was on Buttler to up the ante and he did try his best after the 10th over, piling up 14 runs of medium pacer Chamika Karunaratna in the 13th over. Buttler first muscled the bowler to the mid-on fence and then clobbered him over the deep midwicket boundary for a maximum.