England face Sri Lanka with semis in sight today


SYDNEY: All eyes at the Twenty20 World Cup will fall on England against Sri Lanka on Saturday after New Zealand reserved their place in the semi-finals and Australia just about stayed alive.

New Zealand’s palm over Ireland on Friday at the Adelaide Oval sealed one of the top two spots in Group 1 and a place in the last four with hosts and holders Australia latterly joining the Black Caps on seven points after a palm by just four runs over Afghanistan at the same venue.

It was not, still, enough to raise their net run rate above that of England, who now need only to beat Sri Lanka in their final Super 12 match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday to take the othersemi-final situation from the group at the expenditure of their Ashes rivals.

England nature Alex Hales said before on Friday that they would not be taking Sri Lanka smoothly, but his side are in buoyant mood.

“I guess we ’re enough confident that whatever we need to do, we ’ve got the chops and horsepower to do it,” he said.

Shocked by Ireland in a rain- hit Super 12 contest, England looked to be in their element during the 20-run palm against New Zealand.

“Obviously a great palm against New Zealand in a really tight game and a tight contest, hopefully should set us up for the rest of the event,” said Hales. “We enjoyed a nice day off history and training hard moment. Everyone’s feeling confident and looking forward to hereafter.”

Hales, recalled to the England set- up after a three-and-a-half-year exile following two failed recreational medicine tests, is cautious of a “tricky” Sri Lanka “with some handy drivers”.

“So we’re going to have to play our stylish justice to win, but as I said, we’re enough confident, the mood is good in the camp and we feel like we can deal with anything they throw at us,” he said.

Their deep fur and surplus of all- rounders make England favourites against Sri Lanka, whose chances of making thesemi-finals ended after Friday’s matches.

Sri Lanka batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa said the Asia Cup titleholders, guided by former England trainer Chris Silverwood, were simply looking to end their crusade on a winning note.

“Unfortunately not all the results have come our way, but hereafter’s game is relatively important to end on a high note,” the 31- time-old said. “We just want to play good justice and justify our presence in Australia. That’s about it.”

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