T20 World Cup: Jos Buttler's England make timely statement by pulverising USA for semi-final spot

23 June 2024, 12:28 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 14:02

In a game of small margins, Jos Buttler ensured his side wouldn’t be left teetering on the edge of semi-final qualification.

Instead, the England skipper showcased his breath-taking, solar panel-breaking, batting abilities, hitting an unbeaten 82 off 38 balls, to catapult his team into the penultimate stage of the T20 World Cup, and take the lead in the Group 2 table.

But this victory wasn’t solely a tale for the batters.

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Earlier, England’s bowlers set up the platform for a rapid victory bowling USA out for 115 on a dry pitch in Barbados, with Chris Jordan taking a hat-trick in the final over, in his hometown, in front of former Barbadian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers, for the first time in England’s Men’s T20 internationals.

"It was quite a statement," said Sky Sports Cricket's Ian Ward.

"I know it was just the United States of America and England are expected to beat sides like them, but the way it was finished off by the captain was some statement.

"Some of the striking from Jos Buttler was magnificent, especially on a pitch that dried out significantly. England, historically, can sometimes stumble a little bit when those pitches get tired but they won the game in some style today.

"It has not been smooth sailing, as we know, but England have done it, and you compare and contrast that with South Africa who have won all of their games so far but if they lose this evening, they're out of the T20 World Cup.

"If you go back to the 50-over World Cup in 2019 when Eoin Morgan’s side won, they stumbled as well. They had a position where they had to win all their remaining games to qualify and they did.

"And if you go back to the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022, the same thing happened here. England had their backs against the wall and they found a way of winning.

"It's an underlying strength of this side and if there's any question marks about them, it stems from what happened in India, but I think lessons from that disastrous World Cup have been learnt."

England's Harry Brook vowed to give USA a "a good battering" ahead of their clash, a sentiment that certainly resonated in how their team obliterated the associates.

It only took Buttler 9.4 overs to pulverise USA as he smashed seven sixes, one of which broke the solar panels at the Kensington Oval, and four boundaries.

"Topping the group and net run-rate was on my mind," Buttler admitted in the post-match press conference.

"Once we got through the first overs it was really about trying to target this side with the wind.

"I think we've got great options for our team. We chose Jordan because we wanted the all-rounder capabilities and he executed that fantastically, a World Cup hat-trick is a great effort.

"Really important to take this form into the semi-finals, I've been feeling good all year, I'm hitting the ball well and it's nice to get that confidence.

"It's important for me to look after my own game as well, as much as trying to be a captain and have a broad view, I'm still one of 11 and have to do my job."

Catch every match from the T20 World Cup, including the final in Barbados on Saturday June 29, live on Sky Sports.