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T20 World Cup: Stokes is a proper competitor, affects the game in all three facets, says Buttler

Sydney, Nov 5 (IANS) England skipper Jos Buttler is delighted for Ben Stokes, who found his form at the right time and led England to the semifinal of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, saying that the all-rounder is a proper competitor and affects the game in all three facets.

After a dismal show in the T20 World Cup so far, Stokes on Saturday played a calm and composed knock and held his nerve to lead the 2010 World T20 winner England into the semifinals with a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

Chasing a below-par target, England suffered a mini-collapse during the middle overs, losing four more wickets in the space of just 47 runs, after a solid opening stand of 75 runs between Alex Hales and Jos Buttler. But, the experienced all-rounder took the game deep and eventually led England over the victory line.

“These kinds of situations are what he’s made for and I’m delighted for him. While he’s at the crease, that gives you a sense of calm. He can play a lot of roles. He affects the game in all three facets. He’s a proper competitor. Getting to this stage of the competition is where you just see him grow and grow,” said Buttler at the post-match presentation.

The skipper also credited Adil Rashid for bringing England back in the game after Pathum Nissanka’s fifty had given Sri Lanka a flying start.

“They got off to a really good start. Having lost the toss, we knew the wicket would probably slow up as the game went on being a used wicket. I thought it was a fantastic over from Adil Rashid at the back end of the Power-play to change the momentum. He’s been someone we always turn to and I was really pleased with his performance,” he said.

“A lot of people always look at the end column and maybe he hasn’t picked up the wickets that he usually does. I don’t think he bowled with much luck, to be honest. He’s had a few chances missed but I think he’s still bowling well. When you get him on surfaces like this, he’s a really tough customer to face,” he added.

All-rounder Sam Curran has been the most reliable bowler at the death for England throughout the tournament, and Buttler had words of praise for the left-arm pacer. He also hailed his opening partner Alex Hales.

“He’s (Sam) someone who keeps growing and growing. Having such a good run of games in the team, again he’s that sort of fierce competitor who wants to be in the tough moments. He’s got a real method to what he’s doing and he’s got a lot of different options which makes him tough to line up.

“I thought he (Hales) played beautifully again tonight. He’s such a tough guy to bowl at. I thought that one over where he really took the game away from Sri Lanka was a huge turning point in the match as well,” he added.

England, who finished second in Group 1, will now play their semifinal in Adelaide against the winner of Group 2.

“Just excited. I think we just wanted to find a way to win today and get through to a semifinal which is really exciting. We go there looking forward to whoever we play at what is one of the best stadiums in the world,” concluded Buttler.

–IANS

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