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England batter USA to book their place in T20 World Cup semi-finals

England 117-0 (Buttler 83*) beat USA 115 all out (Jordan 4-10,Rashid 2-13) by 10 wickets

KENSINGTON OVAL — Harry Brook admitted England would aim to give the USA a “good battering” in this final Super Eight match and that’s exactly what they did as they booked their place in the semi-finals of this T20 World Cup with a dominant 10-wicket victory in Barbados.

In a contest notable for Chris Jordan becoming the first England men’s bowler to take a T20 international hat-trick, the defending champions romped their way to a target of 116 in 9.4 overs.

Jos Buttler was at the heart of that high-speed chase, bludgeoning his way to a first half-century of the tournament as he smashed 83 in 38 balls. It was an innings that included 31 off a single over from left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh. You might even say the England captain’s five sixes in that ninth over were akin to assault and battery so brutal was his hitting.

When it comes to Anglo-American skirmishes, this was probably the most one-sided since the War of 1812, when the British stormed Washington and razed the White House to the ground.

In terms of net run rate, England needed to get to their target in 106 balls to assure themselves of a semi-final place.

They got there in just 58 after Buttler put the afterburners on, hitting seven sixes and six fours, with Phil Salt, his opening partner, a virtual spectator with 25 from 21 balls as his captain went berserk.

Given the difficult start England had to this tournament, including almost going out in the first round after that washout against Scotland here in Barbados, reaching the semi-finals will give Buttler and coach Matthew Mott great satisfaction.

And after the first-round blowout at the 50-over World Cup in India last year, this shows the character of a group who might have buckled after starting off so slowly here in the Caribbean.

Reaching the semi-finals was the minimum requirement for both Buttler and Mott to keep their jobs.

Yet England, whose last-four opponents – India, Afghanistan or Australia – will be decided Monday, now have every chance of repeating their win in this tournament in Australia two years ago.

In terms of T20 World Cups, this is the fourth tournament in a row in which they have reached at least the semi-finals.

They may have only beaten one Test playing nation, the West Indies, on their way to the last four, but they have got through and in major tournaments that’s all that counts.

Depending on the results of the final set of Super Eight matches, including West Indies v South Africa overnight, England will either play their semi-final in Trinidad on Wednesday or Guyana on Thursday.

That they have got this far is testament to the improvements they have made after a shaky first round that included a 36-run beating by Australia.

In the pair of Super Eight matches victory in St Lucia last week, the win against the Windies and narrow defeat by South Africa, they have looked very good.

No more so than in the field, where they have been super sharp and excellent with the ball.

Adil Rashid, the team’s standout bowler in the Caribbean, put in another star shift, a ludicrous two for 13 from his four overs taking his tournament tally to nine at an average of 17.88.

Jofra Archer was also on the money as usual, conceding 16 from three overs and creating pressure others profited from.

The chief beneficiary at the death was Archer’s fellow Bajan, Jordan. Five years ago in St Kitts he took career-best T20I figures of four for six. Here his four for 10 didn’t eclipse that statistically but a first hat-trick by an England men’s player was special for a player who grew up watching cricket here at the Kensington Oval.

The US, who shocked Pakistan to reach the Super Eights, had started their innings relatively well, reaching 65 for three after 10 overs.

But after stalling thanks to a regular flow of wickets, they crashed and burned spectacularly as Sam Curran’s dismissal of Harmeet to the last ball of the 18th over sparked a collapse that saw the US lose their final five wickets in just six balls thanks to Jordan’s spectacular final over where one ball after the removal of Corey Anderson he dismissed Ali Khan, Nosthush Kenjige and Saurabh Netravalkar in successive deliveries.

Player of the day: Chris Jordan

The Barbados-born all-rounder became the first England men’s bowler to take a T20 international hat-trick when he mopped up the USA’s final four wickets to bag a remarkable quadruple-wicket maiden.

Quote of the day

That was a real flexing of the muscles against an associate nation, they started off their innings watchful but then Jos Buttler exploded. It was as show of power from England and they will be building confidence.

Former England fast bowler Steven Finn on BBC

Stat of the day

Jordan’s hat-trick was the ninth such haul in men’s T20 World Cup history.

Mott-o-meter: 10/10

Now that’s more like it! (Graphic: i Sport)

They have had a touch-and-go tournament and might have gone out in the first round had Australia gone through with their threat to go easy on Scotland in their final group game. Instead, England are into the semi-finals and the Aussies out unless they beat favourites India in their final Super Eight game. Karma, eh?

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