Jordan, Rashid and Buttler lead England’s charge into the semis

England

England 117 for 0 (Buttler 83*) beat USA 115 (Nitish 30, Jordan 4-10, Rashid 2-13) by ten wickets

England have booked their place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2024 with a commanding 10-wicket win over USA in their final Super Eight match. Using just 9.4 overs to chase down 116, thanks to Jos Buttler‘s 83 not out from 38 deliveries, the defending champions have boosted their net run rate (NRR) to 1.992 for good measure.

Such a dominant win was set-up by Chris Jordan, who became the first England player to take a men’s T20I hat-trick. Jordan, brought back into the XI for Mark Wood, took four wickets from his final five deliveries – joining Ireland’s Curtis Campher as the only other bowler to achieve that feat at a T20 World Cup – as the USA collapsed from 115 for 5 to 115 all out.

The co-hosts had started well enough in Bridgetown, reaching 48 for 2 in their first six overs. But Adil Rashid continued a stellar campaign with a miserly 2 for 13 from his four overs. Aaron Jones, one of the USA’s stronger players of spin, and top-scorer Nitish Kumar were bowled by Rashid, who equalled Stuart Broad’s tally of 30 dismissals in T20 World Cups. Both Rashid and Livingstone ensured only 25 runs were scored in the six overs after the powerplay.

The target of 116 needed to be chased down in 18.4 overs to ensure England’s NRR would go ahead of South Africa’s and ensure they had a firm grasp on second-place in the group. Buttler, however, was aiming higher.

After a quiet start, Buttler raced to 44 from 26 deliveries at the end of the powerplay – in which England scored 60 – which included cracking a solar panel with the first of two consecutive sixes off Saurabh Netravalkar.

He saved his most brutal assault for Harmeet Singh’s second over – the ninth – getting the strike for the second ball and striking five sixes. The first took him to his first half-century of the tournament, from 32 deliveries. An over later, Buttler’s late cut took England over the line with 62 balls to spare.

It means England will finish top of the group if West Indies beat South Africa in Group 2’s final fixture by a margin fewer than 52 runs. A South Africa win, taking them to six points, will see England finish second.

Jordan gets his moment

Chris Jordan did not expect to be at this World Cup. A back injury to Jamie Overton handed him what is probably one last shot on the biggest stage. Today in Barbados, he seized it with both hands with that hat-trick and overall figures of 4 for 10 that took him to 105 T20I wickets.

The crescendo of the hat-trick was dripping with emotion. Jordan is not exactly the biggest celebrator, but who could begrudge him this moment? The Bajan-born cricketer grew up watching plenty of cricket at the Kensington Oval before making the move to the UK on a scholarship to Dulwich College. The locals in the stadium cheered him as one of their own.

Jordan was actually at home in Barbados when he heard of his call-up to the provisional squad at the end of April. Later that day, he was training in the nets with Jofra Archer, who initially put the session live on Instagram before taking it down.

Having started in the XI for the washout against Scotland and loss to Australia – both in Bridgetown – Jordan returned for the final Group B match against Namibia before sitting back on the bench for the start of the Super Eights.

Even after this display, he may find himself sidelined once more if Buttler opts for Mark Wood’s extra pace, depending on England’s opponents and semi-final venue. Either way, Jordan’s place in history has been secured.

Rashid’s wrong ‘un so right

Like Lionel Messi shifting onto his left foot and Steph Curry pulling up from long range, everyone knows Adil Rashid has a googly. The problem with all three is doing something about it.

Aaron Jones and Nitish Kumar were both felled by the legspinner’s delivery that goes the other way. The former tried to combat it with his trusty slog sweep. The latter opted to blaze up and over extra cover. Both had their stumps rearranged.

That’s now five of Rashid’s nine wickets that have come from googlies at this World Cup. Their menace is disguised by full lengths and outside-off-stump lines, similar to where he looks to land his leggies.

Rashid has been England’s standout white-ball bowler for some time, and, aged 36, has been at his best throughout this tournament despite coming into the summer with little competitive cricket.

Here in Bridgetown, he was unplayable, with just 10 runs conceded from his four boundary-less overs. It was hard not to feel sorry for USA’s batting line-up as he tied them in knots. If it’s any comfort, more seasoned batters, with plenty more exposure to Rashid, have been made to look just as clueless.

Full report to follow…

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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