Rashid’s four-fer catapults England closer to Super 8s

Antigua, June 14 (UNI) In a riveting showdown at the Twenty20 World Cup, Adil Rashid’s masterful bowling spell of 4-11 catapulted England closer to the Super 8 stage, as they decimated Oman for a paltry 47 runs on Friday IST.

The defending champions then clinched an eight-wicket victory with a display of batting dominance. Phil Salt electrified the start of England’s innings, smashing the first two balls for towering sixes before being bowled on the third, setting an exhilarating pace.

Captain Jos Buttler then took charge, scoring a blistering 24 runs off just eight balls, propelling England to 50-2 in a mere 3.1 overs. This swift and emphatic win not only brightened England’s tournament outlook but also dramatically improved their net run-rate.

Previously at minus 1.800, England’s net run-rate surged to plus 3.08, surpassing Scotland’s plus 2.164. This victory places England third in Group B with three points, trailing Australia (six points) and Scotland (five points), both of whom have already secured qualification.

Rashid’s early breakthrough was seamlessly followed by Jofra Archer’s incisive bowling, capturing a wicket in the second over. Mark Wood added to the onslaught, taking crucial wickets and leaving Oman staggering at 25-4 by the end of the power play.

England’s decision to bowl first, a strategic move by Buttler after winning the toss, proved astute on the glassy pitch of Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The surface offered ideal conditions for Rashid’s leg-spinners and the fiery pace of Archer and Wood. The combined efforts of England’s bowlers saw Oman bowled out in just 13.2 overs.

In reply, Salt departed early, but Buttler and Jonny Bairstow ensured a rapid finish. Buttler remained unbeaten, guiding England to victory with a six and four boundaries, while Bairstow sealed the match with consecutive boundaries.

Looking forward, England’s advance to the Super 8 stage now depends on Sunday’s match against Namibia and the outcome of the Australia’s match against Scotland. Should Australia win with a superior net run-rate, England’s qualification would be likely.

The thrilling performance in Antigua has set the stage for a crucial weekend of cricket, with England poised on the brink of advancing, contingent on the fortunes of their fellow competitors.

Brief scores: Oman 47 in 13.2 overs (Adil Rashid 4/11, Jofra Archer 3/12) lost to England 50/2 in 3.1 overs (Jos Buttler 24*) by 8 wickets.

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