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T20 World Cup: England’s crucial moments that led to semi-finals

Adil Rashid and Liam Liviingstone during England's warm-ups

For all of the talk about a turnaround, England have still only beaten one Test-playing nation at this World Cup – West Indies.

But that win was a clinical, eight-wicket defeat of the co-hosts, who had been unbeaten in their previous eight T20s.

It was probably England’s best white-ball performance since they won the T20 title in 2022 and meant they were always likely to progress even with a narrow defeat by South Africa in their next game, finally relieving some pressure.

The crucial moment in the bowling effort came when Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid conceded four runs and a single respectively while each taking a wicket from the 16th and 17th overs.

Phil Salt then hit a superb 87 not out in the chase of 181, soaking up pressure at times but also brutally hitting 30 off one over.

Afterwards Salt spoke of the advice given by Kieron Pollard, the former West Indies World Cup winner, who has been part of the backroom staff for this tournament.

Pollard, never shy in throwing balls in training, has kept a low profile for a five-time Indian Premier League winner at this tournament but references of his influence have regularly come out of camp.

One player described him as having an “aura”.

Buttler said his calmness as the rain fell against Namibia helped in the managements tactical discussions.

“He’s been around and seen it all, and has that sort of laid-back attitude of this is just what happens, we can deal with it when it comes,” Buttler said.

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Written by Joseph

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