Images from the T20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and England, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on Saturday.
England rode on the experience of Ben Stokes to sneak into the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the Super 12 match, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on Saturday.
The result ended defending champions and hosts Australia's campaign in the tournament.
Opener Pathum Nissanka gave Sri Lanka an explosive start with a 45-ball 67, but the English bowlers roared back to restrict them to a modest 141 for 8.
Chasing a tricky target on a dry SCG wicket, Alex Hales (47 off 30 balls) and skipper Jos Buttler (28 off 23 balls) came up with an opening partnership of 75 runs from 43 balls to put England on course.
From there on, England just needed 67 off 77 balls, but suddenly half the English side was back in the pavilion as crafty spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (2/23) triggered a collapse.
He dismissed the English openers for addition of just seven runs before the likes of Dhananjaya de Silva (2/24) and Lahiru Kumara (2/24) got into the act.
With their designated No. 3 Dawid Malan sustaining a groin injury while fielding, England had a rejigged batting order and looked shaky, needing 31 runs in 33 balls, when Moeen Ali became Dhananjaya de Silva's second victim.
However, English Test skipper Stokes, looking to strike form in the tournament, held his nerve and closed out the chase with a composed 42 not out off 36 balls. He was involved in a nervy 15-run partnership with Chris Woakes.
After rain proved to be a dampener in the Australia-England clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground earlier in the Super 12s, the Aussies ended their group stage campaign with seven points, and their semi-final hopes of advancing rested on a Lankan victory over the Englishmen.
England finished second behind New Zealand in Group 1 and will take on the Group 2 toppers in the semi-finals.
It was a rollicking start for England as Hales played the role of the aggressor while Buttler took time to settle down.
Gradually, the English skipper also got into the act as he smashed the wily Hasaranga for consecutive fours and a six.
Earlier, Nissanka sizzled with a fine half-century but England’s bowlers roared back to restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 141 for 8 in the must-win match.
Nissanka provided the perfect start as he blazed his way to a 33-ball 50 after they elected to bat.
The stylish opener took the English attack to the cleaners, slamming five sixes and two fours in a 45-ball 67, before Adil Rashid (4-0-16-1) brilliantly turned it around. The leg spinner dismissed Nissanka to bag his maiden wicket of the tournament.
Seamer Sam Curran (4-0-27-1) also bowled a tidy spell in the middle overs as Sri Lanka, who were going at eight runs-plus an over at the halfway mark, went into a quiet phase in the back-end.
The lack of power-hitters down the line cost the Lankans dear as boundaries dried up and they could manage just 25 runs in the last five overs during which they lost five wickets.
England pacer Mark Wood also overcame a woeful start and hit his straps at the back end to return figure of 3 for 26 as England denied the opposition about 15-20 extra runs.
On a dry SCG wicket, struggling English Test skipper Stokes began the proceedings with the new ball as the Sri Lankan opening duo of Kusal Mendis and Nissanka were off to a cautious start.
Skipper Jos Buttler brought Wood, his pace ace, in the third over and Mendis took him down the very first ball with a six over deep square leg. Taking a cue from his opening partner, Nissanka finished the over with another maximum as the over yielded 17 runs.
Just when the Lankan openers were getting into the groove, Liam Livingstone grabbed a superb sliding catch to dismiss Mendis (18, 14b, 1x4, 1x6).
Rashid's entry slowed down their run-rate and wickets kept on falling at the other end but Nissanka maintained his counter-attacking approach en route to a 33-ball fifty, his second in this World Cup and ninth overall.
But Rashid and Curran brilliantly pegged the Lankans back with their smart variations.
The English leg-spinner also claimed the prized-scalp of Nissanka just at the start of the crucial slog overs' stage.
Nissanka tried to charge Rashid down the ground only to mistime the hit and was caught by substitute Chris Jordan.