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England v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong

March 27, 2014

Jadenfreude at the World T20

Nikita Bastian

There has been a bit of pessimism about England's chances at this tournament. You couldn't blame the naysayers, given Sri Lanka's record in 2014.

England were off to the perfect start, though. Well, until Mahela Jayawardene's first-ball dismissal was referred to the third umpire. Turns out, he wasn't quite sure if the ball was caught. Turns out he was the only one with such doubts.

Jayawardene being not out meant Jade Dernbach, one of England's favourite sons, was not on a hat-trick.

Dernbach went on to have just the night his many detractors relish.

England went on to have just the night their many detractors relish. Featuring much dew, many dropped catches and a big dose of ordinariness (even from the Sri Lanka batsmen, but who has eyes for the opposition while such a special England performance is underway).

England could not even get their over rate right. One hour, 55 minutes, the Sri Lanka innings ran. Some saw silver linings.

And just when we all thought it could not get worse for the beleaguered Englishmen, Nuwan Kulasekara began Sri Lanka's defence with a double-wicket maiden.

Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan were not about to give up though. As the Sri Lanka bowlers also suffered the ill effects of the dew, they chipped away - rather quickly - at the target. Suddenly, people were beginning to wonder ...

There was a blip when Kulasekara came back on.

But the #Halestorm was still going and England could #boplieve

Hales kept going, saw off Lasith Malinga, brought up England's first T20I century. A six here... A six there... And out of nowhere England had pulled off an incredible chase, their best in the format. We're still catching our breath.

And the England fans say ...

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by BigINDFan on (March 27, 2014, 19:28 GMT)

It was a Hale storm after Kule kooled off from his 2 wicket spell!

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