A claggy night in Delhi was illuminated by a Buttler blitzkrieg and some near-faultless work from England's seamers. Despite a classy rearguard from Mathews, it added up to a place in the semifinals - a scenario that had seemed improbable halfway through their game against South Africa in Mumbai eight days earlier. Victory here was a reward for a canny innings of two phases: 99 for three in the first 15 overs as the top order, led by Roy, put the collapse against Afghanistan behind them; then 72 from the last five, as Buttler mixed reverse sweeps and ramps with sinewy muscle. As if punch-drunk, Sri Lanka staggered to 15 for four, with Willey again prominent, and Stokes running out Thirimanne, sent back by Mathews. Sri Lanka decided the spinners had to go: as Mathews added 80 in ten overs with Kapugedera, then 42 in 3.4 with Perera, Rashid and Ali disappeared for eight sixes, leaking 63 in four overs between them. Mathews tweaked a hamstring, and Jordan winkled out Perera, but Sri Lanka needed only 22 when Jordan began the 19th over. Amid tension thicker than the Delhi air, Root chose the moment to produce a spirit-soaring catch, diving to his left at mid-off to intercept a drive by Shanaka that would otherwise have reduced the equation to 13 off nine. Jordan then yorked Herath, finishing with a career-best four for 28, and leaving Stokes to defend 15 off the last over. With the hobbling Mathews unwilling to expose Vandersay, he could manage only a pair of twos. The holders were out; England, against the odds, were through.
Man of the Match: J. C. Buttler.