New Delhi: England scraped into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with a 10-run win over Sri Lanka in Delhi on Saturday.
Sri Lanka looked beaten after they were reduced to 15-4 in reply to England's 171-4, in which Jos Buttler plundered 66 not out from 37 balls.
But captain Angelo Mathews attacked England's spinners to leave Sri Lanka needing 15 from the final over.
With an injured Mathews hobbling, Ben Stokes' brilliant yorkers saw England to a semi-final against New Zealand.
Chasing 172 to stay alive in the tournament, Sri Lanka lost four wickets within the first three overs before Angelo Mathews counterattacked with an unbeaten 73 off 54 deliveries bringing them back in the hunt. As it turned out, England managed to stave off the threat.
That the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara has left a deep hole in Sri Lankan batting couldn't be better represented in a disastrous start to the chase of 172.
By the time England were done bowling the first three overs, they had left Sri Lanka wobbling with four batsmen back in the dugout licking their wounds. Tillakarante Dilshan pulled David Willey straight into the hands of mid-wicket fielder in the first over, his opening partner Dinesh Chandimal edged Chris Jordan in the next.
The third over, from Willey resulted in two more wickets in Milinda Siriwardana (7) who launched a counterattack with a six but holed out to Morgan off the next while and Lahiru Thirimanne (3) was run out thanks to the brilliance of Ben Stokes. 15/4 in 3 overs.
It fell, as it has too often these days, on the broad shoulders of Mathews to revive the chase. Together with Chamara Kapudegera, he led the recovery while adding 80 runs for the fifth wicket - Mathews' contribution to it was 45 while Kapudegera made 30 before being caught at deep midwicket in his attempt to clear the ropes.
That Sri Lanka had hopes of staying alive was the handiwork of their captain marvel who led a single-handed assault that had three fours and five massive sixes - three of them coming in one over of Adil Rashid.
His knock endured that Sri Lanka recovered from the depths of 15/4 to a comfortable 132/5 in 16 overs.
Thisara Perera (20) and Dasun Shanaka (15) played brief cameos to cut down the equation to a manageable 17 off 10. However, Jordan's fourth over - innings 19th - resulted in two wickets that left Sri Lanka needing 15 from the final over from which they managed just four.
Earlier, Buttler scored an unbeaten 37-ball 66 that had eight fours and two sixes in it as England scored 72 runs from their final five overs to post 171/3/.
Sri Lanka were expected to test England on a slow Kotla pitch and Rangana Herath made an early breakthrough trapping returning Alex Hales for a duck in the second over.
Angelo Mathews, who opened the attack, introduced legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay from the other end sensing an opportunity to tie England down. But Root and Jason Roy were prepared having learned their lesson from their previous outing against Afghanistan.
After seeing off Vandersy in the third over, Roy opened up and reverse-hit Herath for the first four of the innings.
Root, England's best bet against the spinners, was chose a more orthodox approach - a lovely cover-drive - for his first four. The next three overs resulted in four more boundaries as the Powerplay overs ended with England recovering from the early jolt to reach 38/1.
After settling in, Roy charged forward to Milinda Siriwardana and sent the low full toss over his head for a six. Roy and Root settled into a rhythm while continuing their search for the big runs. The partnership soon crossed 50 runs and England were at a decent 65/1 halfway through their innings.
England - 171 for 4 (Buttler 66*, Roy 42, Vandersay 2-26)
Sri Lanka - 161 for 8 (Mathews 73*, Kapugedera 30, Jordan 4-28, Willey 2-26)
Result - England won by 10 runs
Points - England 2, Sri Lanka 0
MOM - Jos Buttler (England)