World Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad praises England’s Luke Wright
World Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad heaps praise on Luke Wright after England ease to victory over Afghanistan in Group A clash
Stuart Broad heaped praise on Luke Wright after the Sussex all-rounder smashed 99 not-out in England’s victory over Afghanistan in their opening Group A game at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Broad’s men avoided a possible banana skin and demolished Afghanistan with a 116-run win under the night skies of Colombo.
“We batted with maturity. Luke Wright’s innings was outstanding and the way the guys came and struck the ball towards the end.” Broad told Sky Sports.
“We’re delighted with that performance. It’s a great way for us to start the tournament, hopefully we can kick on from here as well.”
England got off to the worst possible start after losing the toss and being inserted by Nawroz Mangal.
Craig Kieswetter was clean bowled by Shapoor Zadran for a duck and the defending champions were 0-1 at the end of their first over.
However, Kieswetter’s dismissal brought Wright to the crease, joining Alex Hales – who was given the second opening batting spot having impressed during the warm-up fixtures against Australia and Pakistan.
Hales (31) put on 69 with Wright for the second wicket and suddenly things seemed a lot rosier in the England camp.
Wright went on to hit a destructive 99no from just 55 balls – including eight fours and six sixes – as the defending champions posted an impressive 196-5 from their 20 overs.
The all-rounder was just inches away from becoming the first England batsman to score a century in cricket’s shortest format, but his final shot of the innings was stopped on the mid-wicket boundary.
However, the 27-year-old will not have any question marks left over his position in the side following his explosive knock.
Afghanistan were always going to struggle against England’s attack with the scoreboard pressure of 197 to win.
They slumped to 26 for 8 at the end of the ninth over, after Samit Patel had an advancing Dawlat Zadran stumped for 0.
Graeme Swann, Jade Dernbach, Broad and Patel all claimed two wickets apiece as Afghanistan finished on 80 all out – which sees them exit the tournament after back-to-back defeats.
England’s next game is against India on Sunday.