Luke Wright's blistering 99 off 55 balls gave England a comprehensive 116-run win over Afghanistan, knocking the Asian minnows out, in a Group A encounter at the R. Premadasa Stadium here Friday.
Wright smashed eight fours and six sixes as he helped England amass 196 for five. Afghanistan never looked in the chase and folded for 80 in 17.2 overs.
England, who were put into bat, made a slow start. Shapoor Zadran again gave Afghanistan the early breakthrough, scalping Craig Kieswetter in the first over.
Alex Hales (31) and Wright had trouble getting the measure of the pitch early on. They struggled to get the scoreboard ticking managing just 15 runs off the first four overs.
Zadran's fifth over opened the floodgates for England as the lanky left-arm pacer gave away 23 runs. The innings stagnated again with the introduction of the spinners.
With the score on 109 for two in 15 overs, Wright again took the initiative, smashing 22 runs of Mohammad Nabi's 16th over. Eoin Morgan (27) and Wright strung together a partnership of 72 runs, putting the defending champions on the front foot.
Wright went on to become the highest individual scorer for England in T20 internationals.
Afghanistan made the worst possible start to the chase, losing five wickets in the first six overs. The Afghan batsmen showed their inexperience, getting out to some mindless shots.
Their brand of fearless cricket proved to be their downfall. After losing so many wickets in the Powerplay they still went after the bowling and were reduced to 28 for eight in the 11th over.
Gulbodin Naib (44) provided some late fireworks hitting five fours and three sixes but it was too little too late for the Asians.
Vijender Singh has returned to training after the doping scam the rocked the nation.
The West Indies will kick off preparations for next months Champions Trophy in England when they embark on a five-day camp at the High Performance Centre (HPC) at the 3Ws Oval starting on Monday.
Newly crowned Spanish champion Barcelona celebrated winning the league title in front of their home fans by easing to a 2-1 victory over Valladolid on Sunday.
Test opener David Warner will face a Cricket Australia disciplinary hearing over comments he made on Twitter.
Brazil international midfielder Paulinho has denied speculation that he is on the verge of a move to Europe.
After a victorious comeback to professional tennis, former World No. 20 and cancer survivor Alisa Kleybanova vowed Monday to return to the sports biggest competitions.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to leave the club and says Real Madrid is a possible destination.