The Buttler did it... and now England can ramp up title defence hopes


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The Independent Online

By any stretch of any imagination Jos Buttler served up some innings for England on Wednesday night. It ensured they left for the defence of their World Twenty20 title yesterday with a spring in the step, gave them the belief that they might win the thing and provided the batsman with renewed faith in his ability.

Buttler scored 32 not out from 10 balls, which included three sixes and two fours. The sixes were humungous, the fours played with his breathtaking scoop shot, hitherto known as "the ramp", because that is what he calls it and he is entitled to describe it any way he wants.

In the context of a Twenty20 match which had become an Eleven11 because of the weather, it was groundbreaking and it might just have launched a significant international limited-overs career. England won by 28 runs.

Buttler has made the sensational commonplace in short-form county cricket for Somerset but he has struggled to make his mark in 10 T20 internationals. "I went out with a bit of a different approach.The situation dictated how to play and I'm pleased to finally contribute to an England win. It was something I was desperate to get in an England shirt, to have that innings," he said.

England were tootling along at 65 for 3 in the ninth over when Buttler came in at Edgbaston. He hit his second ball for six and 32 runs came in one Wayne Parnell over.

Of innings spanning a minimum of 10 balls, Buttler's was the third fastest, his rate of 320 being behind only Yuvraj Singh when he hit 36 off an over from Stuart Broad in Durban and Jacob Mubarak for Sri Lanka against Kenya. His certainty was overwhelming, especially as he moved outside off stump to play the ball to fine leg with his "ramp" stroke.

He said: "I'm really comfortable with the shot, obviously it didn't work against Pakistan in the UAE. I got out to it twice which was a knock to my confidence but talking to people they said it was a huge part of my game so keep trying it and it came off. I had a good chat with Mark Bawden, the team psychologist yesterday about things and had a nice couple of texts off Marcus Trescothick, my captain at Somerset, just saying be yourself and enjoy it and that's what I did."