World Twenty20: Ravi Bopara admits England's hopes rest on beating Sri Lanka in order to have any chance of semi-finals

Bopara has labelled Thursday's match as a 'must-win' if England are to prolong their campaign after New Zealand defeat

England's World Twenty20 fate cannot be finalised when they meet Sri Lanka in Chittagong on Thursday afternoon, but all-rounder Ravi Bopara insists the game is win or bust for his side.

Victory would give England hope of getting up a head of steam similar to the one that carried them to an unlikely success in the 2010 tournament, while defeat would leave them needing a most unlikely sequence of events to see them to the semi-finals.

Bopara, for one, is not wasting time or energy contemplating the latter - which would require a favourable set of results elsewhere as well as a sizeable shift in net run-rates - and has set a much simpler goal.

"It is a must-win game for us," he said.

"I don't think we know about the mathematical side of it: we just have to win.

"Winning against Sri Lanka would be a big thing for us, a big confidence boost, and that's how we're looking at it."

"The belief is still high in this team."

Bopara's positive outlook extends to his own contribution, with the Essex man publicly pondering the possibility of clearing the ropes from the very first ball of his innings.

England are seen by many as lacking the sheer power displayed by some of their rivals, but Bopara has a proven six-hitting pedigree.

Whether he would be able to hit that groove in the death overs against the skill of Lasith Malinga is another matter, but not one that has gone unconsidered.

"Look, it is tough to hit someone like Malinga out of the park consistently, which is why he's probably the best in the world," said Bopara.

"(But) I'm going to face roughly between 10-20 balls, at most, batting at number six so I need to be ready to hit a six after my third or fourth ball.

"I have been lying in my bed at times and thought: why don't I just hit the first ball for six? More often than not, the bowler just wants to land it on a length and hopefully get a dot, so it's probably the best ball to hit out of the park.

"It is a mental approach, definitely. But I have thought about it. You never know. I might do it against Sri Lanka, if I get a bat."

When the notion of Malinga, a master purveyor of the yorker and fifth highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals, being hit into the stands first up was put to Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal, he reacted doubtfully.

"I have never seen that in my career," he said.

"I can't hit him for a six - I never did that. I only try for boundaries against him.

"He is a really good bowler. He's one who is key to our success in the T20 format."

PA

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Flat out: Michael Flatley will return to the stage in his show Lord Of The Dance
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape