World Twenty20 2016: Agnew on Buttler, Stokes and Root

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent

The 10-run win over Sri Lanka that took England to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 was a classic.

The game ebbed and flowed, from the brilliance of Jos Buttler, to Sri Lanka slipping to 15-4, then the hitting of Angelo Mathews taking it to the final over.

England know how destructive the competitive Mathews can be - he even scored half of his runs on one leg thanks to a problem with his left hamstring.

However, he lost strike towards the end and, after Chris Jordan repeated his knack of bowling excellent yorkers at the death, Ben Stokes was able to defend 15 off the final over.

In the end, England were good for their win. Eoin Morgan had the right men in the right places, they took pressure catches and, overall, they kept their cool. That, along with big players putting in big performances, is exactly what T20 cricket is about.

In the case of Buttler, England have never had a player so destructive or capable of batting like he does.

The Lancashire wicketkeeper, who made 66 not out from 37 balls, has a whole range of shots that, when you first see them, appear so risky.

However, Buttler has an amazing eye and he practises hard. He has established a technique that works for him, including flat-batted drives through the off side and flicks over his shoulder. He is a formidable opponent.

Alongside him is Stokes, who made a serious contribution to such a big, important match.

He hit the only ball he faced for six, ran out Lahiru Thirimanne with his first touch in the field, took a steepling catch to remove Chamara Kapugedera, then ensured Sri Lanka did not get the runs they needed off the final over.

Earlier in the tournament, Joe Root hit that magnificent 44-ball 83 to lead the chase of 230 against South Africa when defeat would have almost certainly sent England out. On Saturday, he took a brilliant catch in the 19th over.

These are key players who relish the biggest challenges and stand up when the going gets really tough.

Now, England head to a semi-final, almost certainly against New Zealand on Wednesday, with the advantage of having played twice on this Delhi ground.

While the Kiwis, unbeaten in topping Group 2, have been relying on their spinners on slow pitches, England have been playing a different, more pace-influenced game.

Even with that advantage, England will be the least fancied of the semi-finalists, regardless of who makes it through out of India and Australia on Sunday.

But, as we have been saying all along in this tournament, no team has ever gone through an entire World T20 unbeaten and the eventual winners will be the side that peaks at the right time.

The last four teams have only two games between them and the trophy. The semis and final will be incredibly difficult to predict because Twenty20 is hard to consistently play well - there's always a different area of your game coming under attack.

England should at least be confident of giving a good account of themselves. They are happier chasing, but they have won two games batting first.

If everything clicks, and they still have not played a match in this tournament where all departments have - against Sri Lanka the spinners went for a combined 63 runs in four overs - then they have a real chance.

When it comes to the pressure moments in a Twenty20, all you can do is stay calm and try to remain in control, even if you are under the cosh.

That is what England did against Sri Lanka and, if they can do it in two more matches, they have a chance of repeating the success of 2010.