football on twitter
Please wait while we load football on twitter...
England captain Stuart Broad saluted matchwinner Luke Wright after his brilliant 99 not out set the platform for a superb win over Afghanistan.
The defending champions piled up 196 for five at the World Twenty20 and then bowled Afghanistan out for 80 in Colombo.
Broad said: "We batted with maturity on a wicket we expected to play a little better for the batsmen actually.
"Luke Wright's innings was outstanding and the way the guys struck the ball towards the end was very powerful and exciting to see."
A late flurry from Gulbodin Naib, who scored a rapid unbeaten 44, ensured Afghanistan avoided total humiliation, having at one stage been 26 for eight.
"They got a couple of runs towards the end, that's to be expected in Twenty20 cricket," Broad said on Sky Sports 1.
"But we're delighted with that performance. It's a great way to start the tournament. Hopefully we can kick on as well."
Wright has been the beneficiary of Ravi Bopara's poor run of form and today's innings should cement his place in the England side.
Broad said: "It'll do his confidence the world of good.
"He showed a huge amount of maturity. I think he's developed as a cricketer over the last couple of years.
"He's played all around the world and that experience showed today.
"It was a matchwinning knock and hugely exciting for the crowd to watch as well."
England are now assured of a place in the Super Eight stages, irrespective of how they fare on Sunday against India - who have also qualified after their own opening Group A victory over Afghanistan.
Broad stressed there would be no letting up from England though, with the captain keen to build momentum.
He said: "I think it's hard to call any international game a dead game.
"We'll all be fired up and wanting a win.
"That's the only attitude we'll take when we cross that line."
Wright savoured his innings, even if he was just short of becoming the first England player to score a century in Twenty20 internationals.
"It was a bit of a special evening. It's something that I've wanted to do," he said.
"I was desperate to get back in and try to win games for England."
He believes he has ironed out some creases in his game, and is no longer looking to hit the ball so hard, so often.
Wright added: "It's now about proving I'm a better player and fingers crossed I can do that in the rest of the tournament."