The inevitable happened. Despite their supreme spunk, the swagger went out of Afghanistan on Friday night. Call it the tag of defending champions or that the pitch had just a little more bounce in it, but England were on the money.
They pressed home their advantage, so much so that it wouldn't be a wonder if some tears were shed in the Afghan dressing room over that 26 for eight performance.
Chetan Narula and John Pennington preview day five of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2012 which sees Australia take on the West Indies and South Africa meet Sri Lanka.
Both South Africa and Sri Lanka are already through to the Super Eights, but there is still plenty to play for.
England got their title defence off to the perfect start at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. They beat Afghanistan by a whopping 116 runs, never breaking sweat in the process.
Afghanistan won the toss and again elected to field first hoping to inflict some early damage and give the defending champions a little scare, but their ploy, which worked well two days ago against India, didn't really work out this time.
Brendon McCullum hit a new world record Twenty20 International score of 123 in 58 balls as New Zealand thrashed Bangladesh by 59 runs in the opening game in Group D of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Pallekele.
He also became the first player to score two centuries in the format, taking Bangladesh apart as New Zealand posted 191 for three and in reply Bangladesh could manage just 132 for eight, despite an impressive half-century from Nasir Hossain.
Zimbabwe were the first team to exit the ICC World T20 following another abject performance - this time at the hands of South Africa in Hambantota.
After being put into bat by South African captain AB de Villiers, they lost their three big guns - Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor - early and never really recovered, in spite of a determined 37 from Craig Ervine.
The first two matches of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 at Colombo went as per script, although that their stories could have been reversed.
Ireland were expected to challenge Australia, and not just because of the ICC rankings, but they came a cropper. Afghanistan were expected to roll over and die, instead they chose to pick up a sword and fight until the very end.
In the second match of the day at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, India managed to survive a mini-scare from Afghanistan.
The 2007 champions, who won comfortably when the two teams met in 2010, had to sweat this time to register a 23-run win.
Colombo got into the ICC World Twenty20 2012 groove with action in Group B. Ireland and Australia, neighbours on the ICC rankings, faced off at the R. Premadasa Stadium, the latter winning by seven wickets.
Irish captain William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat first. The idea was to get runs on the board and put some pressure on Australia, who had been quite vocal about the threat from their opponents. However it didn't really work out in that manner.
England won their final warm-up match ahead of their opening game in the tournament proper, which is on Friday against Afghanistan. They beat Pakistan by 15 runs in an exceedingly low-scoring match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.
The pitches in Sri Lanka continued their unpredictable trend, with this one offering both prodigious turn for the spinners and enough movement off the seam to keep the quicker bowlers interested.
Looking ahead to day two of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, which sees Australia play Ireland in Colombo and then India play Afghanistan, Chetan Narala speaks to John Pennington.
Can either Ireland or Afghanistan produce the first upset of the competition? Or will Australia and India lay down markers following Sri Lanka's impressive thrashing of Zimbabwe on opening night?
Tournament hosts Sri Lanka were barely troubled by a poor Zimbabwe side as they won the opening match of the ICC World T20 2012 by 82 runs in Hambantota. It was a tale of the two Mendises as Jeevan starred with the bat to haul Sri Lanka up to 182 for four and Ajantha with the ball to help rout the visitors for just 100.
South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel will undergo a late fitness test ahead of his team's opening ICC World Twenty20 match against Zimbabwe on Thursday.
He underwent a precautionary MRI scan after suffering back spasms during his side's warm-up win over New Zealand but the results proved inconclusive.
New Zealand are finalising their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 two men light after batsman Rob Nicol and Tim Southee were unable to travel to Kandy due to illness.
Both players reported feeling unwell - Southee before the warm-up match against South Africa and Nicol - after and will remain in Colombo.
John Pennington and Chetan Narula discuss the India-Pakistan warm-up game ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka.
Chetan was at the game at the R Premadesa Stadium and saw Pakistan overhaul a target of 186 with five balls to spare thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 92 by Kamran Akmal.
On the world stage, in sport, there is always that one team which is ahead of all others in the fray. The term coined for them is favourites, writes Chetan Narula in his preview of the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
Presently, in international football, Spain are that team, a glorious example. But imagine them entering a World Cup or Euro without that tag. Imagine them down at everybody's level or everybody else at their level. That would mean all are equals and no one in particular has any forward momentum to lift the trophy.
The final round of warm-ups ahead of the ICC World Twenty 2012 ended with wins for England, Ireland, India, South Africa and the West Indies.
Ireland produced an impressive comeback to beat Bangladesh by five runs, England came out on top of a similarly close game against Australia to win by nine runs, Pakistan confidently chased down a stiff target to overcome India by five wickets while South Africa proved too strong for New Zealand, as did the West Indies for Afghanistan.
John Pennington and Chetan Narula offer their analysis of the opennig round of warm-up games ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka.
Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 54 runs and Sri Lanka easily beat the West Indies by nine wickets.
Coming off the back of a successful tour of England, which saw them ranked at one time or another as number one in each of the three forms of the game, South Africa have to go into the World Twenty20 as one of the main contenders for the title.
Traditionally they are the nearly men of World Cups - as shown by their semi-final appearances in the 2007 and 2009 World Twenty20s - but with the likes of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan being talked about as the pre-tournament favourites, for once South Africa do not have the burdensome favourites tag hanging round their necks.