Cricket World Cup 2011

Sri Lanka demolish England

2011-03-26 18:19
Upul Tharanga (File)

Colombo - Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga hit brilliant hundreds to guide Sri Lanka to an emphatic 10-wicket win over England which eased them into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

The 1996 champions restricted England to 229/6 before romping home on the back of a fiery unfinished opening stand of 231 in a one-sided finish, much to the delight of a packed 35 000 crowd at R. Premadasa stadium.

Dilshan finished with a 115-ball 108 not out, spiced with 10 boundaries and two sixes, while Tharanga notched an unbeaten 102 off 122 deliveries, studded with 12 fours and one hit over the ropes, as Sri Lanka won with 10.3 overs to spare.

Sri Lanka will now play the first of two semi-finals here on March 29 against New Zealand who knocked out South Africa in Dhaka on Friday.

Arch-rivals Pakistan and India meet in the second semi-final in Mohali a day later.

Tharanga hit Graeme Swann for a six as early as the fourth over and when skipper Andrew Strauss brought in another off-spinner James Tredwell, it was Dilshan hit him over the fence.

Dilshan was the first to reach his hundred, his 10th in one-day cricket and second in this tournament, cutting Swann to the cover boundary for his ninth boundary.

Tharanga completed his 11th century, and also his second in this World Cup, with the winning boundary off Chris Tremlett.

The pair also scored 282 for the first wicket against Zimbabwe in the group stages at Pallekele.

It will be Sri Lanka's third successive World Cup semi-final, having finished runners-up to Australia in the last edition held in the Caribbean four years ago.

England's innings was built around a patient yet under-achieving innings of 86 from Jonathan Trott who added 91 for the fourth wicket with Eoin Morgan (50) after Strauss won the toss and batted on a slow, flat pitch.

But when the Trott-Morgan partnership was broken in the 43rd over, Trott failed to lift the innings in the final overs as England managed just 23 in the batting power-play.

Trott fell in the 49th over, caught off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who finished with 2-54. Trott hit only two boundaries off the 115 balls he faced as Sri Lanka's bowlers kept a tight line and length in the final 10 overs.

Trott added 64 for the third wicket with Ravi Bopara (31) after England lost Strauss (five) and make-shift opener Ian Bell (25) by the ninth over.

Morgan, dropped at 16 off Ajantha Mendis, got two more lives when Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath dropped him in the space of three balls in one Muralitharan over.

The 24-year-old left-hander fell soon after completing his half-century when he miscued a drive off Lasith Malinga and was caught in the covers by Mathews.

Morgan hit four boundaries during his 55-ball knock.


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