Sri Lanka book final spot

2012-10-04 19:01

Colombo - Hosts Sri Lanka reached the final of the ICC World Twenty20 after they defeated Pakistan in their semi-final clash here on Thursday.

Full scorecard

Veteran spinner Rangana Herath grabbed 3-25 to lift hosts to a 16-run victory over their rivals.

Sri Lanka, restricted to 139-4 after electing to bat, hit back to keep Pakistan down to 123-7 in a thrilling semi-final before 35 000 screaming fans at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Herath, the 34-year-old left-arm spinner playing only his sixth T20 international, was supported by two wickets each from seamer Angelo Mathews and unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis.

It was Sri Lanka's second appearance in the World Twenty20 final, having lost to Pakistan in the 2009 title clash at Lord's.

It was also the first time in four editions of the tournament that began in 2007 that a host country had made it past the semi-final round.

Rival captains Mahela Jayawardene and Mohammad Hafeez top-scored for their teams with 42 each, but the other batsmen struggled to force the pace on a sluggish pitch that hampered stroke-making.

Sri Lanka wasted a sound start to plod to 123-4 in 19 overs, before Thisara Perera smashed three boundaries in the final over of seamer Umar Gul, which realised 16 runs.

Pakistan's openers Hafeez and Imran Nazir began the reply on a confident note, putting on 31 for the first wicket in six overs.

Mendis, brought on to send down the sixth over, broke the stand with the last delivery by bowling Nazir for 20.

Pakistan moved to 55-1 in the ninth over when Mathews grabbed two wickets in four balls to swing the match Sri Lanka's way.

Mathews first had Nasir Jamshed leg-before -- an unfortunate dismissal for the batsman since replays showed the ball pitch outside the leg-stump -- before getting Kamran Akmal caught at mid-wicket.

In the next over, Herath bowled new batsman Shoaib Malik for six to leave Pakistan tottering at 64-4 in 11 overs.

Hafeez, dropped by Lasith Malinga on 24, added 18 more runs when he was stumped off Herath, who then bowled Shahid Afridi first ball.

Earlier, Sri Lankan openers Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 63 in 10 overs, a slow start by Twenty20 standards but crucial nevertheless with their team having all their wickets in hand.

Jayawardene liberally employed the reverse sweep during his knock of 42 off 36 balls, but was caught at fine-leg while attempting the same shot off Afridi.

Kumar Sangakkara made a promising 18 from 11 balls when he was snapped up on the long-on fence as he tried to hit Hafeez out of the ground.

Gul was unlucky to see the TV umpire declare a no-ball after he had Jeevan Mendis given out leg-before in the 18th over.

But Gul removed Dilshan two balls later with another leg-before decision that made Sri Lanka 117-3.

Dilshan was unusually subdued during his innings, taking 43 balls to score 35 with the help of three boundaries.

Australia and the West Indies will clash in the second semi-final on Friday. The final is scheduled for Sunday.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 139-4 in 20 overs; Pakistan 123-7 in 20 overs



Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Sohail Tanveer.

Sri Lanka:

Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.

Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Rod Tucker (AUS)

TV umpire: Ian Gould (ENG)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)


  • boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:05

    well this sucks!! lol we had this in the bag!! and screwed over in the semis yet again!! malinga needs to be reported to the icc for suspect over excessive slingy action. lol i have no teams left now lol who even cares about this 20/20 cricket anyways haha congrats to sri lanka.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:08

      i blame the umpire for giving us a bad lbw decision that triggered a series of events leading us to implode. lol his name is rod tucker from australia.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:14

      sa and pak are the two best teams here. this is bs. lol these semis should be played in best of 3 format.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:16

      switching my greens for maroon. there's a gayle force coming!! :D haha

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-04 19:32

      I feel sorry for your guys boom but I think the better team won on the day. SL have really impressed me with their balanced attack. Jeevan is probably a better spinner than Robin or Johan and Mahela doesn't even have to use him. I mean, wtf? Usually when one of the top spinners in history retires, he leaves a hole. SL can replace him with Ajantha, Herath, Anandjaya, Jeevan and then have Dilshan as a part-timer too. If SL's attack was like Pak's - one quick and about 46 spinners, then you could understand it. But even if you can navigate your way through the spin, you have Mathews who is very handy. And then probably the best death bowlers in the business in Slinga and Kulasekara. It's ridiculous how many options Mahela has. Then their batting has a great balance of strokeplayers and sloggers. No matter who you get out, the next guy in can clear the fence with his first hit. I don't think their players are necessarily more gifted than others. It's just that their execution is so great. They all obviously have spent a LOT of time working on their T20 variations and they can pull them out of the hat at will. Their bowlers hit their straps straight away and they just never let batsmen settle. Every ball is different. Of course, they too will have their slumps. But, on current form, gotta admire them for their skills, balance and depth. Mahela has an exceptional squad there.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:36

      yes barnsey, another one bites the dust. sri lanka probably deserve to win. we lost it in the middle order and by sending out gul too late. anyways, i think a sri lanka vs west indies final would be perfect.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-04 19:43

      I want to see SL-Aus. Not that I prefer Aus but we've already seen SL-WI in this tournament. I'd like to see how SL bowl to Warner/Watson/Hussey. And also how their batsmen cope with the genuine pace of Starc and Cummins.

      lara.vanrooyen.1 - 2012-10-04 19:46

      My heart says SL, but my mind says Australia.

      priyal.pillay - 2012-10-04 21:46

      ha...cheers boom. told ya...boom boom, rubbish as usual

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 22:31

      yes priyal.. disappointing lol but that's how it goes. only a gayle force can stop sri lanka

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-05 07:09

      Sorry Boom, Go Windies now!!!!!

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-05 10:02

      @jaco. yes jaco. aus and sri lanka have lifted too many trophies. and for some reason, i would feel better about my looser teams if windies win this :P

  • gerrit.vanbreda1 - 2012-10-04 19:11

    Hahahaha!!!! Boom Boom in sy moer!!!!

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-04 19:12

      0. again. this was supposed to be his night!! lol

  • jim.biggy.1 - 2012-10-04 20:06

    Pakistan did not choke guys, no way lol! Ah well, knew Pakis would lose after a few players were paid some $ :)

  • UNITY - 2012-10-04 20:29

    Pakistan and Sri Lanka were excellent oponents of spin..and pace as an option at containing the batsmen. They have both played the game well, and I wish SA would pick up a thing a two from the guts and determination these teams displayed today. What is it going to take for us to get there? Sri Lanka has a game plan and they obviously been executing it very well. Herath came in today, and for me was the man that turned the match around. He definitely took the boom out of Pakistan.

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