Cricket / Twenty20 / Skipper, spinners power Sri Lanka to final
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to its second World Twenty20 final following the hosts' 16-run victory over Pakistan in the first semifinal at the Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
COLOMBO - Skipper Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to its second World Twenty20 final following the hosts' 16-run victory over Pakistan in the first semifinal at the Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
Opting to bat first, Jayawardene (42 ) added 63 runs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (35 ) but Sri Lanka could not capitalize on the strong start on a sluggish track and posted 139 for four wickets against the 2009 champions. Jayawardene then returned to marshal his bowlers, who restricted Pakistan to 123 for seven to earn a place in Sunday's final against either Australia or West Indies.
Rangana Herath justified his return to the side, claiming three for 25, including two off successive deliveries, while Ajantha Mendis (2-27 ) and Angelo Mathews (2-27 ) shared four wickets between them.
Captain Mohammad Hafeez (42 ) top-scored for his team after being dropped twice, while Umar Akmal remained not out on 29 in a rematch of the 2009 final.
Pakistan responded well with Hafeez and Imran Nazir (20 ) adding 31 off the first six overs, but once Mendis separated them by removing Nazir, their chase never got the momentum again. Angelo Mathews reduced Pakistan to 57 for three by removing Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal in the same over before left-arm spinner Herath wrecked them.
Mendis further tightened the screw by removing Sohail Tanvir, and Pakistan could score six of the 23 runs they required in the tidy last over sent down by Nuwan Kulasekara.