Sri Lanka reach World T20 final
October 04, 2012 18:11:15 UK
Sri Lanka reached the final of the World Twenty20 with a 16-run victory over Pakistan, who could only make 123-7 in reply to the hosts' 139-4.
The hosts, who are now 1.72 to win the tournament, brought in left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya while Pakistan left out Abdul Razzaq in favour of left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir.
Mahela Jayawardene (42) led his side to the final.
Sri Lanka, in their first appearance at Colombo this tournament, won the toss and elected to bat first. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the first to lose his wicket in the 11th over for a battling 42 to Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara falling to Mohammad Hafeez in the 13th over having recorded 18 runs from 11 balls.
The hosts were building steadily but not spectacularly as Dilshan's innings came to an end in the 18th over after a scratchy 35. Ajantha Mendis was stumped by Kamran Akmal for 15 with the hosts at 118-4 with just two overs to go and the Sri Lankans were struggling, but managed to reach what proved to be a winning score of 139-4.
Pakistan got off to a solid start but when Mendis was brought on they started to wobble, Imran Nazir bowled for 20. In such a tight game the crowd were desperate to play their part for the home side, creating a terrific atmosphere.
Angelo Mathews made the breakthrough in the 10th over as Nasir Jamshed (4) was hit on the pad. The Pakistan batsmen weren't happy but with no right to appeal had to move on. However, Kamran Akmal was out for just one run moments later, caught by Jayawardene.
Tension was building and Pakistan were succumbing to the atmosphere. Shoaib Malik (9) was next to go to Herath and Hafeez was dropped by Malinga with Pakistan reeling.
Hafeez battled to 42 but was finally stumped by Sangakkar in the 15th over off the bowling of Herath, who struck again with his next ball to dismiss Shahid Afridi with Pakistan on 91-6. Tanvir fell in the 18th over and it was soon all over for Pakistan, leaving the home crowd ecstatic.
Sri Lanka will face either Australia or West Indies in the final. Australia are 1.66 to win their semi-final on Friday, with the Windies at 2.20.
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