Sri Lanka sail past New Zealand into the semis
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Scorecard:New Zealand v Sri Lanka
Player:TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara, DPMD Jayawardene, BAW Mendis, MJ Guptill
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 16th June 2009


Sri Lankan won a do-or-die contest against New Zealand and qualified for the semi-final. New Zealand challenged the target of 159 briefly but Ajantha Mendis turned the game Sri Lanka's way, dismissing Ross Taylor and Scott Styris within the space of four balls.


Earlier, substantial contributions from opener Tillekeratne Dilshan and the ever-dependable middle order duo of Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to a challenging total in their knockout game at Trent Bridge.


Daniel Vettori opened the bowling with off-spinner Nathan McCullum and the ploy worked immediately for Sanath Jayasuriya top edged an attempted sweep to short fine-leg. Chamara Silva, who was promoted to No. 3, was caught at mid-on off Kyle Mills and the Sri Lankan innings was sinking. Sangakkara joined forces with Dilshan and added 62 runs for the third wicket thus getting some momentum into their innings.


After the ten over mark Vettori claimed Dilshan's scalp but the momentum was not lost. The next man in, Jayawardene, continued with his good form as he scored off all the possible opportunity. Sangakkara fell when he tried to up the ante but then the Sri Lankan team did not panic as they had Jayawardene in the middle.


Towards the end of the Lankan innings the Kiwi bowlers managed to keep it tight and Sri Lanka ended with 158/5 in their 20 overs.


When New Zealand started their innings, Sangakkara experimented by giving the second over to Jayasuriya, who was taken to the cleaners by Aaron Redmond as 20 runs came in that over. In the next over Isuru Udana showcased his variations as he kept Brendon McCullum guessing with his slower balls. McCullum got one away to the fence but the next ball he skied to Jehan Mubarak at covers.


Redmond was the next man to go as he misread a slow full toss from Lasith Malinga and duly hit it to Silva at mid-wicket. Martin Guptill meanwhile ticked along well as he kept the asking run rate within the reach.


Disaster struck for New Zealand in the ninth over as they lost two important wickets, those of Taylor and Styris to the guile of Mendis.


Jacob Oram could not get the momentum going in his innings and was soon put out of his misery when he failed to read a slower one from Udana and found his stumps clattered all over the place. Guptill, realising that he was going to be left with the tail-enders tried to launch Jayasuriya in to the stands but found Angelo Mathews at deep backward square-leg and with it the hopes of a New Zealand win went up in smoke.


Sri Lanka finally won the game by 48 runs and entered the semi-final stage. The result ensured Sri Lanka finished first in Group F, winning all three matches in the Super Eight, which means they will play their semi-final at the Oval while New Zealand bow out of the tournament having beaten only Ireland in the second round.


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