Kiwis Trip at the final Hurdle

18 Jun 2009 by Jack in ICC Men's T20 World Cup

sanath-jayasuriyaA clinical performance from Sri Lanka ensured that they beat New Zealand by 48 runs in a decisive Super 8 game of the Men’s T20 World Cup. The Sri Lankan lions stormed into the semifinals of the competition with a thumping win over the Kiwis. This victory sets up an interesting semi final line up, where Sri Lanka takes on the West Indies, for a place in the summit clash of the competition. With both the teams displaying good form, it remains to be seen as to who has the last say in this match.

Winning the toss, the Sri Lankan captain did not have any hesitation to bat first. However, things started to look a bit shaky when they lost Sanath Jayasuriya in the very first over. The Kiwi pacers then got the better of Chamara Silva to put Sri Lanka in a precarious position. The whole innings was resurrected by the experienced Sangakara who scored 35 runs and Dilshan who scored 48 before Vettori picked both of them. By then, the Sri Lankans were on track towards registering a challenging total for the Kiwis. The other notable contribution came from Jayawardane who took the Kiwi bowlers to the cleaners as Sri Lanka posted a score of 158 runs. The best bowler for New Zealand was Daniel Vettori, picking up two important wickets when Sri Lanka was looking to run away with the match.

Chasing a target of 159 in a do or die encounter, the Kiwis got of to a brilliant start as Aaron Redmond hit Jayasuriya for three fours and a six in the second over of the New Zealand innings. It was looking as if the Kiwis would end up having the last laugh for the day. However, the departure of Brendon McCullum and Redmond in quick succession halted the Kiwi run chase. Martin Guptill carried on with the fight and gave some hopes of victory to the Kiwi bench, before the trickery of Mendis caught the Kiwi batsman off guard.

The departure of Taylor in the ninth over of the Kiwi innings led to a mini collapse orchestrated by Mendis, as Sri Lanka took charge of the match. The Sri Lankan bowlers then ensured that there would be no let up, as Kiwi wickets fell in regular intervals. The Kiwi tail did not have the sufficient skills to wag this time round and the Lankan lions got a thumping victory in the match. With this result, the other team in the group and last years loosing finalist Pakistan, heaved a sigh of relief as they qualified for the Semi Finals as group runners up. They will take on the South African’s in an interesting Semi Final battle.

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