Lankans storm into semifinal
Yesterday the Lankans put up a clinical performance to successfully route Pakistan by 16 runs in the first semifinal, to enter yet another World Cup final. After posting a total of 139, built up on Mahela Jaywardene’s 38-ball 42 and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 43-ball 35, spinner Rangana Herath stole figures of 4-0-25-3, to pin down Pakistan to 123. This would have been heartbreak for Mohammed Hafeez and his men, who had barely qualified ahead of India by net run rate. On a pitch which would slow down, Mahela won the toss and elected to bat. Despite the fact that Dilshan was struggling against Sohail Tanvir, Jaywardene kept cool and played on. The duo put on 63 runs before Shahid Afridi took out Jaywardene. Still, Dilshan put on 21 runs with Kumar Sangakkara (18 of 10), and And another 33 with Jeevan Mendis (15 of 18) before he was trapped lbw by a superb yorker from Umar Gul. Still, some cameos from Angelo Matthews (10 of 6) and Thisara Perera (11 of 7) took Sri Lanka to 139. Saeed Ajmal had a bad day, yielding 1/33 in his 4. On the other hand, Sohail Tanvir (3-0-11-0) did well with the new ball. Pakistan were not very well paced with the bat, and Sri Lanka, spearheaded by their pacers Matthews, (who took out Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal), Kulasekara and Malinga, the spinners went for the kill. Ajantha Mendis removed Imran Nazir, and Rangana Herath removed a well-set Hafeez (45 of 40), who had been keeping Pakistan in the game. And then Herath knocked over Shahid Afridi (0 of 1) and Shoaib Malik (6 of 7). Then Mendis took out Sohail Tanvir (8 of 13). Despite Umar Akmal’s u 22-ball 29*, Pakistan still; landed 16 runs short. So a sad farewell to a great side, who had been so positive and brilliant throughout the tournament. Mahela Jaywardene was named Man Of The Match. So see you for the second semifinal, Australia vs West Indies. Good night!