Tuesday, March 29, 2011

World Cup 2011 .... Sri Lanka vs New Zealand....semifinals !!!

So Sri Lanka has made it to the finals of the ICC World Cup 2011 & they will now await the winners of the 2nd semifinals clash between India & Pakistan.

The match at Premadasa Stadium started with New Zealand winning the toss & electing to bat. However, with big hitting McCullum gone in the 8th over, The Kiwis would always find it difficult to get a big score. Though Taylor, Guptill, Styris & Williamson got starts, they could not convert into a big score. While they were well placed at 161 for 3 in 39 overs, a perfect launch pad for the death overs, the batsmen lost control & wickets kept tumbling regularly, as New Zealand stuttered to a total of 217 all out in 49 overs. The last five wickets went for just 13 runs, as Mendis & Malinga ran amok amongst the batsmen. Mutiah Muralitharan claimed the dangerous Scott Styris LBW, with his final delivery on home soil....marking an emotional end to his legendary career !!! The crowd was euphoric as were his team mates. The Kiwis had looked good to cross the 250 mark, but fell way short at 217......certainly 30-40 runs less to put the Sri Lankan batting under any pressure.
Sri Lankan reply was emphatic to start with Tharanga & Dilshan continuing from where they left in the last match. Tharanga lost his wicket to a brilliant catch by Jesse Ryder at point, but Sangakkara & Dilshan looked like cruising to victory, with score at 160 for 1 in the 33rd over. But there was drama at the centre as Dilshan threw away his wicket to another stunning catch by Ryder at point, for a well made 73. Three balls later Mahela was trapped LBW by Vettori, & then Sanga lost his cool to hole out to Styris at third man, as Lanka had lost three crucial wickets for 8 runs in 22 deliveries. Chamara Silva & Samaraweera got into a shell, & suddenly the Kiwis looked lively & spritely on the ground, as the Lankans got themselves into a spot of bother. Chamara Silva played on to Southee, & nerves started to jangle as Angelo Mathews walked in. The Lankan dressing room looked tensed & worried, but Samaraweera along with Mathews managed to romp home, with 13 balls to spare. The Kiwis had managed to come back into the game, & would certainly rue at not having pit up another 20-30 runs, which could have got them closer to victory. It was once more an exit in the semis for them, as Sri Lanka marched into the finals for the 2nd time in succession.
They look a good unit in all departments of the game, with Dilshan, Sanga & Tharanga manning the batting at the top; Murali & Malinga along with Mendis & Mathews bowling well & as a team fielding with alacrity.

Man of the Match : Kumara Sangakkara for his brilliant 54 with the bat, & 3 catches while on the field. He also led his team well through the match, though he was lucky to win, especially after losing his wicket at a very crucial stage.

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