Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ICC-CWC2011. Semi Finals.1. Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

Sri Lanka 220 for five beat New Zealand 217 all out by five wickets. The victory seemingly comfortable and easy, was in reality filled with tension, and had to be achieved with caution more than flamboyance

New Zealand batting first, were given a steady start. Guptil 39 of 65, B McCullum 13 of 21, Jesse Ryder 19 of 34 & Ross Taylor 36 of 55, batted sedately to bring up a team score of 161 for 4 in the 40th over. A over par score of 25o, was expected, from the team known for its never say die spirits. However Malinga 3 for 55, Murali 2 for 48 and Mendis 3 for 35 bowling excellent mid overs supported by Dilshan and Herath with a wicket each, bowled New Zealand out for 217 within the 49th over. Styris 57 of 77 and Williamson 22 of 16 were the other contributors.

Taranga made a quickfire 30 of 31 balls, before Ryder took an acrobatic catch at gully of Southee's bowling. Dilshan and Sangakara, added 120 for the second wicket in 25 overs, and the stands already started the celebrations. Dilshan fell courtesy Ryder and Southee combination for a sedate 73 of 93.

New Zealand now pounced on the small opening and Jayawardane followed Dilshan, LBW Vettori in the next over for just one at a team score of 161 for 3. Three overs and eight runs thereafter, New Zeland had Sangakara caught by Styris of McKay for 54. LPC Silva was all at sea during his stay for 13 runs of 27 deliveries, when Southee castled him.

With the team total at 185 for 5 in the 43rd over, winning score of 218, looked a long way off, with the New Zealand tail up. Angelo Mathews, batting with a runner came to the fore at this stage with a brave 14 of 18 balls with a four and a six. Samaraweera, kept his end up and the pair raised the winning score in the 48th over. Southee 3 for 57, Vettori 1 for 36 and McKay one for 37 were among the wickets. At the end of the day, New Zealand were short of 15/20 runs, which they could have perhaps achieved.

New Zealand, lost the semis, but won every one's heart. Sri Lanka now awaits the winner of India and Pakistan, for the finals at Wankhede Mumbai. New Zealand showed the chinks in the Sri Lankan armour. It is for the opponents to pick on these, during the finals.

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