Friday, June 12, 2009

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 19 runs in Super 8 Match

Sri Lanka relied on a clinical bowling display to script a comfortable 19-run victory over Pakistan in their first Super Eight match of the Twenty20 World Cup.

Sri Lankan bowlers performed exceptional well to defend the total of 150 against Pakistan and in the end hand over Sri Lanka an easy win by 19 runs in their first Super Eights game.

At one stage Pakistan looks like achieving the target with ease when Younish Khan (50 runs of 37 balls) and Mis-bah-ul-Haq (21 runs of 28 balls) put on 66 runs for the fourth wicket in just 60 deliveries. But M.Muralitharan turn the game in Sri Lanka favour with two wickets of Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq in two consecutive balls in the 16th over of Pakistan innings.

Earlier Sri Lanka after put into bat first got off to flyer with Dilshan (46 runs of 39 balls) and S.Jayasurya (26 runs of 24 balls). Both batsmen put on 81 runs for the first wicket in just 54 balls. However Pakistan bounce right back into the game with the help of their spinners Afridi, Ajmal and Shoiab Mallik.

After putting up a competitive 150 for seven largely bult around Tilakaratne Dilshan's 46, the islanders stopped Pakistan at 131 for nine to garner full points from the encounter at the historic Lord's.

Except for a 66-run run pertnership for the fourth wicket between captain captain Younis Khan, who top-scored with a 37-ball 50, and his deputy Misbah-ul Haq, Pakistan were never really in the run chase of 151.

They had a fumbling start with their opener Salman Butt out in the third ball and were in back foot losing two wickets in the sixth over before Younis and Misbah revived the innings.

But, once Younis was out in the 17th over wickets fell in a heap at the death and the last edition's runners-up side only tried to narrow down the margin of defeat.

For Sri Lanka, fast bowler Lasith Malinga was the wrecker in chief with a fine spell of 3 for 17 from his four overs.

Muttiah Muralitharan returned with 2/28 from his four overs while Angelo Mathew and Nuwan Kulasekara took a wicket apiece.

Earlier, electing to bat, Sri Lanka opening pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan took the opposition bowlers to the cleaners by sharing an 81-run stand from nine overs before slow bowlers Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal brought Pakistan back into the match.

Sri Lanka were threatening to post a huge total by scoring 86 for one at the half-way mark and 120 for four at the end of the 15th over largely due to the contributions of Jayasuriya (26 off 24 balls) and top scorer Dilshan (46 off 39 balls).

But once Afridi and Ajmal started bowling in tandem, Sri Lanka found it difficult to find the runs and with the pressure building on they lost wickets in a heap in the death overs.

In fact, Sri Lanka could add just 30 runs from the last five overs while losing four wickets in the process.

For Pakistan, Afridi, Ajmal and Umar Gul took two wickets apiece conceding 23, 26 and 34 runs respectively.

Jayasuriya and Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a flying start and to make matters worse for Pakistan, Sohail Tanvir was wayward in his opening spell of two overs, which ended up with 20 balls being bowled instead of 12.

The duo had a sort of competition to outscore each other before Jayasuriya was out to Afridi in the last ball of the ninth over holing out to Younis Khan after making a 24-ball 26 which included two fours and a six.

Dilshan, who outscored his senior opening partner, was clean bowled by Afridi while trying for a cut shot two balls before the half-way mark and with it Pakistan recovered some lost ground.

The two twin blows brought down the Sri Lankan run rate and built pressure on Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene before the experienced duo separated in the 14th over.

Sangakkara (15) perished as he stepped out of the crease for a big hit off Ajmal only to miss the line and Kamran Akmal doing an easy stumping job, leaving Sri Lanka at 110 for three.

Sri Lanka could not just get going in the late overs as they fell in a heap. Chamara Silva (8) was foxed by an Umar Gul slow ball as he walked down the track only to get the edge for Akmal to finish the job in the 17th over.

Next over, Jayawardene (19) perished while trying for an inside-out shot holing out to Afridi at extra cover. Jehan Mubarak (5) was run out while Nuwan Kulasekara (2) was LBW to Gul, both in the last over.

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