Eng beat SL, make it to World Twenty20 finals
Gros Islet (St.Lucia): England defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the semi-final of the World Twenty20 at the Beausejour Stadium here Thursday.
Set a target of 129, England made 132 for three in 16 overs after Kevin Pietersen scored an unbeaten 42.
Angelo Mathews (58) stood among ruins with a fighting half century as Sri Lanka scored a modest 128 for six in their Twenty 20 World Cup semifinal match against England here today.
Mathews, who hit three fours and a six in his 45-ball innings, got little support from his batting colleagues as the next highest contributors were captain Kumar Saangakkara (16) and Chamara Kapugedera (16) after Sri Lanka elected to bat at a slow Beausejour Stadium pitch.
Mathews was involved in two partnerships -- 46 off 45 balls with Kapugedera for the fifth wicket and 33 off 20 balls with Thissara Perera for the sixth -- which took Sri Lanka at least something to defend.
England produced a clinical performance. Pacers Ryan Sidebottom, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad barely gave any width, consistently keeping the ball in and around off stump.
Broad was the most successful England bowler with two wickets for 21 while Bresman, Sidebottom and Swann chipped in with a wicket each.
Except for calling the coin correctly, nothing worked for Sri Lanka as they lost their three key batsmen by the fifth over for just 26 runs.
Opener Sanath Jayasuriya was the first to go in second over with the scoreboard reading just seven. The veteran batsman, who had a forgettable tournament, edged a Sidebottom delivery for England captain Paul Collingwood to take a regulation catch at second slip for just one.
One-down Tillakaratne Dilshan (9) was aggressive from the very start, clobbering Sidebottom for a boundary from the first ball he faced. He hit another four off Bresnan but the pacer had the last laugh as Dilshan top-edged him while playing a hook shot for Luke Wright to take a superb catch at the deep to reduce Sri Lanka to 20 for two.
Sri Lanka`s woes deepened with their best batsman in the tournament Mahela Jayawardene departing in the first ball of the fifth over off a beauty from Stuart Broad with the ball lifting and moving a shade away from the bat for wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter to do the rest.
Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews tried to repair the innings before the former was out in the ninth over for a 19-ball 16 to leave his side in deep trouble at 47 for four. It was left to Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera to steady the sinking Sri Lankan ship and the duo batted sensibly waiting for loose balls though they did not come aplenty with the England bowlers maintaining a tight line and length.
Just when Mathews and Kapugedera looked set for a final flourish, the latter fell in 17th over, holing out to Bresnan of the bowling of Broad. Sri Lanka were 93 for five then.
Mathews and Thissara Perera then shared 33 runs from 20 balls to take Sri Lankan score past 120.