Pakistan vs Sri Lanka ICC World Cup T20

 

Mahela Jaywardena rose to the occasion in the semi finals of the World Cup T20 to carve out a talismanic 42 off 36 balls on a pitch that was turning square to script a 16 run victory over Pakistan. His counterpart Hafeez overcame another horrendously slow start to compile a well made 42 but could not prevent Sri Lanka from running away with the honors.
 
Mahela Jaywardena and Dilshan setup the Sri Lankan innings nicely with a slow but steady opening stand of 61 at almost run a ball. Jaywardena’s composure, against a potent Pakistan spin attack, which only two days ago tormented the mighty Australians, was noteworthy. He even resorted to reverse sweeps and connected thrice to score 12 off that shot. Just when it seemed that Sri Lanka will run away with the match Afridi stuck to dismiss Jaywardena. Respite was far for the Pakistan bowling as Sangakkara began fluently with a four to midwicket. Hafeez came up with the answer to Sangakkara’s improvisation by first pulling out of a delivery seeing Sangakkara moving too much and then bowling it too wide for Sangakkara to manufacture anything meaningful. Sangakkara’s attempted shot only reached as far as Shoaib Malik who completed a regulation catch under pressure.
 
Dilshan who by now was looking to break free, fell prey to Umar Gul in the eighteenth over and Ajmal who had gone for twenty in his earlier two overs came back to bowl a spectacular nineteenth over. Gul missed out on the Yorker length narrowly in the last over but that was enough for Matthews and Perrera to take toll and Sri Lanka posted a competitive 139.
 
Pakistan was never in the game during the chase and lost wickets at regular intervals. Nazir was the first to go followed by Jamshed who was the victim of a horrendous leg before wicket decision from Rod Tucker. When Mohammed Hafeez was dismissed by Herath Pakistan still needed 49 off 35 balls to pull off a victory on a pitch which was assisting spinners. Umar Akmal tried to counter attack but ran out of partners and Pakistan could only reach 123.

Oct 5, 2012
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