October 5, 2012
Sri Lanka is the first team to make it through to the World T20 final after defeating Pakistan in Colombo on Thursday. They were able to bring home the bacon in front of a rapturous crowd and now become the first host country to play in a World T20 final. Awaiting them on Sunday will be the winner of Friday’s second semi-final, which pits a potentially explosive West Indies against in-form Australia. Shane Watson may be on fire with bat and ball, but watch out Aussies, Chris Gayle and friends will be eagerly anticipating one more Sri Lankan party.
The Sri Lankans put paid to Pakistan’s hopes, winning a tense encounter by 16 runs. Sri Lanka won the toss, with Mahela Jayawardene on show this time, and notched up a competitive 139 – 4 off 20 overs on a slow and turning pitch. Significant contributions came from Jayawardene (42 off 36 balls) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (35 off 43).
Pakistan started their reply brightly with skipper Mohammed Hafeez (42 off 40 balls) to the fore but regular loss of wickets thereafter meant that they could only muster 123 – 7 off their 20 overs. Sri Lanka were indebted to spinners Rangana Herath (3 wickets for 25 in 4 overs) and Ajantha Mendis (2 – 27).
Earlier in the day, in the women’s competition, England defeated New Zealand and are coincidently set to face either West Indies or Australia in their final which precedes the men’s climax on Sunday. England, led by Charlotte Edwards and previous winners in 2009, are hoping the erase the disappointment of their 2010 semi-final defeat to Australia.
The Scoop 05/10/12