Pakistan suffer 16-run defeat:
Magnificent bowling by Anjelo Mathews 2 for 27, Ajantha Mendis 2 for 27 and Rangana Herath 3 for 25 helped Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 16 runs and enter the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup final at the R.Premadasa Stadium,under lights, yesterday.
Once again it was the cool and calculated captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene that brought about a memorable victory for Sri Lanka. He handled his bowlers cleverly and placed fields that the Pakistani batsmen could not penetrate. He was rightly adjudged the man of the match. In reply to Sri Lanka’s 139 for 4 in 20 overs, Pakistan could manage only 123 for 7 in 20 overs.
In their quest of 140 for victory openers Mohammed Hafeez and Imran Nazir put on 31 before Nazir was beaten and bowled by a beauty from Ajantha Mendis for 20 in 21 balls with 3 fours.
Vice Captain Anjelo Mathews coming on to bowl his second over rocked the Pakistanis when he had the wickets of Nasir Jamshed for 4 and Kamran Akmal for 1 to leave them at 57 for 3.
Then Rangana Herath bowled Shoaib Malik for 6 and Pakistan was struggling on 64 for 4. Umar Akmal the most dangerous batsman in the Pakistani side was dropped a sitter by Lasith Malinga at deep mid on and that was the drop that nearly let the Pakistanis off the hook.
Herath had two more wickets that of Mohammed Hafeez for 42 and next ball bowled Sahid Afridi for no score to leave Pakistan tottering at 91 for 6.
Tillekeratne Dilshan who usually plays the role of hero, this time round was guilty of playing the role of villain, crawling to 35 runs in 43 balls which put the advantage of winning the toss to no avail and made the Sri Lankan batting pedestrian.
From evening the cricket crazy spectators were streaming in and when the first ball was bowled the stands were bursting at the seams. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene ended his streak of losing tosses by winning this all important toss and was all smiles as he said ‘we’ll bat’. The wicket was the same on which the women’s semi-final was played, but it got a rolling over before the men’s semi began.
The wicket looked good for batting, with the ball coming nicely on to the bat and a score of anything over 150 or 160 could be a winning one.
Sri Lanka made one change from the team that played the winning one against England at Pallekele bringing in left arm spinner Rangana Herath and benching Akila Perera.
Pakistan left out all rounder Abdul Razzaq and gave left arm medium pace bowler the left armer Sohail Tanvir a bowl. Razzaq’s dropping was inexplicable. The Sri Lanka openers could not get going and give their side the belligerent start that is so vey essential in this style of game, with the first six overs only producing 34 runs.
With Tillekeratne Dilshan in shackles – scoring only 19 in 30 balls at one stage, it was left to Jayawardene to push the runs. He played his usual signature cover shots and the reverse sweep intelligently, but playing it too often skied a catch to Hasan at short fine leg. He made 42 in 36 balls with 7 fours and was out at 63.
Sri Lanka then lost Kumar Sangakkara for 18 in 11 balls with 3 fours, Tillekeratne Dilshan for 35 in 43 balls with 3 fours, Jeevan Mendis for 15 in 18 with one four. It was left to Thisara Perera to come in and bludgeon two fours off an Umar Gul over to finally take Sri Lanka to 139 for 4, which was not formidable a score. Perera had 11 in 7 balls with 2 fours and Anjelo Mathews 10 in 6 with one four. They put on 21 in 12 balls which was the only bright spot in the Lankan batting.
Sri Lanka M. Jayawardene c Hasan b Afridi 42 T. Dilshan lbw b Gul 35 K. Sangakkara c Malik b Hafeez 18 J. Mendis st Kamran b Ajmal 15 T. Perera not out 11 A. Mathews not out 10 Extras: (b3, nb1, w4) 8 Total: (for four wickets, 20 overs) 139 Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-84 , 3-117, 4-118. Bowling: Tanveer 3-0-11-0 (w1), Hasan 4-0-26-0, Ajmal 4-0-33-1 (w1), Afridi 4-0-28-1, Hafeez 2-0-12-1 (w1), Gul 3-0-26-1 (nb1, w1) Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez st Sangakkara b Herath 42 Imran Nazeer b A. Mendis 20 Nasir Jamshed lbw b Mathews 4 Kamran Akmal c Jayawardene b Mathews 1 Shoaib Malik b Herath 6 Umar Akmal not out 29 Shahid Afridi b Herath 0 Sohail Tanveer st Sangakkara b A. Mendis 8 Umar Gul not out 2 Extras: (lb2, w9) 11 Total: (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 123 Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-55, 3-57, 4-64, 5-91, 6-91, 7-113. Bowling: Mathews 4-0-27-2, Kulasekara 3-0-15-0 (w2), Malinga 4-0-19-0 (w7), A. Mendis 4-0-27-2, Perera 1-0-8-0, Herath 4-0-25-3.
Daily News by Elmo Rodrigopulle reporting