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Sri Lanka breeze into WT20 final

June 20, 2009 01:33 IST

Sri Lanka breeze into WT20 final

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Electing to field, the West Indies must have been quietly pleased watching the Sri Lankan openers struggle for the first three overs. But Tillakaratne Dilshan decided he had enough of playing with the straight bat and started to unleash his typical behind-the-wicket shots.

Dwayne Bravo suffered in his first over when Dilshan slashed him through point for consecutive boundaries and followed it up with a straight boundary two balls later. Dilshan had raced away to 27 from 12 deliveries, but Sanath Jayasuriya was struggling with just eight from 18 deliveries.


Image: Opener Sanath Jayasuriya struggled as he made just 24 off 37 balls

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The introduction of spinners -- Sulieman Benn and Chris Gayle -- after the fifth over did help slow down the proceedings a bit. Benn bowled his first two overs for 10, while Gayle conceded just three in his first over as Sri Lanka reached 50 after eight overs.

Dilshan then decided it was time to take on Gayle and promptly hit him for a boundary and a slog sweep for a six in the ninth over.

Even though Jayasuriya was struggling to find his bearings, Sri Lanka were comfortably placed at 72 for no loss after ten overs.


Image: Dilshan hits Chris Gayle for a huge six

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Hammered for three boundaries in his first over, Bravo single-handedly scripted a turnaround with two wickets in his second over.

The struggling Jayausriya, who changed his bat twice, was the first wicket to fall. He walked across his stumps and flicked straight to the short fine leg fielder after a subdued innings of 24 from 37 deliveries, inclusive of three boundaries.

Two balls later, captain Kumar Sangakkara was out for a duck off the second ball he faced. He lashed at a wide delivery from Bravo but Keiron Pollard jumped to pluck a sharp catch.


Image: Dwayne Bravo celebrates after dismissing Kumara Sangakkara

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In the final over, Dilshan could not get away his big shots. At the other end, Angelo Mathews smashed a six and boundary off consecutive deliveries to keep the runs coming. With six needed to get his hundred and the final delivery to come, the entire crowd started cheering "Dilshan, Dilshan" but he could only manage two of it and finished four short of a hundred.

Dilshan was unbeaten on 96 from 57 deliveries, inclusive of 12 boundaries and two sixes, as Sri Lanka scored 158 for five in their 20 overs.


Image: Dilshan along with Matthews walk off the field after the end of Sri Lankan innings

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All hopes that West Indies had of chasing down the target effectively ended in the first over when Angelo Mathews started with three wickets in his first over.

He knocked down the stumps thrice in the space of six deliveries for the wickets of Xavier Marshall, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo for ducks as Sri Lanka made a roaring start with the ball.


Image: Angelo Mathews celebrates after bowling Lendl Simmons for a duck

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Marshall fell of the second delivery he faced when he played on to his stumps to be bowled for a golden duck.

Simmons shuffled across his stumps but ended up losing his leg stump to register another duck for the Windies.

Three deliveries later, Bravo made a late decision to leave a delivery but it took the inside edge to disturb his stumps.


Image: Angelo Mathews is swamped by his teammates after bowling Dwayne Bravo for a duck

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Ajantha Mendis struck in his second over with the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 7.

The left-hander moved across his stumps and tried to sweep but was beaten by the quicker delivery to be trapped right in front of the stumps.


Image: Shivnarine Chanderpaul is out LBW to Ajantha Mendis for 7

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Captain Chris Gayle helped West Indies avoid the blushes with his unbeaten knock of 63 from 53 deliveries, inclusive of eight boundaries and two sixes, and was the only Windies batsman to cross double figures.

Sri Lanka will play Pakistan in the final, who beat South Africa in the first semi-final on Thursday.


Image: Chris Gayle walks back dejectedly after the end of the game

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