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Sri Lanka through despite Cheema scare

Sri Lanka had some tense moments before sealing a place against Pakistan in the quadrangular Twenty20 final on Monday with a 15-run win over hosts Canada.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene fired six fours in his 35 and Nuwan Kulasekara added two sixes in 19 from just six balls as Sri Lanka posted 153-7.

Dilhara Fernando struck twice in two balls but Rizwan Cheema hit six sixes, some out of the ground, in his 68.

He fell to Ajantha Mendis in the 17th over, however, and Canada collapsed.

When Jayawardene departed in the 11th over, given out lbw playing the sweep, Sri Lanka lost Thilina Kandamby three balls later and added only 15 in the following four overs.

But Dilshan hit some lusty blows and formed a crucial partnership with Kulasekara as 33 came from the final two overs.

Kulasekara smacked Harvir Baidwan into the sightscreen and then over long-off for six more next ball.

Fernando broke through in the opening over of the Canadian innings, and in his next claimed successive lbw dismissals.

Cheema began his barrage of boundaries from the first ball of the fifth over, smearing a full toss from Fernando over mid-wicket for four and launching a mammoth six next ball which finished in an adjacent road.

He put another ball in that road off the bowling of Kaushalya Weeraratne and kept his team up with the required rate by bringing up the fifty in the seventh over with his third six, this time off Sanath Jayasuriya.

After thumping Weeraratne for successive fours Cheema then smashed the slow left-armer Jayasuriya over the clubhouse and onto the practice field.

At the halfway point Canada were 80-3, needing 74 from the final 60 balls.

Mendis removed Dhaniram with the first ball of the 11th over, but Cheema after relative calm, deposited the final ball of the 14th over from Jayasuriya onto the roof of the stand at mid-wicket.

As wickets fell at the other end, Cheema stepped down the wicket to hit another six, this time off Mendis, but in doing so broke his bat and was caught slog sweeping next ball, which ended hopes of a famous victory.

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