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Sri Lanka claim Al-Barakah title

Sri Lanka clawed back from the jaws of defeat to capture the first ever T20 Canada Cup Twenty20 cricket championship at King City this afternoon.

After winning the toss, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene elected to put Pakistan into bat.

Sri Lankan bowling withstood a 44-run effort by opening Pakistan batsman Salman Butt to limit the 2007 ICC Twenty20 World Cup runners-up to 132 runs as first year bowler Ajuntha Mendis took three more wickets to give him 10 for the series.

Sri Lanka’s legendary batsman Santah Jayasuriya scored 40 runs to lead his team to a five-wicket victory and the title in front of more than 10,000 spectators at the Maple Leaf North-West cricket ground.

Jayasuriya won man of the match honours which included a brand new Ford Focus.

Mendis, who has turned heads since his debut in the West Indies earlier this year, was named man of the series.

For his efforts, he won a condo unit in the Burj tower in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

In the early game, the world came crashing down on Canada as they suffered a devastating 109-run loss against Zimbabwe in the third-place game.

Coming into the game, Canada had held their own against their opponents, including forcing a bowl off Saturday against Zimbabwe and almost beating Sri Lanka Sunday.

But, poor field and bad batting did the team in as only two Canadians made double figures in runs.

Before today’s final, tournament sponsor Al Barakah, a Dubai construction company responsible for building the Burj, announced it had a contract with Cricket Canada to bring this tournament back for the next five years.

In the future, other popular powers such as West Indies, India and South Africa could play Twenty20 cricket in King City, a spokesperson said.

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