Impressive England cruise to semi final victory
England cruised to a comprehensive 9 wicket victory over Sri Lanka to claim a place in the Twenty20 World Cup final on Sunday at the Kensington Oval after an impressive all rounder performance.
Having been set a total of just 129 by Sri Lanka; England made light work of the run chase with Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen looking in impressive form.
Having seen off the spinners in the first three overs Lumb and Kieswetter made easy progress against
The pair rode their luck along the way with a couple of LBW’s turned down but the biggest let off was in the 5th over when Lumb should have been run out by Ajantha Mendis.
Having been turned back by Kieswetter; Lumb was left stranded in the middle of the wicket but amazingly Mendis couldn’t hold into the throw from the fielder and Lumb managed to get back into his crease.
With the pair’s partnership having reached 68; Lasith Malinga finally broke through to stop England’s seemingly relentless march to victory. Having looked relaxed at the crease Kieswetter’s (39) innings was ended by an in swinging yorker which smashed into the stumps.
With his opening partner back in the dugout; Lumb (33) added just 10 more runs to his total before he was outdone by an in swinger from Thissara Perera to leave England 80-2.
Despite having flown back to London to be at the birth of first child; Kevin Pietersen quickly got into his stride building a 33 run partnership with skipper Paul Collingwood as England took the game away from a dejected Sri Lanka..
Despite covering 16,000 miles in the last few days day Pietersen didn’t let his jetlag affect his game smashing Suraj Randiv for a massive six over long which travelled 100 metres, the fourth biggest six of the tournament.
Although Collingwood (10) was dismissed by Perera in the 14th over England only needed another 16 runs from 35 balls.
With such a small target Pietersen (42) and Eoin Morgan (2) quickly got England over the finishing line after another impressive performance from a team who 12 months ago looked like a fish out of water.
England produced another devastating display in the field restricting Sri Lanka to a total of just 128-6 after Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and decided to bat first.
Spinner’s Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy were the stand out bowlers once against bowling their 8 overs of spin through the middle of the innings conceded just 41 runs to leave Sri Lanka 80-4 with only 6 overs left.
With Sri Lanka’s top order struggerling Angelo Mathews once again lead the way with a gritty half century which helped his side set England a victory target of 127.
Having won the toss and deciding to bat Sri Lanka’s innings got off to the worst possible start as they lost three quick wickets to leave them 26-3 after 4.1 overs.
Sanath Jayasuriya’s disappointing tournament continued after he was caught by Paul Collingwood at second slip. Having played in all 6 games for Sri Lanka the 40 year old has only scored 15 runs and looked a shadow of his former self when he edge a delivery from Ryan Sidebottom at the start of the second over.
With Jayasuriya gone Tillakaratne Dilshan showed his intent by smashing Sidebottom for a boundary through the covers from the first ball he faced but he didn’t last long at the crease as England started to increase the pressure on Sri Lanka.
Dilshan’s (9) attacking nature would in the end be his downfall; having attacked every delivery he faced Dilshan played one shot to many and top edged a delivery from Tim Bresnan into the covers which was caught by Luke Wright.
With bounce and seam movement the Sri Lankan’s were struggling having lost two wickets after Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and decided to bat first.
England’s perfect start was completed by Stuart Broad who dismissed danger man Mahela Jayawardene (10) who nicked a rising delivery through to wicket keeper Craig Kieswetter to leave a shell shocked Sri Lanka 26-3.
Sangakkara was joined at the crease by Angelo Mathews with last years beaten finalists facing an up hill task to reach Sunday’s final in Bridgetown.
With the completion of the power play overs Collingwood brought his spinners into the attack. As they have done throughout the tournament Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy bowled 8 straight overs of spin conceding just 41 runs.
With the pressure mounting Swann struck almost right away picking up the wicket of Sangakkara (16) at the end of his second over with a flighted delivery which dipped on the Sri Lanka skipper at the last second which meant Sangakkara couldn’t get the power onto the ball enabling Kevin Pieterson to take an easy catch out on the boundary to leave Sri Lanka 47-4.
With Swann and Yardy out of the attack; England managed to maintain their strangle hold over the batsman with Broad and Sidebottom taking all the pace off the ball to leave Chamara Kapugedera and Angelo Mathews struggling to gain any momentum as the run rate dipped to 5.6.
With runs hard to find Kapugedera (16) tried one frustrated slog to many and with no pace on the delivery the ball fell into the hands of Bresnan at mid off to give the impressive Broad his second wicket of the innings.
With Kapugedera back in the dugout Mathews (58) was joined at the crease by Thissara Perera with Sri Lanka in a big hole having only scored 93 runs from 16.3 overs.
With their backs against the wall the pair responded with a vital partnership of 32 runs which gave Sri Lanka a small amount of momentum going into England’s innings.