Sri Lanka beat New Zealand, reach semi-finals (Lead)

June 17th, 2009 - 12:56 am ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Nottingham, June 16 (IANS) Ajantha Mendis claimed three wickets as Sri Lanka charged into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with a 48-run victory over New Zealand in the last Group F Super Eight match at Trent Bridge here Tuesday.
Sri Lanka thus finished at the top of Group F with three victories and joined Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa in the semi-finals.

Deciding to bat first in the must-win match, Sri Lanka scored 158 for five with contributions from Tillakaratne Dilshan (48), Mahela Jayawerdene (41 not out) and Kumar Sangakkara (35). Sangakkara steered the innings, sharing 62 runs in 49 balls with Dilshan for the third wicket and 50 with Jayawerdene for the fourth.

New Zealand then squandered a good start and collpased like a pack of cards.

Mendis bowled with guile to pick three wickets for just nine runs in three overs while Ishuru Udana claimed two wickets to bundle out the Kiwis for just 110 runs with three overs to spare.

For New Zealand, Martin Guptill top-scored with 43, but their last eight wickets fell for just 46 runs.

Brendon McCullum (10) and Aaron Redmond (23) shared 30 runs in just 18 balls for the opening stand. Redmond smashed Sanath Jayasuriya for three consecutive boundaries and a six to give an exciting start to New Zealand chase.

Lasith Malinga got rid of Redmond, as he misjudged a slower ball and gave an easy catch to mid-wicket.

New Zealand were comfortably placed at 64-2 when Mendis turned the game on its head with two wickets in four balls. He dismissed Ross Taylor stumped and then bowled Scott Styris with a quicker one.

Udana bowled Jacob Oram before Jayasuriya got the wicket of dangerous Guptill.

New Zealand batsmen completely lost the plot from there and kept losing wickets.

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