Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st semi-final, World Twenty20, Colombo October 4, 2012

Toil and tenacity take Sri Lanka through

Sri Lanka made their second World Twenty20 final after being through a dogfight against Pakistan
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Nothing came easy for Sri Lanka in their semi-final against Pakistan. After five overs, they had made 24 - easily their slowest start of the tournament. An opener renowned for his aggression couldn't find the boundary, heaping inadvertent pressure on the men around him on a difficult track. Kumar Sangakkara rarely looks comfortable attacking, but that's exactly what he had to do from his first ball. He landed a few punches, but was knocked out sooner than he would have liked.

Still, he can console himself that has never made a score so vital for Sri Lanka that superficially reads so poorly on the scorecard. 



Each cog in Pakistan's bowling attack was secure. There were few loose balls and even fewer mistakes in the field. Perhaps Pakistan released some pressure when Umar Gul's final over went for 16, but Gul had done exceedingly well to build up much of that pressure in the first place, in an 18th over that cost just 3. 


In the field, Sri Lanka knew they had to save every run. Lasith Malinga had a shocker, but as a unit Sri Lanka were unrelenting. Tillakaratne Dilshan set the standard when he dived full length to intercept two balls heading for the boundary inside the Powerplay, and the young guns in the circle followed suit. Two or three fielders backed up every throw, and when the ball dribbled into the infield, it was swarmed from every direction. They were defending only 139, but they threw themselves around as if they hadn't even made 100. The result was a Pakistan Powerplay that was less productive than their own. 



Sri Lanka's captain - a man who bats so beautifully his blade appears to be made of liquid - dutifully played an innings that was as ugly as any that he has played. In the fifth over, Mahela Jayawardene ran down the pitch to Sohail Tanvir, looking for his release shot over midwicket, but the heave he ended up playing would have drawn blushes from a rusty gate. Jayawardene top scored for his side, but the channel outside off stump was a battlefield in which he copped repeated blows from Tanvir, but somehow evaded the coup de grace.

In 2009, Jayawardene was having so much trouble timing reverse strokes that he resorted to using the back of the bat to open up that part of the field. Two World Twenty20 tournaments later, those shots brought him more than a quarter of his runs in a semi-final. To look at his strike rate of only 117 is to do injustice to the fire in his innings, and the preparation that had gone into it. He will think the 12 runs he scored with the reverse sweep were more than just reward for all the hours he has spent in the nets practicing the stroke.

Then there is Rangana Herath. A man with spirit so indomitable that being held at arm's length for a decade by the selectors only amplified his drive to deliver for Sri Lanka. Having stared from a distance for so long, what was a few matches in one tournament? He had played only two of Sri Lanka's five games leading into this one, but bowled the over that took the hosts to the final.

Pakistan are said to have a weakness against left arm spin, but Herath has not been among their tormentors. He averages over 30 against them in all forms. Each fresh battle, however, is an opportunity. In two balls he brought Pakistan to their knees. Herath doesn't fret over past injuries, he just puts every ounce of himself into every game he plays. That he returned to make that double strike immediately after having bowled the most expensive over of the innings spoke volumes about his character and the trust his captain puts in him.

Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera didn't watch from a distance either. The pair had failed to propel Sri Lanka home once in the tournament, but they were determined to finish well with the bat, even if Gul had rediscovered his gift for yorkers. Their 16 off the last over was another crucial factor in Sri Lanka's win. Mathews then returned with the ball to bag two invaluable scalps of his own. Before his second over, Pakistan had built a terrific platform from which to launch and the crowd had lost its voice almost entirely. When he took two in four balls, the Premadasa began believing again. 



Throughout this campaign, Sri Lanka have proved they will not back down when the going is difficult. In the Super Over against New Zealand, there were no boundary balls to hit, yet somehow they managed 13. Under threat of having their captain suspended, the team produced a piece of tactical genius to circumvent the law. In their own home tournament, they are the only team who have had to play at all three venues. The powdery brute they encountered against Pakistan is worlds away from the fast southern seamers they began their tournament on.

In the 2011 World Cup, it was said Sri Lanka had the easy path to the final. This time around, they have scrapped their way there. Every man down to the youngest player has proved himself. The scorecard of the first semi-final may suggest an unremarkable affair, but Sri Lanka know they have been in a dogfight, and the triumph here will add more steel to a side who have been burned at the last hurdle too many times before.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 6, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    I dont care who who wins on Sunday, or who wollops who, as long as India is out of the tournament. Pakistan is not an overated team. How many whitewashes did they get recently? Do not forget they play all their games away from home. Good luck to SL on Sunday.

  • on October 5, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    @Nachiappan Rengenath - Pallakale a disaster? Have you been to that ground? See the previous track records before you comment! @ Fast_Track_Bully - Whether home condition or not in a t20 beating the opponents by 16 runs IS a fair bit of margin! And the homeside is under fair amount of pressure if they don't make it to the finals in front of their homecrowd! And pakistan has the best bowling attack and they are very much used to these conditions ! @Harmony111 - When a side lose due to poor umpire decision the impact is effect mainly if it is a world class player like Tendulkar Ponting Gayle Sangakkara etc....and certainly not Jamshed! Especially in this game just 4 runs of 8 balls, like he was playing an innings of his life! And don't insult Pakistan team by saying weak! They have the best bowling line up for these conditions and their record @ Premadasa is good! So a win by 16 run margin is actually good achievement made by Lankans!

  • on October 5, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    This tournament got better once India left...

    Who ever wins on Sunday, will be simply because of their better cricket...

    Love for SL Team

  • stormy16 on October 5, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Yes it was a wondeful dog fight of a game on a seriously bad track. People assume you need a flat track and six after six to have a good game. If you have two quality bowling attacks on a dodgy track you can still have a good game. SL's intent is in this series is best illustrated by Sanga's attitude. Each time he has come out to bat he has shown an aggressive intent from the first ball. It seems the SL attitude been to go hard and everything from ball one - guess that's why they are in the finals!

  • malepas on October 5, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    First of all,,Congrate to SL team and friends,,good win and all the best for the Final. Having said that,,the pitch was a big let down for such a big match,espacialy for T20 match,doesn't matter who won and lost,,this kind of pitch should not have been prepared for such a big match where toss becomes so important that other team just lose half of the match by losing it,,I'm not sure SL would be that happy if they had to bat last on this pitch,,it was a terrible pitch to bat second and fourth if you take the women game as well. ICC should look into this for future tournaments and there should be DRS for all ICC tournaments,,Pak suffered for getting his most in form batter out which wasn't out and that had a great affect on thier chase. Goodluck to SL again.

  • ravi_hari on October 5, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    I feel pak is an overrated team. The two best teams in this T@)WC are SAfrica and Srilanka. Unfortunately SA crashed out and SL are deservingly in the finals. Other teams who looked close to these two are vying for the second final spot today. On past records Aussies are the favourites. As SL proved it can be any body's game if you believe in yourselves. The way Mahela used Herath and Mathews shows the confidence he had in them. That sealed the match for SL and Pak had no answer to his strategy. A seemingly easy target was missed by a long margin by PAK. After this big win SL will be high on confidence and it should give a very tough fight to Aussies if they reach the finals.

  • Harmony111 on October 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    What toil is the author talking about? SL got a huge boost when Nazir played on and then Jamshed was shockingly given lbw. On a sluggish wicket a chasing team always looks for momentum and their top two strikers were back without scoring much. It was all luck for SL and no toil. Playing at home, batting first on a wicket that would have gone worse, putting a target for a team that is anyways so weak on batting and even then getting help from the umpire - you call this toil? Ha Ha Ha. Yet another case of overplaying the little success (if any) SL have had. All SL can talk of is their numerous losses in finals - no titles.

  • Patrick27 on October 5, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    Some of you guys may have a point of thinking how come all top 4 teams play in 1 group and 2nd spot teams in the other. So it should have been 2 top teams and 2 2nd teams in a group. In such case it would have been Eng, Aus, SL & Pak in 1 group and Ind, WI, SA & NZ in the other. SL had already beaten Eng, Pak, WI & NZ in this World Cup, so why can't Sri Lanka make it to the Semi's through that group. Don't be too harsh guys. Sorry for Pakistanis who are way much nicer guys than the Indian team. SL have shown their grit and adaptability against different conditions (only mishap was that 7over lottery) and it hasn't been one man show as for some other teams either. It's been a teamwork right throughout. SL, Now it's time to lift a World Cup. Congrats and All the Best Sri Lanka!!!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on October 5, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    At home, unable to beat opponent comprehensive and celebrating it as big achievement. I cannot see them winning the cup on sunday.

  • on October 5, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @Kuruwita - Those were long time back. Did you have a chance to look at the Indian pitches recently. They are fair to both batsman and bowlers. SL has only one international ground and pallikele is a disaster.

  • on October 6, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    I dont care who who wins on Sunday, or who wollops who, as long as India is out of the tournament. Pakistan is not an overated team. How many whitewashes did they get recently? Do not forget they play all their games away from home. Good luck to SL on Sunday.

  • on October 5, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    @Nachiappan Rengenath - Pallakale a disaster? Have you been to that ground? See the previous track records before you comment! @ Fast_Track_Bully - Whether home condition or not in a t20 beating the opponents by 16 runs IS a fair bit of margin! And the homeside is under fair amount of pressure if they don't make it to the finals in front of their homecrowd! And pakistan has the best bowling attack and they are very much used to these conditions ! @Harmony111 - When a side lose due to poor umpire decision the impact is effect mainly if it is a world class player like Tendulkar Ponting Gayle Sangakkara etc....and certainly not Jamshed! Especially in this game just 4 runs of 8 balls, like he was playing an innings of his life! And don't insult Pakistan team by saying weak! They have the best bowling line up for these conditions and their record @ Premadasa is good! So a win by 16 run margin is actually good achievement made by Lankans!

  • on October 5, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    This tournament got better once India left...

    Who ever wins on Sunday, will be simply because of their better cricket...

    Love for SL Team

  • stormy16 on October 5, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Yes it was a wondeful dog fight of a game on a seriously bad track. People assume you need a flat track and six after six to have a good game. If you have two quality bowling attacks on a dodgy track you can still have a good game. SL's intent is in this series is best illustrated by Sanga's attitude. Each time he has come out to bat he has shown an aggressive intent from the first ball. It seems the SL attitude been to go hard and everything from ball one - guess that's why they are in the finals!

  • malepas on October 5, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    First of all,,Congrate to SL team and friends,,good win and all the best for the Final. Having said that,,the pitch was a big let down for such a big match,espacialy for T20 match,doesn't matter who won and lost,,this kind of pitch should not have been prepared for such a big match where toss becomes so important that other team just lose half of the match by losing it,,I'm not sure SL would be that happy if they had to bat last on this pitch,,it was a terrible pitch to bat second and fourth if you take the women game as well. ICC should look into this for future tournaments and there should be DRS for all ICC tournaments,,Pak suffered for getting his most in form batter out which wasn't out and that had a great affect on thier chase. Goodluck to SL again.

  • ravi_hari on October 5, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    I feel pak is an overrated team. The two best teams in this T@)WC are SAfrica and Srilanka. Unfortunately SA crashed out and SL are deservingly in the finals. Other teams who looked close to these two are vying for the second final spot today. On past records Aussies are the favourites. As SL proved it can be any body's game if you believe in yourselves. The way Mahela used Herath and Mathews shows the confidence he had in them. That sealed the match for SL and Pak had no answer to his strategy. A seemingly easy target was missed by a long margin by PAK. After this big win SL will be high on confidence and it should give a very tough fight to Aussies if they reach the finals.

  • Harmony111 on October 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    What toil is the author talking about? SL got a huge boost when Nazir played on and then Jamshed was shockingly given lbw. On a sluggish wicket a chasing team always looks for momentum and their top two strikers were back without scoring much. It was all luck for SL and no toil. Playing at home, batting first on a wicket that would have gone worse, putting a target for a team that is anyways so weak on batting and even then getting help from the umpire - you call this toil? Ha Ha Ha. Yet another case of overplaying the little success (if any) SL have had. All SL can talk of is their numerous losses in finals - no titles.

  • Patrick27 on October 5, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    Some of you guys may have a point of thinking how come all top 4 teams play in 1 group and 2nd spot teams in the other. So it should have been 2 top teams and 2 2nd teams in a group. In such case it would have been Eng, Aus, SL & Pak in 1 group and Ind, WI, SA & NZ in the other. SL had already beaten Eng, Pak, WI & NZ in this World Cup, so why can't Sri Lanka make it to the Semi's through that group. Don't be too harsh guys. Sorry for Pakistanis who are way much nicer guys than the Indian team. SL have shown their grit and adaptability against different conditions (only mishap was that 7over lottery) and it hasn't been one man show as for some other teams either. It's been a teamwork right throughout. SL, Now it's time to lift a World Cup. Congrats and All the Best Sri Lanka!!!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on October 5, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    At home, unable to beat opponent comprehensive and celebrating it as big achievement. I cannot see them winning the cup on sunday.

  • on October 5, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @Kuruwita - Those were long time back. Did you have a chance to look at the Indian pitches recently. They are fair to both batsman and bowlers. SL has only one international ground and pallikele is a disaster.

  • lankavigi on October 5, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Exactly, they didn't back down when the going was tough. This is something new I find in the SL team. A few months ago they were completely different. If Malinga had dropped that catch then, their heads would have dropped and they would have surrendered. Great to see from team SL!!!

  • sharidas on October 5, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Srilanka really pulled that one off! Great fighting spirit.!

  • Dr.Lakson on October 5, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Congratulations and best wishes for the Final!

    Great article. One aspect of concern that Andrew has not highlighted is the not so cool conduct on the field by Mahela. He looked worried and was clearly showing his emotions for fielding mistakes. Though his emotions were shown his decision making did not seem to get affected. Bowling Ajantha Mendis in 18th when Kula was available was good. I would strongly advice MJ to relax, take it easy and enjoy the game. Trying to shoulder all expectations could be counter productive.

  • on October 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Wonderful article by Andrew...For all SL bashes who seem to vindicate this wonderfully talented team by labeling as undeserving will hopefully be taught a lesson come Sunday. Go SL team and MJ make us proud..........!!!

  • on October 5, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    I think SL team is verypowerful with correct combination for the correct pitch. Look at this series. different players performing at different pitches. At hambanthota Mendis, pallekale malinga and premadasa stadium. And top three have been very consistent through out. This is a dream run.

  • on October 5, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    I hope, Srilanka will have an amazing final against West Indies on Sunday Night. I believe, West Indies will knockouts Australia in the Semis while Gayle, Sunil, Samuels put up their best.

  • on October 5, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    It is true that pitch was turning but remember in this pitch there were lot of matches played last two weeks and Pakistan used 14 overs of spin and and sl just used 8 overs of spin, but sanga and mahela timed their shots and other than hafeez none of pak batsmen didnt read pitch really well. it is great to see hafeez accepting their faults for the defeat though ramiz raja didnt. hats off for hafeez.

  • satish619chandar on October 5, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    I always rooted for Rangana Herath in the team. He is the best spinner for SL in any format of the game. And, a lovely bowling spell today. Even the balls that were hit for boundaries were of high pressure created by other balls and made the batsman take the risk. And, if one has to praise the accurate slow bowling of the pacers, no words will be enough. They are just too tough to pick. Mathews and Kula were just too good with their slower ones and Malinga's slow ones are always tough to play. Great game SL team.

  • on October 5, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    I think SL provided best example of how to perform in such situation. Surely 139 was not at all enough ,, but t hey made it look huge. Hafeez was strugling in initial overs,,, Mahela , Sanga were all over the ground,, their eyes were there on every player's move,, thats what a skipper is all about. Mendis and Rangana bowled with cool head,,, I guess Pak failed to read situation and act accordingly,, Umar should have been promoted ,, result would have been different,,,,

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 5, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    This is a very good T20 WC. Lot of people say T20 is batsmen game. But we saw very good closely contested games where bowlers dominated. Pitches are excellent giving both batsmen and bowlers opportunities not like in Indian Flat pitches.

  • Narbavi on October 5, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    @Psycho_08: Spot on mate!! Even their own fans know that its the truth, but guess what, they would never accept it!!

  • vk6848 on October 5, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    @Millind Khandlikar: True, walloping is a word that can be reasonably applied to Oz-SL finals (once it was the Aussies who got walloped) but the description is more apt for the Oz-India match last week. Perhaps we should wait and see how badly SL get walloped, then compare to decide whose walloping was worse (India or SL)! Since it is not possible to win without qualifying, most teams try to do it that way :-). There is no shame in getting eliminated, but it would be nice then to appreciate what is left. There are brilliant players on display in and out of the tournament.

  • Devilkazuya on October 5, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    I'm an Indian & a die-hard fan of Indian Cricket, but I respect the Sri Lankan cricket team especially Mahela & Sanga, they both are genius, & as far as yesterday's semi-final is concerned, it really was a cracker until the second last over where Malinga snatched the game from Pakistan, Sri Lanka have failed to win 3 of their last finals, i hope this time around they break the jinx & go all the way, what SL & Pak felt during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, the same i'm feeling right now as i'm an Indian, but we can't help it, anywyz all the best Sri Lanka u can become Twenty20 champions as currently you are No.1 in T20 rankings !!!

    PS : India is ranked No.2 in Twenty20 Internationals !!!

  • on October 5, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    there was a plan in the team. how to open, who to stay, who to fire. who will ball out 4 overs, who try out ,everything went on order . everything was calculated. we saw how mahela was placed point for umar akmalat point in the last over while in the other days it may be mainga there . having a look at how pitch played at sri lanka innings understood this is so slow and dusty . that is what made play difficult and 140 a par score . but we have to present more our selves. why in the world place ajantha mendis, malinga in mid off or long on ...have our best players there . like in the England match. fire from both end. we have enough hitters. we have hit many a sixes in England match while playing same game like Pakistan. that made the difference . we have done the hard part guys. just keep it up and finish the deal. answer why we are the best team in the world.

  • StarHawk on October 5, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    "Kumar Sangakkara scored only 18 off 11 balls, but the importance of those runs to Sri Lanka's cause cannot be overstated." LOL, if it was Sehwag or Gambhir, they would've wrote, "He threw away another good start."

  • Pappu_bhai on October 5, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    As an Indian We all will be supporting WI for tomorrows game.Its not because we hate Australia or We love WI more.Both are too good teams we accept that.But we support WI because We were all expecting Australia to trash Pak like they did to us or SAF.Atleast could have won.But this is the second time in the year they have sent us out from the tournament.Yes we accept its our own mistake none to blame but still Mind is not allowing to support Australia as they were the culprit for not allowing us a place in Finals seeing the opponent in Semi was SL.Yes it hurts a lot and seeing SL As opponents we can only blame ourselves.We were not lucky enough to reach Finals.

  • Lakpj on October 5, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    @Milind Kandlikar I guess walloping is for the Aussies this time, SL lost all their previous finals to Aus teams which had great players like Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting, etc.. compared to that this team is no where near that class. And don't under estimated WI as well, remember 2009 T20 WC, Gayle single handedly sent Aus of the WC. In this team there are 2,3 players who are capable of playing such whirlwind knocks.

  • Reggaecricket on October 5, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    Afridi thinks he can still come in and clobber any attack to smithereens. A sensible 15 from him would have sealed the match for Pakistan. Look up his recent stats and it becomes evident that he is a spent force and is riding on past glory. Congratulations to Sri Lanka.

  • Vikum72 on October 5, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    Great work Andrew! Keep it up.

  • on October 5, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    inshaallah srilanka is all- the way go srilanka go

  • on October 5, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    Superb well written article. Well done to Mahela and the SL team. Pakistan you did not deserve to go out this way. Pakistani captain was great in defeat. He did not complain about the pitch , food or the weather. He only said the best team on the day was won. I am a SL supporter from Aus, but I love this PAK team. I can now understand why SL fans love Pakistanis. @Milind, do not care about wolloping , but SL got there and you did not. Did you watch the recent commonwealth bank ODI series? SL won more games against Aussies than the other team. Good luck to both Aussies and SL. Sorry Pakistan. You are a nice bunch of guys coached by a SL born Aussie. I am sure Pakistan will give few tips to Mahela about the Aussies.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 5, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    This whole tournament's format is FLAWED. How in the HELL can you have 4 top teams in the same super 8s group ? Now I am not a cricket guru or expert but such a format begs questions so deep that the ICC would spent the rest of its lifetime answering that question. I mean, the tournament format from the start wasn't proper. You always need to shuffle and mix-match the weaker teams with the stronger ones. Instead of having the table toppers from the group stages in one group, it should have been 2 Winners with 2 runners up from all groups in one super 8 group. For example, India, WI, SA and NZ in Group 1; Australia, England, Pakistan, and SL in group 2. That way it would have been more fair and interesting and a GOOD chance of 2 Asian teams competing in the final. I am sorry to say this ICC, you BLEW it. This would go down as a flop tournament in the history books.

  • on October 5, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Another SL-Oz final on the cards. Same result - another walloping!

  • braindead_rocker on October 4, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Pathetic to see Afridi play this way..He is solely responsible for letting his team down.

  • Ezycalm on October 4, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Beautifully written Andrew. Great work!

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    I didn't think 139 was enough, but well done to the boys for defending this total. Well played Pakistan, I am sure we will see more of them. Nice to see the Pakistan youngsters do well. I feel Mendis should come after Mathews/Perera, that would possibly added 20 + runs to our score, anyway hope the boys go all the way, they deserve it.

  • subbass on October 4, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    Well done Lanka ! I feared for you guys after only posting 140, yet in the end 130 would have done it comfortably. Now please beat those Ghastly Aussies in the final. Sorry WI fans you won't make it.

  • hasitha81 on October 4, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    So glad to see SL wining the semis. I hope this should eliminate all the discussion on grouping the super eight. This shows SL are no minnows, similarly any other countries from SL super 8 group. People should understand all the top eight teams can be good on their day. That's what cricket (or sport) is all about. Having competition between two teams is what spectators would like to see. Yesterday's game was a close one and SL finally came on top. So, thanks goes to both teams for setting this match a close encounter.

    I like Aus team too. However, wish to see WI coming to finals because that will ensure all top eight teams can be good on their day...

  • YogifromNY on October 4, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Inspired cricket, today and generally in this tournament, by the Sri Lankans. As an Indian fan, I am disappointed that Dhoni's men failed to qualify for the semis, but today's match was a cracker to watch, and so will the remaining two games in this World Cup, hopefully. Good luck to the SL team for the finals! As for Pakistan, they were lucky to be in the semis ahead of the Indians despite being an inferior side, and they were shown up by the Lankans today.

  • Psycho_08 on October 4, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    I still don't understand how the 4 group toppers India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa were put in one group. These were teams that won both the group stage matches... Surely it should be 2 group toppers and 2 second placed teams in each super 8 group. I'm sorry to say but Sri Lanka wouldn't have made it from the first group.

  • Herath-UK on October 4, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Excellent piece Andrew and Sri Lanka showed its grit in no certain manner;everyone contributed working under a marvellous captain but we have to be careful, there is one more hurdle to climb. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Nmiduna on October 4, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    i think this is your best article i've read andrew and today i saw you for the first time on that preview with mike haysman(sorry for the spellings?).We are seldom written about and specially someone like rangana herath who many overseas so-called experts doesn't even care to talk about. but i think as a cricketer he has risen tremendously to the occasion post murali. hope he has a couple of fruitful years ahead of him! thanks for the article :)

  • on October 4, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    How piquant to find two different articles on Cricinfo describing Jayawardene's innings as "as delightful as it was delicate" and "an innings that was as ugly as he has played"!

  • bddhika_harindat on October 4, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    For those under-rated this great SL team, should withdraw their silly comments with due respect. Indian cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar said SL was not deserved to be in semis, just two days before this contest. So, see hos SL performed within thin total. All the way, its a great victory.

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  • bddhika_harindat on October 4, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    For those under-rated this great SL team, should withdraw their silly comments with due respect. Indian cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar said SL was not deserved to be in semis, just two days before this contest. So, see hos SL performed within thin total. All the way, its a great victory.

  • on October 4, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    How piquant to find two different articles on Cricinfo describing Jayawardene's innings as "as delightful as it was delicate" and "an innings that was as ugly as he has played"!

  • Nmiduna on October 4, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    i think this is your best article i've read andrew and today i saw you for the first time on that preview with mike haysman(sorry for the spellings?).We are seldom written about and specially someone like rangana herath who many overseas so-called experts doesn't even care to talk about. but i think as a cricketer he has risen tremendously to the occasion post murali. hope he has a couple of fruitful years ahead of him! thanks for the article :)

  • Herath-UK on October 4, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Excellent piece Andrew and Sri Lanka showed its grit in no certain manner;everyone contributed working under a marvellous captain but we have to be careful, there is one more hurdle to climb. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Psycho_08 on October 4, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    I still don't understand how the 4 group toppers India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa were put in one group. These were teams that won both the group stage matches... Surely it should be 2 group toppers and 2 second placed teams in each super 8 group. I'm sorry to say but Sri Lanka wouldn't have made it from the first group.

  • YogifromNY on October 4, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Inspired cricket, today and generally in this tournament, by the Sri Lankans. As an Indian fan, I am disappointed that Dhoni's men failed to qualify for the semis, but today's match was a cracker to watch, and so will the remaining two games in this World Cup, hopefully. Good luck to the SL team for the finals! As for Pakistan, they were lucky to be in the semis ahead of the Indians despite being an inferior side, and they were shown up by the Lankans today.

  • hasitha81 on October 4, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    So glad to see SL wining the semis. I hope this should eliminate all the discussion on grouping the super eight. This shows SL are no minnows, similarly any other countries from SL super 8 group. People should understand all the top eight teams can be good on their day. That's what cricket (or sport) is all about. Having competition between two teams is what spectators would like to see. Yesterday's game was a close one and SL finally came on top. So, thanks goes to both teams for setting this match a close encounter.

    I like Aus team too. However, wish to see WI coming to finals because that will ensure all top eight teams can be good on their day...

  • subbass on October 4, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    Well done Lanka ! I feared for you guys after only posting 140, yet in the end 130 would have done it comfortably. Now please beat those Ghastly Aussies in the final. Sorry WI fans you won't make it.

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    I didn't think 139 was enough, but well done to the boys for defending this total. Well played Pakistan, I am sure we will see more of them. Nice to see the Pakistan youngsters do well. I feel Mendis should come after Mathews/Perera, that would possibly added 20 + runs to our score, anyway hope the boys go all the way, they deserve it.

  • Ezycalm on October 4, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Beautifully written Andrew. Great work!