Sri Lanka v West Indies, 2nd semi-final

World Twenty20, 2009

At The Oval, June 19 (floodlit). Sri Lanka won by 57 runs. Toss: West Indies.

The received wisdom was that, if Gayle were at the crease come the final ball, he would have guided his side to victory. Gayle was there at the end all right, but was surrounded by the mangled wreckage of the West Indian innings as he became the first to carry his bat in Twenty20 internationals. Needing a gettable if tricky 159, West Indies began catastrophically, thanks to an astounding opening over by Mathews, who hit the stumps with his second, fourth and sixth deliveries. All three victims played on, though Simmons was unlucky that the ball ricocheted down from the bottom of his thigh pad into leg stump. Gayle hit with awesome power, but those early blows knocked the sense out of his side. Batsman after batsman fell to reckless swings, swipes and swishes when the primary aim should have been to give Gayle the strike. Sri Lanka had also relied on the brilliance of an opener: Dilshan came within a shot of becoming only the second player, after Gayle, to hit a hundred in Twenty20 internationals. He took advantage of a diet of full tosses as the bowlers struggled to find a yorker length. He allowed only 15 dot balls, and scored 20 singles and eight twos to go with his 14 boundaries.

Man of the Match: T. M. Dilshan. Attendance: 19,909.

© John Wisden & Co.