Sri Lanka, Windies reach semis in T20

Sri Lanka, Windies reach semis in T20

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka - Agence France-Presse
Sri Lanka, Windies reach semis in T20

Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga (L) celebrates the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler (R) during the two teams’ ICC Twenty Cricket World Cup’s Super Eight match. AFP Photo

Sri Lanka sent defending champion England packing at the World Twenty20 as it reached the semifinals along with the West Indies after a dramatic night of action on Oct. 1.

Sri Lanka’s 19-run win over England, thanks in large part to Lasith Malinga’s career-best 5-31, put the hosts into its third successive World Twenty20 semifinals as it hunts its first major title in 16 years.

Earlier the West Indies snatched victory from New Zealand in a thrilling Super Over finish after they were tied on 139. Despite New Zealand’s 17 off their extra over, West Indies smashed 19 with a ball to spare.
England’s reshuffled team may regret sending Sri Lanka in to bat after the hosts posted a challenging 169-6. In reply, at a packed Pallekele stadium, England managed 150-9 and only briefly threatened to pull off an unlikely win.

The chase was in trouble from the start as England were rocked by Malinga, who took the first three wickets in his first over.

It needed a fourth-wicket stand of 55 between Samit Patel (67) and Eoin Morgan (10) to repair the early damage, but England lost wickets at regular intervals.

Patel added 51 with Graeme Swann (34) for the eighth wicket as hope fluttered. But Malinga bowled Patel in the penultimate over to snuff out the danger and improve on his previous best of 3-12 against New Zealand in 2010.

“The guys played really well. Lasith is unbelievable, both with the new ball and with the old ball. It would be fantastic if we can win it (the title) but the focus is to keep our feet on the ground,” said captain Kumar Sangakkara.