Sri Lanka overcome Pakistan to enter final
Sri Lanka defended a meager 139 on a difficult pitch, beating Pakistan by 16 runs in the first semi final to enter the final of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20.
Sri Lanka had the early advantage of winning the toss on a pitch that characteristically grew slower in the second half. They built on the advantage, choosing to bat first and skipper Mahela Jayawardene led from the front, quickly assessing the pitch and adjusting his game to score a quick 42 (38b, 4x7). Tillakaratne Dilshan found scoring hard at the other end but managed 35 off 43b (4x3) as the duo added 63 for the first wicket in 10.3 overs. Sangakkara, Mathews and Perera played important cameos to take them to 139/4.
Pakistan’s batsmen had great trouble timing their shots on the pitch, expending energy on finding gaps with boundaries hard to come by. After a 31 run opening stand, skipper Mohammad Hafeez took it upon himself to anchor the chase. Nasir Jamshed was woeful in his stay at the crease, mustering only 4 off 12b. He was dismissed along with Kamran Akmal in the 10th over, followed by Shoaib Malik’s departure in the 11th but Hafeez (42, 40b, 4x4, 6x1) and Umar Akmal added 27 runs from there to keep Pakistan in the game.
Lasith Malinga was hard to put away and highly economical, helping the spinners go for wickets. Rangana Herath sent back Hafeez and Afridi off successive deliveries in the 15th over, firmly sliding the game in favour of Sri Lanka with Pakistan sliding to 91/6. Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul could not produce the hits that would have helped Pakistan and they slumped to 123/7 in their 20 overs, Umar Akmal unbeaten on 29 (22b, 4x3).