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England Thrash Sri Lanka By 7 wkts, Reach T20 World Cup Final

England produced a clinical batting and bowling performance to thrash Sri Lanka by seven wickets and storm into the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in Gros Islet at St. Lucia on Thursday. England bowlers
PTI May 14, 2010 0:23 IST
PTI
England produced a clinical batting and bowling performance to thrash Sri Lanka by seven wickets and storm into the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in Gros Islet at St. Lucia on Thursday.

England bowlers first came up with a disciplined effort to restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 128 for six after Kumar Sangakkara opted to bat and then overhauled the target with four overs to spare in a one-sided semifinal on a slow Beausejour Stadium pitch.

With Thursday's win, England made it to the summit clash of an ICC event for the first time after 2004 when they finished as losing finalists to West Indies at home.

They will meet the winner of Friday's second semifinal between Australia and defending champions Pakistan in the summit clash on Sunday.

Kevin Pietersen top-scored with a blistering 26-ball unbeaten 42 while openers Craig Kieswetter (29-ball 39) and Michael Lumb (26-ball 33) chipped in with useful contributions as England scored 132 for three in 16 overs.

With a small total to defend, Sangakkara gambled and opened bowling with slow bowlers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis but without much success.

England openers Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb got used to the pitch for a while just taking six runs from the first two overs before showing their aggressive intent from the third over onwards.

Kieswetter hit two fours from off-spinner Suraj Randiv in the third over and another boundary and six off Mendis in the next over as England took 25 runs from the two overs to reach 38 for no loss at the end of five overs.

Lumb could have been run out in the sixth over when on 11 but for a comedy of errors from Sri Lankan fielders. He set off for a run after Kieswetter sliced in the air only to be sent back. Mendis fumbled to pick up the throw from one of his team-mates when Lumb was yards out of his crease.

Sangakkara persisted with slow bowlers but Kieswetter smote Sanath Jayasuriya for two sixes in the eighth over which forced fast bowler Lasith Malinga into the attack.

Malinga brought success immediately removing Kieswetter off his first ball with an inswinging yorker to disturb the furnitures. Kieswetter struck five fours and two sixes in his 29-ball 39 and he raised 68 runs for the opening wicket with Lumb.

Sri Lanka could have got their second wicket in the same over off Malinga but substitute fielder Nuwan Kulasekara dropped Lumb when on 22. Lumb though fell in the next over cleanbowled by Thissara Perera for a 26-ball 33 after hitting the bowler for two consecutive fours. PTI