Hosts Sri Lanka have entered into the ICC World Cup 2011 Finals defeating New Zealand by 5 wickets in the Semi Final Match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. This is the second consecutive time that Sri Lanka are entering the Finals of the World Cup and overall it is their third in all the editions put together.
Sri Lanka needed only 218 for a win today and they were cruising along at 160 for 1 at one stage. However, the loss of three big wickets in succession caused a panic amongst the Sri Lankans and they could barely cross the target after making heavy weather. The untested middle order of Sri Lanka looked pathetic under pressure. The job was already done though by the bowlers who restricted the Kiwis to 218 and then a 120-run stand between Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (73 from 93 balls with 10 fours and a six) and Skipper Kumar Sangakkara (54 from 79 balls with 7 fours and a six).
The hosts were reduced from 160 for 1 to 185 for 5 before they got to the target in the 48th over. In the afternoon, it appeared that the Kiwis would get to a competitive total of 250 but their innings finished on an extremely poor note with their last six wickets falling for the addition of just the 25 runs. Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis picked up three wickets each for the Lankans while Scott Styris was the top scorer for the Kiwis with 57 from 77 balls (with 5 fours).
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara who also took three catches behind the stumps to go along with his 54 got the Man of the Match award. Sri Lanka's opponent in the Final at Mumbai would be the winner of tomorrow's Semi Final clash between arch rivals India and Pakistan.
Toss and Teams
New Zealand have won the toss and elected to bat first in the 1st Semi Final of the World Cup 2011 against hosts Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka remain unchanged from their Quarter Final line-up which defeated England. Muralitharan who was a doubtful starter is fit enough to play. The Kiwis have made one change with left arm quick Andy McKay replacing left arm spinner Luke Woodcock.
Sri Lanka : WU Tharanga, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara*†, DPMD Jayawardene, TT Samaraweera, LPC Silva, AD Mathews, SL Malinga, HMRKB Herath, BAW Mendis, M Muralitharan