Herath spins Sri Lanka to World Twenty20 semis

(Reuters) – Sri Lanka breezed into the World Twenty20 semi-finals after left-arm spinner Rangana Herath destroyed New Zealand in a 59-run romp in Chittagong yesterday.

Playing his first match in the tournament proper, the 36-year-old bowler claimed five wickets for only three runs in 3.3 overs and was involved in two run outs as well, as New Zealand folded for 60 – their lowest total in 20-over cricket – in 15.3 overs.

For New Zealand, who began their chase one batsman short after all-rounder Corey Anderson had dislocated a finger trying to take a catch, Kane Williamson contributed 42 of the 60 runs while none of his team mates managed double digits in their spectacular collapse.

Sachithra Senanayake also helped himself to a couple of wickets as Sri Lanka’s spin duo returned a remarkable combined figure of 6.3-2-6-7 in a bowler-dominated, low-scoring contest.

“I trusted my spinners. Herath bowled really well, he was unbelievable,” Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Lasith Malinga said at the presentation ceremony.

“We were ready for this (effectively) quarter-final match,” said the paceman after Sri Lanka joined South Africa in the last four from Group One.

Once Martin Guptill was run out after a mix-up with Williamson, it was a steady procession of New Zealand batsmen who surrendered to Herath’s guile, completely undoing the good work done by their bowling colleagues.

“All credit to Sri Lanka. Herath and Sachi, the way they bowled was outstanding. They blew us away with about eight wickets for some 10 runs,” New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said.

McCullum would not say Anderson’s unavailability added more pressure on his side and rather blamed it on the other players.

“I wouldn’t say there was extra pressure. It was sort of a quarter-final anyway. We just didn’t adapt quick enough and played some mindless cricket. Once you let them get on top, it’s very hard to stop (them). “We took some poor options today and hence we’re on the plane home.”

Leading Sri Lanka in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, who served a one-match ban for his team’s second over-rate offence in 12 months, Malinga initially watched in dismay as Trent Boult wrecked his top order with a three-wicket burst.

After Kusal Perera fell to Boult through a dubious caught-behind decision, Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals before eventually being shot out for 119 in 19.2 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene topscored for them with 25, while Lahiru Thirimanne managed 20 but lack of partnerships halted Sri Lanka’s progress.

Jimmy Neesham (3-22) polished off the tail to restrict Sri Lanka to a sub-120 total but even that proved beyond New Zealand.

Malinga’s leadership experience was more than offset by the presence of four former captains in the Sri Lankan side -Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews, who is the current test and 50-over skipper.

“I’m really lucky to be captain of this side… They have good experience and that’s why were successful today,” Malinga said.

 

More in Sports

MVP Shemaine Campbelle accepts her MVP trophy from Match
Referee Grantley Culbard.

Guyana whip Leewards by 96 runs in WICB Women’s T20 tourney

Unbeaten half centuries from Shemaine Campbelle and Lashauna Toussaint helped Guyana hammer the Leeward Islands by 96 runs in the final round of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Women’s T20 tournament.

Dexter Gonsalves

Corley looking to chop down Gonsalves come August

Former world champion, DeMarcus ’Chop Chop’ Corley (46-27-1, 26 KO’s)’s career has seen him fight in more than 15 countries across the globe.

brenessa et al

Local athletes, chef-de-mission set to depart for Rio

With 10 days until the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the world’s best athletes are starting to arrive in the host nation.

default placeholder

Defending champs storm into semi-finals

Defending champions Wismar/ Christianburg Secondary stormed their way into the semi-finals of the Digicel Schools football championships by dismantling Region #6 winners Tutorial Secondary 6-0 in their quarterfinal fixture yesterday at the Leonora Sports Facility.

default placeholder

FIFA ethics panel bans ex-head of German FA for one year

ZURICH, (Reuters) – FIFA’s Ethics Committee has banned Wolfgang Niersbach, the former president of the German Football Association, for one year for failing to report potential misconduct surrounding the award of the 2006 soccer World Cup in Germany.

default placeholder

Michael Jordan speaks against both police killings, targeting of police

(Reuters) Basketball legend Michael Jordan spoke out on police violence yesterday and announced two $1 million grants, to civil rights group NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and to a group that works on improving police relations with communities.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: