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Sri Lanka too strong for Pakistan

ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight, Group F:
Lord's: Sri Lanka 150-5 beat Pakistan 131 by 19 runs
Match scorecard

Dilshan Tillakaratne hits out for Sri Lanka

Highlights - Sri Lanka overwhelm Pakistan (UK users only)

By Jonathan Stevenson

Sri Lanka made a fine start to their World Twenty20 Super Eights campaign, beating Pakistan by 19 runs at Lord's.

Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan (46) put on 81 for Sri Lanka before Shahid Afridi (2-23) removed both openers to stem the flow of runs.

They limped along at the end to finish on 150-7, but Pakistan struggled to get going and were soon reduced to 35-3.

Younus Khan (50) shared 66 with Misbah-ul-Haq but Lasith Malinga (3-17) helped Sri Lanka to limit them to 131-9.

It had appeared as though Pakistan, who were unchanged, might have a much bigger target to chase after Sri Lanka got off to a flying start having won the toss.

Sohail Tanvir's 11-ball first over, littered with wides and no-balls, ended up costing 18 and Sri Lanka raced on to 80-0 from eight overs as Jayasuriya and Dilshan cashed in on more wayward bowling.

606: DEBATE
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Dilshan was comfortably outscoring his veteran partner with some classical strokes - though there was another outing for the 'shovel shot', lifting the ball over his own head and past the wicket-keeper for four.

But the introduction of Afridi slowed Sri Lanka down and a quickly frustrated Jayasuriya holed out after an ugly swish, before Dilshan was bowled attempting a cut.

The change in momentum was sudden and alarming as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene - both scoring at about a run a ball - were kept relatively quiet.

Pakistan's spinners exerted almost complete control in the middle of the innings as Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Saeed Ajmal bowled beautifully, before Umar Gul - who saw his first two overs go for 22 - came back with a vengeance.

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi celebrates
Afridi curbed Sri Lanka's scoring with a top-class spell of bowling

His last two overs went for only 12 and he claimed the wickets of Chamara Silva and Nuwan Kulasekera with lovely outswingers too.

But if Pakistan were encouraged to only be chasing 151, they suffered a disastrous start as the excellent Angelo Mathews (1-23) sneaked one through Salman Butt's defences to leave them on 0-1.

In sharp contrast to Sri Lanka, they were struggling to make use of their powerplay overs until Shoaib Malik lashed out at Kulasekera - in for Isuru Udana - by crashing him for three successive fours through cover-point.

But when Malinga came on Pakistan lost two wickets in an over, Malik caught at mid-on and Kamran Akmal running himself out two balls later.

That was before Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis had bowled a ball between them - but the spin kings were strangely subdued as Younus and Misbah knocked them around with ease.

The pair put on 66 for the third wicket but failed to address the mounting required run rate. When Misbah finally holed out in the deep, Afridi - hopelessly out of form with the bat - followed next ball and it was as good as over.

We had 20 extras today and we lost by 19 runs so it shows how crucial it is in this form of cricket

Pakistan's Younus Khan

Malinga proved as difficult to get away as ever, picking up a wicket with his last ball to finish with immaculate figures and help his country maintain their unbeaten record in the tournament.

Afterwards, Sangakkara said he had been disappointed with his team's batting, feeling they should have made at least 170.

"With better options and partnerships, we could have had a more comfortable total, but it was a great, all-round effort to defend the total we got," he said.

Man-of-the-match Dilshan added: "We're playing very good cricket, we know with Mendis and Murali we can defend 160 against any team. This was always a very important match, a great result and this has given us confidence."

Younus said indiscipline had cost Pakistan dearly.

"We had a couple of early no-balls and you can't do that in this sort of cricket," he said.

"You then get a free hit and four runs so it's not very good - we had 20 extras today and we lost by 19 runs so it shows how crucial it is in this form of cricket."



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see also
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Pakistan go through with easy win
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Revitalised England beat Pakistan
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ICC World Twenty20 2009
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket


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