Australia's pace trio have caused all sorts of havoc to any team that have crossed their paths, so Pakistan will need to produce their best performance of the tournament to stand any chance of flying to Barbados. However, if there's one team that can play like a drain in game and absolute geniuses the next, it's Shahid Afridi's team. Tune in on Friday when Mitch will be in the hotseat to guide you through the second semi-final. Adios one and all, thanks for reading.
From Rakan Ali, TMS inbox:
"Looking forward to England v Australia, what a final that will be."
From Alan, Dubai, TMS inbox:
"Are England permitted carry to take the 4 'spare' overs from today into the final?"
England skipper Paul Collingwood:
"I'm going to sound like a broken record. Full credit to the bowlers, who adapted to a slow wicket. The two guys at the top got us into a good position and KP, to come through what he has been through, shows the discipline in the side. The guys have been preparing well and seeing where we can take wickets,. The execution has been fantastic. I will be watching (the second semi-final) tomorrow, but I don't know who I want (to win) tomorrow. Everybody would love to see a England v Australia final, but you have to give respect to Pakistan."
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara:
"Unfortunately we didn't start off too well. Angelo Mathews tried to get us to a good total but it was way too short. Anything over 150 we would have done well to defend - so we were 30 runs too short. I think England have a great chance in the final - they have great balance and great depth."
What a thoroughly ruthless performance by England, to win with four overs to spare in Twenty20 cricket is almost like winning in four days during a Test match. So it's on to Barbados and the Kensington Oval where, if the form book is anything to go by, they will face Australia. Michael Clarke's side play Pakistan in the second semi-final in St Lucia on Friday. The Aussies battered the Pakistanis into submission at the start of the year.
ENGLAND (132-3, 16 OVS) BEAT SRI LANKA (128-6, 20 OVS) BY SEVEN WICKETS 16 overs - England 132-3
Malinga wangs down a succession of straight yorkers, nothing either Pietersen or Morgan can do apart from squirt a single. My word - what an extraordinary shot from Pietersen. He arrogantly flicks a slower ball on leg stump high over the leg-side boundary for six before wrapping up the victory with an imperious four. That, ladies and gentlemen, can only be described as a spanking. England are in the final of the World Twenty20 following a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
From Anon, text 81111:
"Calm Tina - I'm not at all calm. We can still lose this. On tenterhooks and can hardly watch the score update... Please let us hang in there... Three quick wickets and I'll have no finger nails left."
From WJR Hall, TMS inbox:
"The red ribbons are supporting a world wide AIDS campaign 'THINKWISE'."
15 overs - England 120-3
Gorgeous from KP, rocking on to his back foot with a beautifully struck four past backward point. Smiles all round in the England dug-out, although Sangakkara looks as if his favourite painting has been auctioned for an episode of Sri Lankan Cash in the Attic. KP stands there like a baseball slugger, but just about jams his bat down in time to keep out a Perera yorker.
13.1 overs - England 113-3 Wicket Collingwood ct Sangakkara b Perera 10
Colly skips down the track but is way too early on a Perera slower ball, launching the ball high into the air. Sangakkara calls for the catch - and snaffles it with a dive. In comes Eoin Morgan.
14 overs - England 113-2
Anne is asking why the Sri Lankans have red ribbons on their kit. The simple answer is I really don't know. What I do know is England are set for a Bajan finale at the Kensington Oval on Sunday as they add four more to the total from Mendis's fourth over.
From a very calm Tina in Shrewsbury, TMS inbox:
"I am not sure I like English cricket being played like this. Surely it's not fun if it doesn't tear your nerves to shreds. It must being really boring being Australian!"
13 overs - England 109-2
Colly brings up the England ton with a single off Malinga. The bouncing barnet attempts to provoke Pietersen into a misjudged pull from a shorter delivery, but our Kape is a big man, pushing on to his toes before smiting a cross bat with unbridled power past square leg for four. Authoritative. Superman and Ironman are going ballistic in the stands, although Ironman is struggling with his mask at the moment.
12 overs - England 98-2
Mendis attempts to conjure a little bit of carom-ball magic, but finds Colly and KP in belligerent moods, collecting the simplest of singles with no need for cross-bat mooeys over cow corner. I wonder what Jess was listening to when she delivered KP junior?
11 overs - England 93-2
Six number 247 of the tournament as KP absolutely hammers a brutal six over long-on off Randiv - that was huge, flirting with the 100m mark for sure. It's confirmed - that blow was 100m.
From TrickieDickie, Hollywood, TMS inbox:
"Typical belligerent KP. So determined to keep the strike that he nearly runs out Lumb. I think he wants to win this in the next two overs... 11 sixes and a single to nick the strike again should do it."
10 overs - England 83-2
Cap'un Colly joins KP, who sees Kapugedera cut off a boundary with a sprawling stop at deep point. Surely they can't Murray it from here...
9.4 overs - England 80-2 Wicket Lumb bowled Perera 33
Medium-fast seamer Thissara Perera comes on for his first joust of the day - only to be carved backward of point for four by Lumb before the Hampshire left-hander plonks a one-bounce boundary over extra cover. However, his risky innings comes to a close as he walks across his stumps and completely misses a straight ball. The furniture is well and truly rearranged.
9 overs - England 71-1
Replays show Kieswetter giving some chat to Malinga following his dismissal, not wise. However, KP is off the mark with a drive while substitute fielder Nuwan Kulasekara drops a tough chance running in from long-off as Lumb lofts a mis-hit drive. More running tomfoolery between the England batsmen as Lumb sets off for a quick single, only to see Pietersen stood rock still at the non-striker's end. Lumb is once again saved by a not-too-clever piece of fielding as Jayawardene's throw is nowhere near Sangakkara's wicketkeeping gloves.
8.1 overs - England 68-1 Wicket Kieswetter bowled Malinga 39
Kieswetter's gallivanting comes to an end as he is comprehensively cleaned up by a cunning Malinga slower ball yorker, going through with the shot almost a second before the ball crashed into his stumps. Top knock from the Somerset stumper coming off 29 deliveries. Out comes the fuming new-dad KP.
8 overs - England 68-0
On comes Sanath Jayasuriya, a member of Sri Lanka's parliament no less with his brand of left-arm tweakery. He flights a tempting delivery outside off stump - and Kieswetter takes two giant steps down the track before lofting the ball high over extra cover and into the stage with the dancers for his ninth six. Lumb cashes in with a similar shot and result - only left-handed - as Jayasuriya's awful game continues.
7 overs - England 53-0
It's all going England's way as Lumb hammers Randiv for a leg-side four before a couple of well-judged singles. Someone bring the duo some smoking jackets - it's all too comfortable for the openers right now.
6 overs - England 47-0
Blimey, it sounds like a late John Bonham drum solo going on the stands. Oh dear - Lumb's going to run ou...NOOO! Unbelievable! Mendis spills the ball from a simple return from backward point with Lumb a good 15 yards out of his ground and ready to walk back to the dug-out, only to see the spinner completely fumble the ball at the non-striker's end as the ball rolls about six yards from his hands. Astonishing, I don't think Lumb can quite believe it either as he jogs back into his crease. And to really wind Kumar Sangakkara up to the nth degree, Kieswetter lashes two successive boundaries. That's the end of the powerplay.
From Tony, Whitstable, TMS inbox:
"Can't wait to see what happens when the (clearly) furious KP comes in - is he going to thrash the ball to all parts, or is he going to self-destruct rapidly. What do you think has got into him? - is it jet-lag or similar?"
5 overs - England 38-0
On comes Lasith Malinga, whose first delivery is greeted with a front-foot mow back over the fast bowler's resplendent hair for four. Not out of the screws, but good enough to amble over the ropes. A strangled lbw cry from Sangakkara, but the ball strikes Lumb well outside off stump. A couple of wides follow while a well-directed Malinga bouncer keeps Kieswetter in check as he waltzes down the track. So England need 91 to win off 90 balls.
From Cookie, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"I just mowed the lawn between innings, I feel so English right now."
4 overs - England 31-0
Another bowling change but Sangakkara opts to stand up to Angelo Mathews' medium pacers. He opens up with a slower ball, which Kieswetter edges past a vacant first slip area and down to the third man boundary for four. Sangakkara belatedly puts in a first slip from fine leg - only to see four leg-byes as umpire Aleem Dar turns down a very tight lbw call. Kieswetter once again opts to shuffle down the track, but the ball is too full to hit and is hit close to the line of off stump. The replay suggests the ball would have taken out middle. The Sri Lankans look aghast - even more so as Kieswetter tonks a lusty six straight back over the bowler's head. That's the eighth maximum from Kieswetter in this tournament, moving him to 22.
3 overs - England 17-0
Kieswetter launches the first shot in anger as off-spinner Suraj Randiv is introduced, skipping down the track and somewhat miscuing a drive over extra cover for four. The next shot goes exactly where he wants it - a carbon copy of the shuffle down the pitch, but this time hitting cleanly for a one-bounce four over long-off. Left-hander Lumb is rapped on the pad attempting to sweep from around the wicket, but umpire Taufel says no - and rightly so. Lumb follows Kieswetter's lead and takes two steps down the track, but his lofted off-drive is mistimed but he still collects two to the total.
2 overs - England 6-0
A double dose of tweak with Ajantha Mendis, with Kieswetter extending his front foot out to play a text-book forward defence. Don't think either Kieswetter or Lumb would have come across Mendis before - although Lumb might have seen him in action during this season's IPL. Tight over, just the one conceded. Plenty of respect.
1 over - England 5-0
Don't like the look of some of these threatening clouds congregating over the stadium. No fireworks in Dilshan's first over of gentle off-breaks, conceding three singles and a double as England's openers open their accounts in unspectacular fashion.
Not even time to dig in to my rice 'n' peas and England's openers are out in St Lucia. Dilshan's tweakers to open the bowling. Good tactic this against Kieswetter and Lumb.
VoiceOfCricket on 606:
"Should be walk in the park for England. No need for heroics.. Just keep it simple. Run a ball. And extras will cover the additional nine runs."
From Dan, Northants, text 81111:
"Oh dear! This isn't what we want to see...dissention in the England camp...it gets me worrying about an inglorious capitulation!"
SRI LANKA (128-6, 20 OVS) SET ENGLAND 129 TO WIN 20 overs - Sri Lanka 128-6
New bat Chinthaka Jayasinghe clubs another tight double - but makes his ground as the ball squirts out of Craig Kieswetter's gloves. So England need 129 to win.
19.5 overs - Sri Lanka 126-6 Wicket Mathews run out 58
SiBo to bowl the final over - England have only used five bowlers today. The left-armer keeps it tight with a mix of yorkers and slower balls. Mathews once again collects a tight double as Michael Lumb comes in off the enormous leg-side boundary - Siders hangs his head in frustration. Steady on, it's not that bad. Mathews gambles yet again on a tight double, but this time he's caught short as Paul Collingwood's arrow-like return catches the all-rounder out of his ground. Top innings from Mathews from just 45 deliveries.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS:
"You shouldn't be yelling at guys in the field if they are trying. I always tried to remember you were only 10 seconds away from dropping a catch yourself."
19 overs - Sri Lanka 120-5
Oooof! Broad takes one for the team as Mathews hammers a cross-bat smear straight into his shins in his follow through. Probably saved three runs though. Perera plans a visit to Cow Corner, but forgets to take the ball with him, narrowly missing the top of middle stump. More doubles for Mathews, this time with a double forehand smash, as Broad finishes his allotment - 2-21, take a bow Stu. However, England are over their 80 minute allotment to bowl their 20 overs.
From Marco, on a train, text 81111:
"Our plans to watch the England innings in Rochester have been scuppered by our train stopping at Aylesford. Sad day."
18 overs - Sri Lanka 113-5
Mathews spanks a slower Bresnan delivery through point for a welcome boundary, which brings up the three figures for Sri Lanka. The all-rounder collects a couple more before Brez errs with two successive wides. Pietersen waltzes in from the deep midwicket boundary as Mathews adds two more runs, although there's some sort of agitation among the fielders as Pietersen, Bresnan and Colly chunter between themselves. More good running sees Mathews double up again and the first signs of sloppiness from England in the field. Mathews brings up his half century
with yet another two off his pads and Pietersen is absolutely disgusted with something as he heaves the ball straight into the pitch to vent his frustration at what I can only assume is Colly's field placings.
17 overs - Sri Lanka 96-5
New man Perera, a left-hander, pushes a single into the leg side to open his account, while Mathews inside-edges another well-disguised slower ball into the ground for a single to mid-on. England have the driving gloves on, Chris Rea on the stereo and driving down the M1 on cruise control right now.
16.3 overs - Sri Lanka 93-5 Wicket Kapugedera ct Bresnan b Broad 16
Kapu shifts to the leg side to make room for himself to hit Broad through off, but drills a slower ball straight to big Timbo at mid-off for a simple catch. In comes Thisara Perera.
16 overs - Sri Lanka 92-4
Kapu is twice deceived by successive slower-ball bouncers from Sidebottom as he attempts to pull over the deep square leg boundary, but is way too early on the shot. Comedy scenes as Kapu's bat comes flying out of his hands and almost takes umpire Taufel's head off. He almost perishes the next delivery as a pull shot falls just short of Michael Lumb running in from deep square leg as the ball squirts away for a boundary.
15 overs - Sri Lanka 86-4
Broad returns but can't find the first-delivery magic ball dispensed for Mahela Jayawardene as Kapu helps a short ball for a leg-side single. Mathews fashions a couple before Broad is penalised for a second short ball over shoulder height, with umpire Simon Taufel calling a no-ball, much to the chagrin of Broad and Kieswetter. Expect some sort of Sri Lankan pyrotechnics in the next couple of overs as they attempt to post a defendable total.
From Steve Lowther, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"Re: Anon. I'd like to think that Sidebottom uses 'SoulGlo', off of Coming to America fame. But in reality, I imagine it's more likely to be some 'Smartprice' or 'No Frills' substance."
14 overs - Sri Lanka 80-4
Yardy is keeping it as tight as an indie kid's skinny fit jeans, pinning Kapugedera in his crease with four dot balls before the right-hander launches a lusty straight hit down the track for four. Kapu nicks the strike from the final delivery as Yardy finishes with 0-21 from four overs with 11 dot balls.
13 overs - Sri Lanka 75-4
Angelo Mathews skips down the track and launches Graeme Swann over long-on for the first maximum of the day. Lovely shot, full flourish with the bat and a follow through which ends at his backside. But our Swann has a heart the size of Mansfield, tossing the next ball up invitingly, which Mathews treats with respect. Nine dot balls for Swann. Proper good that.
From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox:
"Question on cricket etiquette: now that we are under backward-looking Whig rule in the UK, do we have to drink warm beer at cricket matches again, or does the development of chilled lager-oriented 20-20 cricket culture since 1997 prevent a return to earlier institutional cricketing norms?"
12 overs - Sri Lanka 65-4
Yardy sends down a faster ball - which is probably about as quick as one of Colly's efforts - and once again restricts the run scoring with just four runs conceded from his six deliveries. That's 0-16 from three overs so far for the Sussex skipper. Repping for Hove.
11 overs - Sri Lanka 61-4
Smart running from Mathews and new man Chamara Kapugedera with a tight two, although umpire Taufel goes to the third umpire to ensure Michael Lumb's throw from the deep didn't catch Mathews out of his ground. It didn't and the game continues. But still no free runs on offer from Swann - discipline of the highest order. If you're having a few problems with the live text (double entries and all that), give your page a quick refresh and hopefully all will be right with the world.
10 overs - Sri Lanka 55-4
Mathews latches on to a wide delivery outside off stump from Yardy, cutting the ball through point towards the boundary, where Paul Collingwood makes a valiant attempt to prevent a boundary but the ball agonisingly rolls on to the rope.
9 overs - Sri Lanka 47-4 Wicket Sangakkara ct Pietersen b Swann 19
Swann continues from around the wicket strategy to Sangakkara, once gain kept in check before pushing a single. But he's back in the dug-out three deliveries later as he chips a rather odd checked drive - without follow through - straight down to long-off, where Kevin Pietersen takes a comfortable catch.
8 overs - Sri Lanka 43-3
Double spin change as Michael Yardy's darts are introduced. Sangakkara, deeply frustrated by the lack of buffet deliveries on offer, attempts to fashion one of his own by using his feet but gets nowhere near the pitch of the ball and smears just past mid-on for a couple. Smart fielding on the boundary from Stu Broad prevents the boundary. England's fielding has been as sharp as a Charlie Brooker column.
From Anon, text 81111:
"My wife has the same hair as Ryan Sidebottom and would love to know what hair products he uses? Any TMS insight?"
7 overs - Sri Lanka 39-3
On comes Swannage and immediately loops up several tempters to Sangakkara, who refuses to take the bait with his team precariously placed at 39-3. Just one single from a very tight over.
6 overs - Sri Lanka 38-3
Sangakkara unleashes yet another beautiful stroke through point for four off Brez, who is into his third over, before exchanging four singles with Mathews. And that is the end of the powerplay and England's fielder's disperse to all corners.
From Jonathan Hedges, TMS inbox:
"Paul (third over) - wake up man this is a new era, Tory/Libs govern us, KP a dad and the Aussies are soft."
5 overs - Sri Lanka 30-3
Whoops! I've inadvertently labelled TMS producer Adam Mountford as Chapelli. Anyways, back to the action as Stuart Broad spoils what would have been a thoroughly deserved wicket maiden within a short delivery on leg stump, which Angelo Mathews tickles off his hip for four. 30-3 with one over left in the powerplay? Colly would have bitten your arm off if you offered him that scenario before the match, let alone your hand.
4.1 overs - Sri Lanka 26-3 Wicket Jayawardene ct Kieswetter b Broad 10
Stuart Broad bounds in and sends down an absolute humdinger outside off stump which Jayawardene nibbles to Craig Kieswetter for a simple catch. Brilliant ball, just biting off the pitch, nothing the tournament's top scorer could do about that. England are into the all-rounders. They are rampant.
4 overs - Sri Lanka 26-2
Awesome shot from new man Kumar Sangakkara, who leans into a front-foot square drive through point for four off Sidebottom. Nothing really wrong with the delivery, which emphasises the purity of a classical orthodox stroke. A couple of leg-side singles later and it's six runs leaked from another good over.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS:
"That wicket was typical of England's play in this tournament. Dilshan was looking dangerous so England went after him and a well-directed bouncer is a good ball when players are trying to get after your bowling. The way the catch was taken shows the confidence that England have in their team. Wright took that very competently."
3 overs - Sri Lanka 20-2 Wicket Dilshan ct Wright b Bresnan 9
Steep bounce from the burly Brez, catching Jayawardene unawares with a short of a length delivery. Ugly hoik across the line from Dilshan, who smears a mis-timed stroke over midwicket for four. The ball must have hit the bat high on the splice as Dilshan is summoning a new bat. But his new willow isn't quite up to the job as he mistimes a front-foot hook, top-edging the ball high into the leg side where Luke Wright takes a superb low catch running about 15 yards from the square leg boundary.
From Paul, Text 81111:
"I can't decide whether losing to Sri Lanka is preferable to being destroyed by the Aussies in the final. Please help."
2 overs - Sri Lanka 11-1
Tillakaratne Dilshan smashes his first delivery outside off stump straight into the ground and down to the cover boundary for four. His Dilscooping antics have been limited during his stay in the Caribbean so far. Nice riposte from SiBo, who maintains a good line around off stump and offering no width for Dilshan to throw his bat at. Excellent start from the Notts seamer.
1.1 overs - Sri Lanka 7-1 Wicket Jayasuriya ct Collingwood b Sidebottom 1
Lovely delivery first up from Sidebottom, hooping away from the left-hander as Sanath pushes tentatively outside off stump and into the glue-like hands of Paul Collingwood at second slip. New man is the frying pan-wielding Dilshan.
1 over - Sri Lanka 7-0
Leg-side filth first up from Bresnan, eased over square leg by Jayawardene for a first-ball boundary. A quick single gives Jayasuriya the strike and the pocket-sized left-hander plays a couple of respectful defensive strokes sandwiched between a leg-side wide. He nicks the strike with a swift single to mid on. No discernable wobble to report with the ball.
Our umpires this afternoon are Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar, the best in the business. Tim Bresnan to bowl the first over. Game on.
Lovely rousing rendition of her ma'am's favourite God Save the Queen, makes me want to reach for a tropical beverage with a plethora of unnecessary accompaniments. Interesting, Sanath Jayasuriya is opening the batting alongside Mahela Jayawardene. The 40-year-old has been distinctly unJayasuriya-like in this tournament. Oh dear, have I Murrayed it?
From John, Havant, TMS inbox:
"I said to one of the girls in work that, knowing my luck I'll rush home for the cricket, it'll rain all day and it'll end with a bowl out at 10 clock. 'What's that?' she said. 'Is it like leaving a saucer of milk for a hedgehog?'."
Poor old Aggers is having to crank up the volume in the commentary box with all sorts of musical shenanigans just before the national anthems. Must admit, the steel pan orchestra is starting to grow on me.
Oh yes, the teams. England:
Lumb, Kieswetter, Pietersen, Collingwood, Morgan, Wright, Bresnan, Yardy, Swann, Broad, Sidebottom Sri Lanka:
Jayasuriya, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Dilshan, Kapugedera, Jayasinghe, Mathews, Perera, Randiv, Malinga, Mendis
From Will Harris, TMS inbox:
"Any chance you could give us a link to the photo, fancy mentioning a great opportunity for a giggle and not letting us have a laugh, is this what's happening to the BBC under the Conservatives?"
The Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet is huge, so a wet outfield, coupled with a slow pitch, might contribute to a low score. It's sunny right now, so here's a sunny graphic. England will come up against Ajantha Mendis for only the second time. The last time they faced the mystery tweaker was in the Champions Trophy, when he took 0-35 from nine overs in South Africa. However, more menacing from what I have seen from him in this tournament is Suraj Randiv, whose dismissal of David Hussey at the weekend was one of my highlights of the tournament.
From Isaac, Crouch End, Text 81111:
"Wayne Rooney just became a dad and had his best season yet. Could fatherhood have the same effect on KP? Let's hope so...come on England!"
From Richard, Offord, TMS inbox:
"Re 1558, not too sure whose idea it was to have Strauss in the side, but considering he hit 33 off just 21 balls, maybe it's worth giving him another bash?"
St Lucia was inundated with heavy showers last night, while more showers are predicted at some stage today. The man next to me has just found a picture of James Tredwell falling off a particularly low quality garden plastic chair during England's team photo in St Lucia on Wednesday. My sides are splitting.
Toss time and Kumar Sangakkara calls tails - and wins. Sri Lanka will bat first
. One change from the side that beat India so dramatically with Ajantha Mendis in for seamer Thilan Thushara. Meanwhile, Paul Collingwood confirms what we all knew - Kevin Pietersen is in for Ravi Bopara. Colly's banging on about the "brand of cricket" again. Horrible marketing phrase.
Refresh your web browser and all sorts of TMS delights will appear on your screen.
Somewhat surprisingly, this encounter is only the second between the two sides in Twenty20. Their only previous match was almost four years ago in June 2006, when
Sri Lanka beat England by two runs in Southampton.
Only three players remain from that England side - KP, Paul Collingwood and Tim Bresnan, who made his international dayboo at the Rose Bowl. Strauss? In the Twenty20 side? Whose idea was that?
From Tom, waiting with baited breath in Twickenham, TMS inbox:
"Chances of KP celebrating a fifty with a cradle celebration a la Bebeto 1994 football World Cup? I think they're quite high..."
OK, hands up - who thought England would reach the last four before the start of the tournament? Yeah, me neither, but Paul Collingwood's side are sizzling like a Wag's credit card following their
third successive victory in the tournament with a three-wicket win over New Zealand
on Monday. England are playing with a ruthlessness previously never seen since the inception of Twenty20 internationals and, as Tim Bresnan recently said, they are not afraid of anyone. Your thoughts on this please via the TMS inbox
or text 81111
with the word "CRICKET" before your sage words of wisdom. Or your best lookalike for Vince Cable (Clive James is winning so far).