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England beat Sri Lanka to reach World Twenty20 final

ICC World Twenty20, St Lucia: England 132-3 (16 overs) beat Sri Lanka 128-6 (20 overs) by seven wickets
Match scorecard

Stuart Broad gets a hug from Kevin Pietersen after claiming the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene
Broad gets a hug from Pietersen after claiming the wicket of Jayawardene

By Oliver Brett

England strolled to a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 semi-finals to reach an ICC tournament final for the first time since 2004.

Led by Stuart Broad (2-21), the bowlers excelled in St Lucia with only Angelo Mathews (58) making any sort of contribution in a total of 128-6.

Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb then put on 68 in 8.1 overs for the first wicket to put England firmly on course.

New dad Kevin Pietersen made 42 not out as they eased home with 24 balls left.

England's eyes will now turn towards Sunday's final in Barbados, potentially against this winter's Ashes opponents Australia, should Michael Clarke's unbeaten team put paid to Pakistan's defence of the trophy on Friday.

England have never won a major global tournament, a depressing statistic their fans are keen to see consigned to history, but Paul Collingwood's side will go into the final full of confidence after an impressive all-round display.

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Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara looked pleased to have won the toss as he elected to allow his batsmen to take first use of what transpired to be a blameless wicket at the Beausejour Stadium.

England knew it was vital to remove Mahela Jayawardene, who has been in red-hot form in the Caribbean, as early as possible.

And everything went entirely according to plan for Collingwood's men as two wickets had already fallen by the time Jayawardene departed to Broad's first delivery.

Broad, summoned up to bowl the fifth over after Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom had shared the new ball, bowled a delivery just back of a length outside off-stump, seaming away a fraction. Jayawardene's thin defensive edge was easily snapped up by wicketkeeper Kieswetter.

By then, the 39-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya had been caught at second slip off Sidebottom, before Tillakaratne Dilshan was superbly held at deep square leg by a diving Luke Wright off Bresnan.

With Jayawardene following the procession back to the pavilion, England were already firmly in control, and Collingwood now turned to eight overs of solid spin bowling from Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy.

Sri Lanka's batsmen could not take too many risks, and one of the few that was taken, Sangakkara's lofted off-drive off Swann, resulted in an easy catch for Pietersen.

Craig Kieswetter
Craig Kieswetter ensured a bright start to England's chase

The return of Broad and Sidebottom presaged a curious period of play with batsmen flailing desperately at bouncers of varying speed.

On one occasion, Chamara Kapugedara, who was eventually put out of his misery when driving Broad to mid-off, threw his bat out of his hands all the way to square-leg umpire Aleem Dar.

Mathews, who hit Sri Lanka's only six, finally began to make sense of England's tactics and, with the scoring choked to the tune of 96-5 off 17 overs, took Bresnan for 14 runs in the 18th, an over made more profitable by the Yorkshireman's three wides.

But with no boundaries coming off either of the last two overs, there was little momentum for Sri Lanka to take into the England chase.

Sangakkara tried five different bowlers in the first five overs, to little avail.

Kieswetter and Lumb had the luxury of having a couple of overs to play themselves in, and once they had done so played some meaty shots to put pressure on the Sri Lankans.

England's openers did get lucky on occasion - umpire Simon Taufel rejected a perfectly good lbw appeal by Mathews against Kieswetter when the right-hander had made 16, while Lumb only avoided being run out on 11 when Ajantha Mendis made an embarrassing mess of taking Lasith Malinga's return.

Jayasuriya's exploratory over saw both batsmen hit handsome sixes, though Kieswetter finally departed to a Malinga yorker.

Lumb should also have been caught on 23 by substitute fielder Nuwan Kulasekara, running in from long-off, in the ninth over.

Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan
Pietersen accepts congratulations from Jayawardene as England win

He stayed to carve Thissara Perera over the off-side for two boundaries, before being bowled round his legs by the same bowler.

Pietersen announced his arrival back in the Caribbean - after a quick visit to London to attend the birth of his son - by hammering Suraj Randiv for an enormous six.

Skipper Collingwood, yet to make a significant score in the tournament, made just 10, but Pietersen continued to play impeccably, hitting Malinga for another six with what was little more than a simple flick over midwicket.

A straight drive along the ground for four off the same bowler ended the game in perfect fashion for an extremely focused England side.



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
13 May 10 |  England
Collingwood wants Australia final
13 May 10 |  England
Aussies stun Pakistan in thriller
14 May 10 |  Cricket
England v Sri Lanka photos
13 May 10 |  Cricket
England v Sri Lanka as it happened
13 May 10 |  Cricket
England defeat Kiwis to top group
10 May 10 |  England
Pietersen and wife have baby son
10 May 10 |  England
Sri Lanka to face England in semi
11 May 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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