England Smash Sri Lanka To Seal Place In WT20 Final
England 132-3 (Pietersen 42no, Kieswetter 39) beat
Sri Lanka 128-6 (Mathews 58, Broad 2-21) by seven wickets
ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, Saint Lucia
Kevin Pietersen stroked a fluent unbeaten 42 to guide England into the ICC World Twenty20 final thanks to a crushing seven-wicket win over 2009 runners-up Sri Lanka in Saint Lucia.
Pietersen was reintroduced to the team after missing England's final Super Eight game against New Zealand to return home and be present at the birth of his first child and helped England chase down a target of 129 in just 16 overs after their bowlers produced a superb display to restrict Sri Lanka to 128 for six.
Man-of-the-match Stuart Broad returned figures of two for 21, striking to remove Mahela Jayawardene, caught by Craig Kieswetter for nine, with his first ball, as England reduced Sri Lanka to 47 for four, a position from which they never looked like recovering, despite a combative maiden half-century for Angelo Mathews.
He made 58 in 45 balls with three fours and a six and was at the crease early after Sanath Jayasuriya (1), Tillakaratne Dilshan (9) and Kumar Sangakkara (16) departed cheaply.
Mathews was given solid support from Chamara Kapugedera but the pair were unable to repeat their match-winning heroics of the game against India, Kapugedera making 16 before he was caught by Tim Bresnan for Broad's second wicket.
Bresnan returned one for 41, Ryan Sidebottom one for 24, Graeme Swann one for 20 and Michael Yardy nought for 21.
England then all but sealed the game as openers Kieswetter (39 in 29 balls) and Michael Lumb (33 in 26) smashed their way to an opening partnership of 68 inside nine overs to lay the foundations for what turned into a simple win.
Sri Lanka missed an easy run out chance when Lumb and Pietersen were almost at the same end and Pietersen, who faced 26 balls with three fours and two sixes, celebrated his new arrival by winning the match, with a six and a straight four off of Lasith Malinga, by putting England into a world final for the first time since 2004, when they lost to the West Indies in the Champions Trophy.
They will play the winner of the semi-final between Australia and Pakistan, which takes place tomorrow (14th May).
© Cricket World 2010