ICC WT20: Sri Lanka Thump West Indies To Make Final
Sri Lanka 158-5 (Dilshan 96no, Bravo 2-32) beat
West Indies 101 (Gayle 63no, Mathews 3-16) by 57 runs
ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, The Oval
By John Pennington
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored an unbeaten 96 and Angelo Mathews took three wickets in five balls to set Sri Lanka on the way towards a crushing 57-run win over the West Indies which sealed their place in the ICC World Twenty20 final.
Dilshan held Sri Lanka's innings of 158 for five together and Mathews' opening over blast ripped the West Indies' apart and despite captain Chris Gayle emulating Dilshan in carrying his bat for 63, the West Indies were shot out for 101 with Muttiah Muralitharan also taking three wickets.
Dilshan stroked 12 fours and hammered two sixes but no other Sri Lankan batsman could better the 24 made by opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya and even he faced some 37 balls, hitting just three fours.
Kumar Sangakkara (0), Mahela Jayawardene (2), Chamara Silva (11) and Jehan Mubarak (7) all failed to offer Dilshan much support but he hardly needed it and their roles were simply to get him back on strike although Mathews hit a four and a six at the death to close on 12 not ou from four balls.
Needing a six from the final ball of the innings to reach a century, Dilshan could only manage a couple and although they weren't to know it, Sri Lanka had more than enough runs in hand despite the best efforts of Dwayne Bravo (2-32) and Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn and Keiron Pollard, who all picked up a wicket.
Gayle clipped a single to start the West Indian reply before Mathews bowled Xavier Marshall, Lendl Simmons and Bravo without scoring. Simmons was slightly unlucky, the ball flicking his thigh pad while Marshall and Bravo managed to play on trying to leave the ball.
From one for three, the West Indies were always up against it even before the spin threat of Ajantha Mendis (2-9) and Muralitharan (3-29) combined to leave them rocking at 75-6 when Pollard was stumped.
Gayle crashed eight fours and two sixes but as no other batsman could even reach double figures, this was one run chase too far for the man who had taken Australia apart at the same ground earlier on in the tournament.
Gayle had faced 50 balls when Benn was comprehensively bowled by Lasith Malinga to end the match and maintain Sri Lanka's unbeaten record in the tournament so far.
They will play Pakistan in Sunday's final at Lord's.
© Cricket World 2009