Malinga Bowls Sri Lanka Through As England Crash Out
Sri Lanka 169-6 (Jayawardene 42) beat
England 150-9 (Malinga 5-31) by 19 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2012 Super Eight Group 1, Pallekele
Report by John Pennington
Sri Lanka moved into the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, taking the West Indies with them, by beating England by 19 runs in Pallekele.
A powerful batting performance saw them post 169 for six - a score that proved well beyond England despite a fine knock of 63 in 43 balls from Samit Patel.
Patel was pushed up to number four in the order and was quickly called upon as England slumped to 18 for three; all three wickets falling in one Lasith Malinga over.
Patel played the leading role in a half-century stand with Eoin Morgan that briefly raised England's hopes and Graeme Swann hit a cameo of 31 in 20 balls before Sri Lanka ended England's title defence.
They made three changes to their starting line-up and were quickly on the back foot as Mahela Jayawardene (42) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (16) made a swift start, a partnership of 35 ending when Dilshan was trapped in front by Steven Finn.
Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (13) then moved the score on to 74, at which point Swann struck twice, removing both men in consecutive deliveries, Jayawardene caught by Morgan and Sangakkara caught behind by Jonny Bairstow, keeping wicket as Craig Kieswetter made way.
The platform was set for Sri Lanka. Jeevan Mendis saw off the hat-trick ball and then cracked two fours and a six, sweeping effectively until he was caught by Bopara off Stuart Broad. He made 18 in 13 balls and his example was followed by Angelo Mathews (28 in 19), Lahiru Thirimanne (13 in seven) and Tissara Perera (25 in 16 balls) as Sri Lanka finished with a flourish.
Swann was excellent, taking two for 26 and Broad made up for a poor start with two late wickets to return three for 32. Jade Dernbach leaked 42 runs in four overs and Patel conceded 27 in two as England failed to give Steven Finn, Swann and Broad the support they needed to keep Sri Lanka's scoring in check.
Malinga then showed exactly how to keep run-scoring in check, having Luke Wright caught by Dilshan for 12, trapping Alex Hales (3) in front and then watching as Bairstow (2) gave his wicket away when he was caught by Kulasekara having driven loosely.
Patel never looked in too much trouble, stepping away to leg and targeting the off side and making the tactic work. He was not afraid to take the aerial route and Morgan's contribution to a 55-run partnership for the fourth wicket was a subdued 10 in 15 balls. The end for him came when he was trapped in front by Nuwan Kulasekara attempting to reverse sweep.
Just what England needed least now duly arrived - a clatter of wickets. Jeevan Mendis bowled Bopara for one, Jos Buttler was caught in the deep for eight and Broad drove Perera to Jayawardene having made two - Sri Lanka this time having qualified for the semi-final regardless of the result.
Patel had in the meantime taken on Ajantha Mendis, and some meaty blows kept England in the game. His Nottinghamshire team-mate Swann then smashed Malinga for 15 in the 17th over and the pair took 11 more from the 18th to briefly revive England's chances.
With 33 runs required from two overs, Malinga returned to snuff out the danger, bowling Patel for an excellent 67 in 48 balls and Kulasekara did the same to Swann, who had hit 34 in 20 with four fours and a six.
The formalities were completed with England at least reaching 150, Dernbach unbeaten on two and Finn one one.
Malinga's figures of five for 31 were a career-best for him.
© Cricket World 2012
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