Sri Lanka failed to go past the group stages with a solitary win in six games played. The only win came when, powered by a five-wicket haul by medium pacer Asantha de Mel, they overhauled New Zealand’s target of 181 runs by three wickets and seven overs to spare.
Sri Lanka were placed in group B this time along side Pakistan, England and the West Indies but failed to register a single win losing all six matches on their way to an early exit.
The Sri Lankans finished at the bottom with two victories in eight matches, just above Zimbabwe.
Upsetting all calculations, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana helped finish the Lankans as group toppers with five wins and then defeat England in the quarter-final to set up an intriguing semi-final against firm favourites India. The unruly behaviour of the Calcutta crowd ensured that the match was awarded to Sri Lanka with India reeling at 120 for 8, chasing 251 to win.
Later, they achieved the seemingly impossible by trouncing a formidable Australian side by seven wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan. Aravinda De Silva scored 448 runs in the tournament ending up in the top three run scorers.
A disappointing campaign came to an end as the defending champions Sri Lanka placed in Group A crashed out of the World Cup with only two wins alongside Kenya and England.
Sri Lanka qualified for the next stages with four victories in six games played from pool B. Subsequently, they made it to the semi-finals with 7.5 points carried forward from the preliminary stages and a single win, only to get knocked down by Australia with a 96-run margin, in pursuit of an improbable 320 runs to win.
Placed in group B, Sri Lanka topped the tables with three wins in three matches to enter into the Super Eight round. They were at the number two position in the Super Eights to secure a semi-final berth against New Zealand. They defeated the Black Caps by 81 runs at Sabina Park, before going down in the finals at the hands of Australia by 66 runs in Barbados.
© Cricket World 2011