|Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet
|England v Sri Lanka
|KP Pietersen, AD Mathews, SCJ Broad
|ICC World Twenty20 2010
A rejuvenated English side got better of last time runner-ups Sri Lanka as they brushed aside the islanders to reach the final of an ICC tournament for the first time in 16 years. The last time they made it into the final of a major tournament was in the Champions Trophy 2004 in England. A professional and disciplined English outfit turned out for the game as they were ruthless from the word go. The Lankan batting collapsed in aheap before their future superstar Angelo Mathews rescued them with a fighting half-century while the bowling lacked the bite to penetrate the English batting line-up.
Sri Lanka in their 20 overs scored 128 for the loss of 6 wickets while England in turn overhauled the target in mere 16 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Sangakkara elected to bat first hoping that his batsmen would put up a huge score and his spinner would then exploit a batting line-up that was siad to be fragile agaisnt spin. But what the Lankan willow-wielders encountered was a Englis bowling attack that looked very much determined to cut them to size. Sanath Jayasuriya (1, 4b), who reverted back to his openeing position was caught at the slips and that began a procession of wickets that never really stemmed.
The runs were hard to come by and with that pressure wickets fell. Dilshan (9, 8b, 2x4) always looked in a hurry and he paid the price for his ultra-aggressive methods while Jayawardene (10, 9b, 1x4) was undone by extra bounce by Broad. When Sangakkara (16, 19b, 2x4) was caught in the deep things looked bleak for the islanders. In strode Angelo Mathews and the talented all-rounder displayed that he had a cool head on his shoulders. The right-hander kept the scoreboard ticking by collecting the ones and twos and then hitting the odd boundary. Kapugedera (16, 27b, 2x4) on the other hand struggled to get the ball off the square for the majority part of his stay in the middle.
The English seamers opted for a brilliant strategy in the death overs and that was bowling slow bouncers. The speed rarely went past the 125 ks and the Lankan batsmen in the middle failed to time the ball. Angelo Mathews got to a well deserved fifty as he helped Sri Lanka post 128 in their 20 overs. But it was claer that the target was woefully inadequate against an English line-up that had Pietersen.
England in reply got off to a rousing start thanks to Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter. The pair was aggressive from the word go as they took immense pleasure in taking apart a Lankan bowling unit that lacked the penetration. Sangakkara in desperate need of a break-through used seven bowlers in seven overs but to no avail. Kieswetter (39, 29b, 2x6, 5x4) was in a bullying mood as he was on look-out for boundaries . The right-hander did his cause no harm as he provided the English side a hectic start before he was foxed by a slower yorker from Malinga. Michael Lumb (33, 26b, 1x6, 4x4) who was quiet when Kieswetter was going hammer-thongs soon shifted his gear as he began to cross the boundary ropes regularly.
The southpaw's daredevilry was put to an end when he was cleaned up by Perera round his legs. The Lankan side must have seen a ray of hope but that was soon dismissed when Pietersen took on the bowlers. The belligerant right-hander scored a brisk unbeaten 42 in 26 balls with three boundaries and two huge sixes to help England clinch a place in the final.