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Mendis show the way Sri Lanka into semifinals

Jun 16th, 2009 7:30:03 pm - Subscribe

Ajantha Mendis hardly got a game in the IPL. Left out of most of John Buchanan’s plans, the Sri Lankan spinner was seen warming the Kolkata Knight Riders’ bench.

It, however, has been a different story in the T20 World Cup. He has had the opposition in all sorts of trouble with his unique variations. And he continued on Tuesday, picking up three Kiwi wickets in a 48-run win for Sri Lanka in their last SuperEights game.

With this win, Sangakkara’s side booked their place in the semis, with the West Indies being their likely opponents at the Oval on June 19.

Set a target of 159, New Zealand never looked like being in with a shout. Sri Lanka have one of the best attacks in the tournament, and it was the variety in their attack that stifled the Kiwi chase. New Zealand’s innings folded at 110 in the 17th over.

Mahela Jayawardene, on the other hand, is not your quintessential T20 batsman. More in the classical mould, the former Lanka skipper is often underrated in the shortest version.

On Tuesday, though, he showed just how good players can adapt themselves to every situation, playing some of the most outrageous shots, including one of the back of his bat, in his 29-ball 41. Though Martin Guptill tried his best to get New Zealand to victory, his 43 wasn’t enough.
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