Colombo, Sri Lanka: Pakistani bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to 139 for four in the first semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20 Cricket 2012 here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday.
Sri Lanka struggled to force the pace after captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat first on dry wicket. Sri Lanka plodded to 123-4 in 19 overs when Thisara Perera smashed three boundaries in the final over bowled by seamer Umar Gul which realised 16 runs.
Openers Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 63 in 10 overs, a slow start by Twenty20 standards but crucial nevertheless for Sri Lanka still had all their wickets in hand.
Jayawardene liberally employed the reverse sweep during his knock of 42 off 36 balls, but was caught at fine-leg while attempting the same shot off leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.
Kumar Sangakkara made a promising 18 from 11 balls when he was snapped up on the long-on fence as he tried to hit Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez out of the ground. Gul was unlucky to see the TV umpire declare a no-ball after he had Jeevan Mendis given out leg-before in the 18th over.
But Gul removed Dilshan two balls later with another leg-before decision that made Sri Lanka 117-3. Dilshan was unusually subdued during his innings, taking 43 balls to score 35 with the help of three boundaries.
Sri Lanka team:
DPMD Jayawardene*, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara†, AD Mathews, BMAJ Mendis, HDRL Thirimanne, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, SL Malinga, HMRKB Herath, BAW Mendis
Mohammad Hafeez*, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal†, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan.
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