D/L method sends Sri Lanka through

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The dreaded Duckworth/Lewis method handed Sri Lanka a 27-run victory over the West Indies in their World T20 semi-final at Dhaka on Thursday after a massive storm brought an early end to proceedings.

The dreaded Duckworth/Lewis method handed Sri Lanka a 27-run victory over the West Indies in their World T20 semi-final at Dhaka on Thursday after a massive storm brought an early end to proceedings.

It was a disappointing end to the tournament for the West Indies, though the reality is they were already very much up against it when the rain arrived and killed the contest.

Winning the toss and unsurprisingly choosing to bat, Sri Lanka started like a house on fire.

Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed everything that came at them right from the get-go, hitting a six apiece in the third over as Sri Lanka raced to 32/0 without loss.

Perera clubbed another six off Krishmar Santokie in the next over before chopping on from the final ball to provide the West Indies with a much needed breakthrough.

Two balls later, disaster struck as Mahela Jayawardena was run out without facing a ball after Dilshan chopped a Samuel Badree delivery straight to point.

The dangerous Kumar Sangakkara arrived at the crease, but could make only 1 run before he was caught and bowled by Badree in over number 7.

Lahiru Thirimanne joined Dilshan in the middle, and the duo were forced to consolidate as the scoring rate slowed.

With 13 overs gone, the pair had managed to keep the runs ticking over even though Sunil Narine and Marlon Samuels were doing a good job of keeping the scoring down, leaving Sri Lanka on 87/3 – a run rate of under 7 per over.

In over No 14, the West Indies bagged another run-out, as opener Dilshan finally departed for a run-a-ball 39, but that would bring Angelo Matthews to the crease, and the all-rounder would play a vital role in the final six overs.

It was Thirimanne who started the onslaught in the 15th over, smashing a four and a six off Andre Russell, but he would be dismissed by Santokie for a valuable 45 off 35 deliveries at the end of the 17th.

That paved the way for Mathews to play his part, however, and he would ensure that Sri Lanka made full use of their last 18 balls, clubbing three fours and two sixes off Santokie and Russell to lift Sri Lanka to 160/6.

Russell claimed his wicket off the final ball of the innings, but the damage was done and Sri Lanka had posted a very competitive score.

Dwayne Smith came out for the West Indies full of intent, hitting a four and a six off the first two balls, and it seemed as we might be in store for another swashbuckling Caribbean run chase, but Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake and Lasith Malinga would soon claim the upper hand.

The trio combined at the top of the innings to keep the West Indian openers subdued – including Chris Gayle, who once again seemed out of sorts as he plodded his way to 3 runs off 13 balls before chopping on off Malinga from a seemingly harmless length delivery.

Malinga dismissed Smith in the same 5th over for 17 to kill any momentum the Windies might have been building up.

Lendl Simmons didn't last long either, getting caught in front off Seekkuge Prasanna's first ball of the innings, leaving the West Indies in trouble on 40/3 after 8 overs.

Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels were left to pick up the pieces, but Sri Lanka were rotating their bowlers well, mixing pace and spin and keeping the opposition reigned in.

Bravo eventually started to break loose, but the run rate was not passing six an over, and the required rate was gradually ballooning.

Desperate to get things moving, Bravo took one risk too many, holing out to deep square leg to give Kulasekara his first wicket and leave the Windies on 77/4 after 13.2 overs.

Still needing 84 runs with just 40 balls left to get them in, things looked bleak for the chasers, and they would only get bleaker a couple of balls later as a sudden downpour quickly turned into an almighty hail storm.

The players rushed off the field and would not return again.

Sri Lanka were a comfortable 27 runs ahead on Duckworth/Lewis, and there was nothing the West Indies could do about it.

For Sri Lanka then, a place in Sunday's final, where they will meet the winner of Saturday's second semi-final between South Africa and India.

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