Sri Lanka stunned New Zealand on Monday, dismissing them for just 60 – the lowest ever score by a full ICC member – after they managed only 119 all out themselves.
Sri Lanka stunned New Zealand as they delivered the bowling performance of the tournament to dismiss the Black Caps for 60 all out – the lowest ever score by a full ICC member – after they managed only 119 all out themselves.
In doing so, they knocked NZ out of the tournament and booked themselves a semi-final berth against West Indies or Pakistan in Dhaka on Thursday.
Rangana Herath took five wickets for a mere three runs as he delivered one of the most impressive T20 spells ever witnessed. He also had two rather good-looking LBW appeals turned down.
The stocky little spinner had not been in the side recently but was selected ahead of Ajantha Mendis, who has been inefficient with the ball in his last couple of games.
Lasith Malinga captained the side as Dinesh Chandimal was suspended for a game for a slow over rate against England.
New Zealand would have felt they had the game one when they stepped out to chase a low total on a pitch that seemed to play just fine, but their reply represented a mass suicide as wickets fell like ninepins.
Opener Kane Williamson (42 off 43 balls) managed to put up some resistance but the Black Caps' second highest scorer managed a paltry five runs.
Two run-outs and the absence of Corey Anderson, thanks to a finger dislocation in the field, didn't help but every other batsman was bamboozled by the spin of Herath and Senanayake (3 ovs, 2-3). What seemed sure to be a landslide win for New Zealand became a rout for Sri Lanka.
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl on a ground where dew has given a significant advantage to chasing teams in night matches in Chittagong.
Excellent bowling from Boult (3-20), Neesham (3-22) and Mclenaghan (2-24) kept the first innings in check and helped to bowl out Sri Lanka as none of the country's batsmen managed to move beyond the twenties.
But the promised dew didn't materialize and instead of bowling with a wet bar of soap, Sri Lanka looked as if they were at the Premedasa. The first few blows softened the opposition and then the Black Caps appeared so weak that Sri Lanka engulfed them like a pack of lions. It was ugly at best, carnage even.
"This pitch was slow," Malinga said after the match.
"I trusted my spinners. Herath was unbelievable. We were waiting for an occasion like this and we pulled through. Rangana was waiting for his chance and he proved himself really well. We have some other good spinners in Ajantha and Senanayake.
"We have a good opportunity with the turning wickets in Dhaka," added the stand-in captain.
All remaining matches are to be played in Dhaka, where the ball turned square for India as they beat Australia last night. This obviously gives Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka a much better chance of lifting the cup than South Africa or the West Indies.
The last group matches will be played tomorrow and Pakistan versus the West Indies is another virtual quarter-final.
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