Malinga's five-fer sends England home

England

Sri Lanka advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Monday after beating England by 19 runs in Colombo, thus sending the defending champions home in defeat and dragging the West Indies into the final four.

Sri Lanka advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Monday after beating England by 19 runs in Colombo, thus sending the defending champions home in defeat and dragging the West Indies into the final four.

England needed to score 170 to win the match and reach the semis, and despite a superb 67 off 48 balls from Samit Patel, and a cameo of 34 off 20 from Graeme Swann, they never looked like reaching it as Lasith Malinga took a career-best five wickets.

The Sri Lankans made 169 for six in their 20 overs, with Mahela Jayawardene top-scoring and Thisara Perera contributing a valuable 26 runs at the death, without which Patel and Swann may well have reached the target.

England's chase was a rollercoaster of emotions for the fans, as Patel and Swann at one stage, with a few overs to go and needing 30-odd runs, looked like they could pull off a miracle, but Malinga's yorkers and his three wickets in one over at the start proved too much.

Sri Lanka started well and had a bit of luck in the second over, when Swann dropped Tillakaratne Dilshan off Jade Dernbach. The hosts raced to 35 and seemed set on punishing the mistake, but Steve Finn got England's own back and trapped Dilshan LBW in the fifth over.

Both Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara fell in the same over to Swann, Mahela caught by Eoin Morgan in the deep for 42, before Sangakkara was given out caught behind off the next ball. He was gutted though, and it did not look like he had touched it.

The runs kept flowing though, as Jeevan Mendis and Angelo Mathews took the attack to the spinners, hitting a fifty partnership in five overs. Then Broad did what Swann had done earlier, getting two wickets in two balls.

First it was Mendis who was caught by Ravi Bopara, before Mathews played onto his stumps off the next ball to leave the hosts on 124 for five. Thisara Perera then came in a whacked 26 off 16 balls, including a one-handed six off Dernbach, as the Lankans continued to rain sixes on the crowd.

Lahiru Thirimanne added 13 off seven balls but fell in the 19th over, clean bowled by a furious Stuart Broad, who had been given a bit of stick in his four overs, but took three wickets for 32 runs.

England's chase reached only 16 before the first wicket fell, when Luke Wright found himself caught by Dilshan off Malinga. Jonny Bairstow came in and departed just as quickly, skying Malinga to Nuwan Kulasekara in the same over for two.

Astonishingly, Alex Hales went in the same over, trapped LBW, but replays showed the ball would have gone down leg side. Still, England were 18 for three after three overs, and Eoin Morgan had a mountain to climb.

Patel was the leading batsman though, and he and Morgan put on 55 together, with Morgan only contributing 10 before being caught in front off Akila Dananjaya, and this time it was hitting the stumps.

Ravi Bopara then came in and probably everyone aside from the Sri Lankan players would have hoped for the Essex man to get some runs. He was put into the side on the back of shocking form over the summer, and his confidence was further shot when he was bowled by Jeevan Mendis for one run.

Malinga's second over saw two milestones reached, as Patel brought up his half century, but Malinga added his fourth wicket and recorded his best T20 figures. Jos Buttler found himself caught by Ajantha on the boundary for eight.

Skipper Broad lasted exactly two balls before being caught by Jayawardene off Dananjaya, and while Patel kept going at the other end by playing good, positive shots, it seemed all over bar the shouting for the defending champs.

But Swann had other ideas, and he came in and proceeded to demolish the bowlers, and they reached a fifty partnership off 4.2 overs, so with two overs to go, the England fans still sat on the edge of their seats, their side needing 33 runs off the last two overs.

It was not to be though, as Malinga bagged his five-fer, his first in the format, by removing Patel's off stump with his score on 67. Swann followed soon after in similar fashion, this time from Kulasekara, for a valiant 34 off 20 balls.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis

England: Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steve Finn, Jade Dernbach

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