Poor batting costs Windies the match

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Sri Lanka all but advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Saturday after completing a nine-wicket drubbing of a poor West Indies in Pallekele, reaching the 130 required with more than four overs to spare.

Sri Lanka all but advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Saturday after completing a nine-wicket drubbing of a poor West Indies in Pallekele, reaching the 130 required with more than four overs to spare.

Mahela Jayawardene hit an unbeaten 65 off 49 balls, ably assisted by fellow stalwart Kumar Sangakkara, who made 39 off 34 deliveries. Only the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan for 13 marred an otherwise flawless chase.

The West Indies won the toss and chose to bat, but could never get going as Ajantha Mendis took two wickets and Jeevan Mendis one, and only Marlon Samuels (50) and Dwayne Bravo (40) showed any kind of initiative as they made 129 for five in their 10 overs.

Openers Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles were back in the hut for two and 12 respectively early on, and Gayle's loss left the often unexposed Windies tummy open for the Sri Lankans to demolish.

Samuels and Bravo put on a partnership of 65 for the third wicket as they tried to steady the innings, but they could not up the run rate and when Bravo fell to Jeevan Mendis, it was left to Samuels to carry the innings.

Kieron Pollard was no help, scoring only one before being bowled by Ajantha Mendis, who took two of the five wickets. Samuels recorded his 50 off 33 balls but couldn't see out the knock as he was caught by Dilshan off Angelo Mathews.

Sri Lanka's effort got off to a rapid start as they clearly looked to get the total as quickly as possible and have a good run rate in case the group comes down to that. Dilshan was unable to add a meaningful score though, and fell to an edge of Ravi Rampaul for 13.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene showed their class and experience though, and punished the many wide and wayward deliveries sent down by Fidel Edwards and Rampaul. They only needed to go at a run rate of around six, and never risked their wickets.

Jayawardene reached his sixth T20 fifty in the 15th over off 45 balls, and a ball later the 100 came up on the board, the Windies having no answer to the veteran duo on their home turf.

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

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards

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