Tharanga thump tons as ….
marches into WC semis with compelling win
Sri Lanka marched into the semi-finals of the 2011
Cricket World Cup with a compelling performance
defeating a deflated England by ten wickets in the
fourth quarter-final played at the R Premadasa
Stadium under lights yesterday.
Sri Lanka will now play New Zealand in the first
semi-finals on Tuesday at the same venue. They’ll be
favourites and strong contenders for the title based
on their performances in the tournament so far.
Both openers completed hundreds as Sri Lanka waltzed
past England’s total of 229-6 in the 40th over
sharing their second double century partnership of
the present World Cup. They put on 282 against
Zimbabwe at Pallakele in a Group A match.
Both batsmen took the England attack by the
scruff of the neck and creamed the bowlers to all
parts of the field.
Dilshan finished on a brilliant 108 scored off 115
balls with 10 fours and two sixes.
Tharanga who needed the aid of a runner (Chamara
Silva) after suffering from cramps made the winning
hit a four which also brought up his century off 122
balls with the aid of 12 fours and a six.
Both batsmen were exhausted after their wonderful
Dilshan sank to his knees no sooner the winning
hit was made and could barely move.
He and his partner had to be helped off the ground
to the roaring cheer from the crowd.
Sri Lanka finished on 231-0, the highest total
chased without a single wicket lost in a World Cup
match surpassing the 221 by West Indies against
Pakistan in 1992.
England was never in the game after scraping through
to 229-6. They struggled for momentum throughout
their innings after losing early wickets and looked
a spent force.
England had flirted with danger in the World Cup
holding India to a tie and losing to Ireland and
Bangladesh before squeezing into the last eight.
Yesterday they finally met their waterloo when Sri
Lanka handed them a thumping defeat.
Sri Lanka’s powerful batting performance somewhat
compensated for their poor catching on the field
during the England innings. Despite their shoddy
display they yet managed to keep England down to a
England’s batting was strangled by Sri Lanka’s
three-pronged spin attack (of Muthiah Muralitharan,
Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath) that never
allowed them the luxury of boundaries bowling a
tight line and length. Only a dozen fours were hit
in the entire England innings, four of them coming
off the bat of Eoin Morgan who made use of Sri
Lanka’s sloppy fielding to score a fifty off 55
was dropped thrice at 16 (by Thilan Samaraweera) and
twice at 33 (Angelo Mathews) and 34 (Rangana Herath)
off one over off the infuriated Muralitharan.
Television replays also showed Morgan lbw to Lasith
Malinga, a decision which Sri Lanka did not appeal.
Morgan’s let offs enabled England to cross the
200-run mark which at one time looked a distant
dream when they lost their first three wickets for
95 in 37 overs.
Jonathan Trott anchored the innings scoring 86
off 115 balls but he found the boundary only twice.
His knock typified how difficult it was for
England’s batsmen to score runs against the accurate
bowling and fielding.
Trott and Morgan restored England’s pride with a
fourth wicket stand of 91 off 96 balls, after Trott
and Ian Bell (25) who opened the innings had added
64 for the third wicket.
Sri Lanka managed to pick themselves up from that
brief period of madness to restrict England to just
23 runs in the batting power play and also capture
As it has been the trend in the World Cup so far Sri
Lanka opened bowling with a spinner and Tillakaratne
Dilshan obliged his captain with the wicket of
England captain Andrew Strauss for five.
The R Premadasa Stadium became the fourth
international cricket venue to host a century of
ODIs since it held the first one in 1986. Sharjah,
Sydney and Melbourne are the other four venues which
has hosted over a hundred ODIs.