Sri Lanka v Pakistan commentary

Last updated: 4th October 2012  

Sri Lanka v Pakistan commentary

SRI LANKA WIN BY 16 RUNS Both teams rocked up this evening knowing that nothing less than a win was needed, given that it was indeed a Semi-Final, but in the end it was Sri Lanka who pretty much controlled the game from start to finish.

With the home supporters behind them from the first ball, Jaywaredene's troops did well to continue their fine form and catapult them into the final on Sunday.

Pakistan really just self-destructed during their batting innings after thinking maybe they'd done enough to get Sri Lanka to a sub-150 score.

In the end, the men in green will go home while the folks in blue and yellow will celebrate their victory as they move one step closer to a World Championship on home soil.

Join us tomorrow for Australia vs West Indies to see who will join the hosts in the final.

Over 20 - PAK 123/7 (Akmal 29, Gul 2) Kulasekara is tasked with the last over - he starts with a slower ball yorker - dangerous, but it's done the job! Akmal removes his helmet - he's obviously pretty confident! Well, no, he answers with a swing and a miss - I think his back is somewhere in the middle of the pitch after that one! Akmal comes down the pitch, taps it away on the off side and with just three balls remaining that's pretty much the ball game unless a few wides and no-balls get bowled. Banners donning the words "we are the champions" are hoisted by the crowd - a bit premature one may think... it's all over in Colombo - Sri Lanka qualify for the final with a 16-run victory over Pakistan!

Over 19 - PAK 117/7 (Akmal 24, Gul 1) There's a run out attempt here - as Malinga releases the ball from his hand the bail takes a few moments to dislodge - replays show the bails out of the grove as the bat is sliding onto the line - ohhhh, this is touch and go! Benefit goes to the batsman though, so we continue with Pakistan unscathed.

Over 18 - PAK 113/7 (Akmal 22, Gul 0) Excellent running from Akmal, he knows he must get the most out of this over from Mendis and gets a couple from the first with some quick feet. He lashes out at the next and slices it away for a couple more. WICKET! Tanvir has no clue on the fourth as one spins away from him and Sangakkara stumps him with ease! Here comes Umar Gul - the "Gulanator" as they're calling him right now - some may remember his onslaught against South Africa a few days ago in this competition - he casually sees out Mendis for now.

Over 17 - PAK 108/6 (Akmal 17, Tanvir 8) Tanvir gets a somewhat slower ball and smashes it away for four! Umar Akmal causes a bit of a scene as he changes his gloves - the Umpire tries to tell him he cannot just go doing these things without permission. Lots of weird awkward looks from Umpire to player now. Tanvir plants one down at mid-on - Akmal takes strike for the last of the over, Malinga bowls a wide and Akmal sets off for a single off the last.

Over 16 - PAK 101/6 (Akmal 16, Tanvir 3) Mathews gets an over as Tanvir picks up another single. Akmal comes down the wicket and goes up and over cover - he got a little lucky there as the ball just snips the finger of the fielder as it goes through for four.

Over 15 - PAK 92/6 (Akmal 9, Tanvir 1) HUGE WICKET! Hafeez is gone, Sangakkara has done the work behind the stumps as Herath keeps one low and wide as Hafeez darts down the pitch. No doubt about it, he's out which brings Shahid Afridi to the crease. Could he save Pakistan? NO! WICKET! Afridi is out, can you believe this! He's bowled first ball thanks to a tiny inside edge! Herath is on a hat-trick ball as Sohail Tanvir takes over but the new man spoils the party by sticking around and remaining safe.

Run Rates Pakistan are currently scoring at 6.50 per over but would need to up that to 8.16 - not impossible...

Over 14 - PAK 91/4 (Hafeez 42, Akmal 9) Mendis takes the ball with his first beating the outside edge. Akmal finds a boundary off the second followed by a single off the third. A single to Hafeez puts Akmal back on strike and he manages another two before defending off the last of the over.

Over 13 - PAK 83/4 (Hafeez 41, Akmal 2) Hafeez gets another boundary as he reverse sweeps the fist of the over up and over for four. He's not done yet as he plays a really brave shot straight down the ground and just inches over Kulasekara's head at long-on - SIX RUNS! That's the first maximum of the game!

Over 12 - PAK 71/4 (Hafeez 30, Akmal 1) Malinga has dropped an absolute sitter! Hafeez scoops one right up to the paceman on the boundary and as it drops into his hands he takes his eye of the ball - what a costly error that could prove to be! Hafeez manages four runs with a boundary off the fourth.

Over 11 - PAK 64/4 (Hafeez 24) Herath continues his bowling duties while Malik and Hafeez both pick up a single to start. Malik lofts one inside-out to the extra-cover region - a couple from it. Malik picks up another couple before getting clean bowled by an absolute beaut! Is it all over for Pakistan now?

Over 10 - PAK 58/3 (Hafeez 23, Malik 1) Mathews returns to have a bowl and immediately makes a very important break by trapping Jamshed in the line - that's a WICKET! LBW! Kamran Akmal takes the spot of the dismissed batsman. Hawkeye shows us that one was actually pitching outside leg stump - how vital will that decision prove to be for Pakistan?! WICKET! Mathews picks up his second of the over with a slower ball lofted to Mahela at short midwicket! What an easy catch - Akmal had no clue about that one! Time for a bit of Shoaib Malik - can he save Pakistan?

Over 9 - PAK 55/1 (Hafeez 22, Jamshed 4) Rangana Herath joins the bowling attack now and his first one up offers an appeal as Jamshed comes through for a leg-bye. Hafeez brings up Pakistan's 50 with a single to long-on. Mathews does some good work on the ropes to deny a boundary off the last as Hafeez manages just a couple from his effort.

Over 8 - PAK 48/1 (Hafeez 17, Jamshed 3) Jamshed picks up a single off the second wide of midwicket. Malinga slips up in the field, fumbles, and concedes three as he makes it easy for the batsmen to get back safe after some work on the boundary ropes. Hafeez puts in a wonderful strike to end the over, smashing in from the middle of the bat and over cover for four.

Over 7 - PAK 39/1 (Hafeez 10, Jamshed 1) Four runs off the first as Hafeez punches one safe past long-on. What an effort from Herath who goes flying across the mid-on boundary to try make a catch - he wasn't far off as he got an outstretched arm to the ball, how unlucky - that would have been a wonderful catch, in the end though it's just two runs! Hafeez taps one to mid-off - Kulasekara picks it up and has a shy but he doesn't make direct contact and the batsman is safe!

Over 6 - PAK 31/1 (Hafeez 3, Jamshed 0) Sri Lanka are doing a brilliant job in the field as Dilshan dives across the field to stop a certain boundary - literally putting their bodies on the line here! Eventually Nazir silences the crowd and gets one through the field with a cute sweep for four past short fine-leg. Imran Nazir is shocked. So am I! He defends one straight down into the ground but the ball manages to squeeze itself right up to the stumps and a slight knock removes the bails. What a shame that Nazir's innings has to come to an end this way! Sri Lanka won't worry though, that's a huge wicket for them! Nasir Jamshed is the new man.

Over 5 - PAK 26/0 (Hafeez 2, Nazir 16) Nazir adds a single to his tally with one off the first. Hafeez can't seem to find one for himself but manages to add a leg-bye to the score while Nazir forward defends the final one of the over.

Over 4 - PAK 24/0 (Hafeez 2, Nazir 15) Nuwan continues to Hafeez who swipes one away to the leg side for a single, giving Nazir the strike once more. He picks up a single too, giving Hafeez back the strike. Hafeez ends the over swinging from the hip to no avail - this comes after he's just told Nazir to take it easy!

Over 3 - PAK 22/0 (Hafeez 1, Nazir 14) Malinga propels himself into the attack and does the same with his second delivery which goes far wide down leg side for four byes - awful awful ball! Nazir edges the next one down to third man as the batsmen comes through for two. Malinga screams for an LBW appeal along with every Sri Lankan supporter in Colombo, but the Umpire says it's not out.

Over 2 - PAK 8/0 (Hafeez 1, Nazir 12) Nuwan Kulasekara opens from the opposite end with his inswingers. Nazir seems a little out of sorts as Kula opens with three beauts followed by two wides - but Nazir eventually shows some good technique as he angles one fine of third man for four.

Over 1 - PAK 8/0 (Hafeez 1, Nazir 7) Hafeez picks up a single off the second. Nazir slices away past point who manages to get a flying left-hand to the ball as it passes at speed - not really a drop catch I reckon, but a certain boundary-saver! Nazir tries to pull a bouncer but doesn't connect - although Kumar reckons there was a huge edge, and as such appeals madly. Eventually Nazir shows his class by lofting one off the back foot over cover - what a fantastic shot!

Pakistan Innings Welome back, Angelo Mathews will take the first over and Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir are the two in the middle. Pakistan need 140 at a run rate of seven per over.

END OF INNINGS : 139/4 A pretty fair innings from Sri Lanka, but it's going to probably be a slightly tough ask for them to defend against a pretty good Pakistan batting unit. They may have felt a little safer in the 150-area but don't be fooled, 140 is a tough total to chase under these conditions. Join us in a few minutes - the winner here faces either Australia or West Indies!

Over 20 - SL 123/4 (Perera 2, Mathews 3) Saeed Ajmal takes the ball for the penultimate over. WICKET! An easy stumping first up gives Pakistan a "walk in the park" type of wicket as Mendis comes down the pitch quite early and Ajmal drops it short and wide, leaving Kamran to do the honours behind the stumps. Angelo Mathews, the vice-captain, joins Perera in the middle. A wicket and six runs from the over, you can't help but feel Sri Lanka want to do far better than that for the last over.

Over 18 - SL 117/3 (Mendis 15, Perera 0) Gul continues and bowls three great deliveries. Mendis isn't quite sure how to put those kind of balls away - he chooses to shuffle over and try play it off the pads but instead is struck low down right in front of the stumps, and Gul gets his man LBW! OH BUT WAIT! There is some drama! It was a no-ball!! Can you believe it! Instead of walking to the dugout, Mendis now has a chance to send Gul packing off the free delivery - Mendis doesn't time it too well and only manages a single from it. Gul drops a yorker in the mix and Dilshan clearly didn't expect that - he's out LBW! WICKET! This time it's definitely not a no-ball and Thisara Perera makes his way to the middle.

Over 17 - SL 114/2 (Mendis 14, Dilshan 34) Dilshan isn't getting drawn into the big shots, not yet at least. He plays one away for a single before Mendis picks up just one as well. Ajmal is trying to make the batsmen lift it a little in the hope someone could take the catch. Dilshan pulls a shorter one from Ajmal and sends it past the short fine-leg for four.

Over 16 - SL 107/2 (Mendis 13, Dilshan 28) Umar Gul gets a chance to shine with the ball and opens with two excellent ones just passing the batsman. Mendis eventually gets one away for a couple off the pads to the man deep at square-leg. Mendis pulls one which just somehow misses the hands of the man at midwicket as it flies over the fielder - just a couple from it. Gul responds with a short ball but the Umpire feels that's a little too high a bouncer, and issues a wide. Mendis pulls the last, this time with just one hand on the bat - but it's straight to the filder and just a couple from it.

Over 15 - SL 100/2 (Mendis 7, Dilshan 28) A single a piece before Mendis goes for the reverse sweep against the spin from Hafeez - four more! I wonder if they've been practicing that reverse sweep in their sleep as it seems a be somewhat of a trademark shot here! Mendis ends with a single as he lashes onto one and sends it down to mid-off.

Over 14 - SL 93/2 (Mendis 1, Dilshan 27) Afridi comes back into the attack to finish his spell. Mendis and Dilshan both pick up a single before Mendis punishes a full toss for four - that was indeed a terrible delivery. The batsmen end the over with two into space on the leg-side as Afridi gives chase off his own bowling.

Over 13 - SL 85/2 (Mendis 0, Dilshan 20) Hafeez looks for the break as he takes the ball for the first time today. Dilshan manages a single off the first. Some drama on the third of the over as Kamran goes for the stumping of Sangakkara - the third Umpire is called into action once more, and yet again offers the not-out sign - quite interesting to note that delivery spun a long way and came at a much quicker speed. Sangakkara doesn't look phased as he lashes out at one and sends it wide of long-on - they manage to pick up two thanks to some fantastic running between the wickets. WICKET! Sangakkara skies one straight down the ground - Malik gets himself under it during the descent and takes another easy textbook catch. Jeevan Mendis will take Kumar's place in the middle. Hafeez is super-chuffed with that wicket!

Over 12 - SL 80/1 (Sangakkara 16, Dilshan 18) Ajmal drops the first of the over outside off stump, giving Kumar plenty of space to slice it past point for four. A fumble on the next ball gives Sri Lanka a chance to come through for a second, easy running that was. Sangakkara plays the fourth of the over off the middle of the bat over the top of extra cover - just two bounces and that's four more!

Over 11 - SL 67/1 (Sangakkara 5, Dilshan 17) In the air..... OUT! Mahela tries to scoop one right over short fine-leg but only manages to send it straight down Raza's throat - such a simple catch and as Mahela trods off he shows his anger at such a terrible shot choice. Kumar Sangakkara is the new man to the middle and wastes no time, punishing a flighted delivery between mid-on and midwicket for four. Kumar goes across the line next up and just manages a single for his efforts. Loud appeal from Afridi off the last but the Umpire probably reckons that one is travelling down leg as Dilshan is struck on the pads.

Over 10 - SL 62/0 (Jayawardene 42, Dilshan 16) A quick single off the first and great fielding by midwicket knocks the bails off - Mahela is given not out as the third umpire has to make a decision on that one. Mahela responds connecting really well with another reverse sweep but this time just a couple from it. He follows by playing a more orthodox sweep - this time over the head of short fine-leg for another couple. Raza places one in a good spot and Mahela hits it straight to cover - just inches short though as the crowd prematurely celebrate a wicket. Mahela ends the over coming down the wicket and hitting it straight over the bowler for four more.

Over 9 - SL 53/0 (Jayawardene 34, Dilshan 15) Dilshan scores a couple playing Afridi's first deep on the off side. Dilshan then slaps a wide one outside off stump away to deep cover, just a single from it. Mahela takes the strike and glorious puts one over the top of cover for four before setting off for a single leg-bye. Dilshan ends the over by scooping one out and sending it down to long-off for a single.

Over 8 - SL 44/0 (Jayawardene 30, Dilshan 11) Raza continues. Mahela plays an inside-out drive past cover for a single while Dilshan does pretty much the same a few balls later. Mahela easily guides another single off to deep cover before Dilshan ends the over with another single toward long-off.

Over 7 - SL 40/0 (Jayawardene 28, Dilshan 9) Afridi gets a chance with the ball as Dilshan adds a single off the first of the over to his tally. Mahela improvises brilliantly - he uses the bounce from Afridi to go up and over square leg for four!

Over 6 - SL 34/0 (Jayawardene 23, Dilshan 8) Short, on the pads, and Saeed Ajmal's first loosener is punished by Mahela for four. Mahela goes down to try sweep the next, but offers a reverse sweep and completely misses the ball as it trickles down to the boundary for two byes. Saeed goes for an appeal on the fourth but Mahela is too far outside off stump for the Umpire to consider that one. Mahela attemps another reverse sweep and this time he makes no mistake, connecting brilliantly as it runs away for four more.

Over 5 - SL 24/0 (Jayawardene 15, Dilshan 8) Tanvir notices as Mahela darts down the pitch long before the ball is released and drops him one short and slow. The batsman puts in a full stretch to get to it as he slots it just wide of mid-on for a single. Tanvir responds with a dot-ball followed by a wide and two more dots before Dilshan edges one - Kamran dives to his right but can only get a glove to it as the batsmen make it through for a simple two.

Over 4 - SL 20/0 (Jayawardene 14, Dilshan 6) Four runs there as Jayawardene sweeps it furiously over square leg, that was one of Raza's worse balls of the over. Mahela follows with two dots and eventually sneaks a single from the last of the over.

Over 3 - SL 14/0 (Jayawardene 9, Dilshan 5) Tanvir continues and gets some away movement to the right-hander. Mahela gets an outside edge for a single but it will be a worry as there is a big puff of dust when the ball pitches. Keep in mind that this pitch will be used for the other semi tomorrow and the final on Sunday. They grab a quick single off the final ball and there are only two runs from it.

Over 2 - SL 12/0 (Jayawardene 8, Dilshan 4) Dilshan gets his account opened with a wonderful cut for four off Raza Hasan, while Mahela adds three to his tally. The little spinner does well to adjust later in the over, forcing the batsmen to come forward and defend.

Over 1 - SL 5/0 (Jayawardene 5, Dilshan 0) Sohail Tanvir starts us off with a bit of pace, sending down a dot ball to start. He strays down the leg side next ball and Mahela flicks it off his pads to the fine leg boundary, where Umar Gul misfields and it hits the ropes. Tanvir recovers well though and they only get another single.

Right, the players are on the field, as are the umpires. The pitch is pretty dry, which should be good for the many spinners in Pakistan's team.

Five minutes later, Sri Lanka's anthem is still going strong.

The anthems are being belted out now, with the little mascot kiddies grinning maniacally into the camera.

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

Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan

Toss! Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez says he would have done the same.

While the Pakistanis will rely on their bowlers, the Sri Lankans not only have the home advantage but their batsmen seem to have a knack for playing spin. Mahela Jayawardene believes he has the right players in the squad to take them all the way with pace bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga there to bolster the bowling attack.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez will put plenty of hope into his slower bowlers as he has been aided in this series by some clinical bowling from fellow spinners in Raza Hasan, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal.

Greetings! Hello and welcome to Colombo for the first semi-final, featuring Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Australia tackle the West Indies in tomorrow's other semi-final, giving today's winner an additional day of rest ahead of the final here in Colombo.

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