Sri Lanka send India packing

Kapugedera heroics put Sri Lanka on the brink

By Joe Drabble   Last updated: 12th May 2010  

Sri Lanka send India packing

Kapugedera: Last ball heroics

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Sri Lanka clinched a place in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals with a thrilling five-wicket victory over India in St Lucia.

Chamara Kapugedera's sensational six off the last ball made sure inaugural winners India were knocked out of the competition.

Chasing 164 for victory and requiring three off the last ball, Kapugedera (37 not out off 16 balls) dispatched Ashish Nehra over extra cover to clinch victory.

A place in the last four was then secured for Kumar Sangakkara's men when West Indies - their rivals for second spot in Group F - lost to Australia.

Intent

Sri Lanka, who will next face England on Thursday, had been put to the sword early on by India, starting with recalled opener Dinesh Karthik smashing the first ball of the match to the boundary.

Karthik, in the side in place of Murali Vijay, lasted just 11 further deliveries though before he presented a simple return catch to Lasith Malinga (2-25).

Suresh Raina then joined Gautam Gambhir in the middle and the pair added 66 runs off 41 balls to set the perfect platform for a late onslaught.

Gambhir fell nine short of his half-century when he became Malinga's second victim, however Raina passed 50 off 37 deliveries to continue his success in St Lucia having struck a century at the same venue against South Africa.

The left-hander eventually perished for 63 - caught in the deep off Thilan Thushara - and the India innings wilted to a disappointing 163 for five thereafter.

The total meant that Sri Lanka needed just 144 from their 20 overs to eliminate Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men.

Recovery

Their reply got off to a disastrous start though as openers Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya departed to leave them six for two.

Top tournament run-scorer Jayawardene (four) nicked an Ashish Nehra delivery to Yusuf Pathan at first slip and Jayasuriya (0) gave Vinay Kumar his first wicket in international cricket eight balls later.

But Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) and Sangakkara (46) launched a spirited recovery effort, with the former striking four boundaries from his first 11 balls.

He was eventually caught by Yuvraj Singh off Pathan's bowling with the score on 49-3, but Angelo Mathews helped keep the score ticking over.

Although Sangakkara departed, Kapugedera stepped in as he and Mathews (46 off 37) managed to score 60 from the final five overs against a dispirited India team that knew they would be flying home.