The Road to the ICC World Cup 2011 quarter-finals: Sri Lanka – Part 1

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The Road to the ICC World Cup 2011 quarter-finals: Sri Lanka – Part 1
One of the three nations hosting the ICC World Cup 2011, had both the support and the hopes of their country with them. Playing the group stages in front of home support, they were a team with a good chance to go on and lift the cup. Runners-up
in the ICC World Cup 2007, the Sri Lankans seemed to have balance and the right mix between youth and experience.
Placed in Group A against the likes of side.
The Sri Lankans were to get their campaign underway against the Canadians in their opening group match. Batting first, the Sri Lankan batsmen put on an exhibition of some text book stroke play, as they powered their way to a 332 run total. Playing out the
entire 50-overs and losing just seven wickets, the batsman had put pressure on the Canadians, who knew they had a mountain to climb.
Tillakaratne Dilshan helped himself to a magnificent half century, and Captain Kumar Sangakkara was in fine form for his 92 runs. Mahela Jayawardene was the pick of the batsman for his 100 runs, which came off just 115 deliveries.
Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera made quick work of the Canadian batting line-up taking three wickets each. pitched in with two wickets, as the Canadians were bowled all out for a disappointing 122 runs in 36.5 overs.
Full of confidence from their convincing 210 run win, the Sri Lankans took on the comparatively stronger Pakistan side.
In a thrilling match that went down to the wire, the Sri Lankans got their first taste of defeat in the competition. Losing by a mere 11 runs in a game where no one knew which side was in control for long periods, the Sri Lankans were unable to reach the
target of 278 runs set by the Pakistani batsmen.
Dilshan and Sangakkara played well and gave their side hope with their 41 runs and 49 runs respectively early on in the innings, but the Sri Lankans were unable to capitalise. Chamara Silva added a solid knock of 57 runs, but in the end it was all in vain.
Sri Lanka looked to recover from their set-back, as they faced a Kenyan side that was more than just underperforming at the tournament.
The Sri Lankans led by an awe inspiring performance by pace bowler Lasith Malinga, managed to bowl out the Canadians for an insignificant total of a 142 runs. Malinga was responsible for taking six wickets in the match, as he singlehandedly destroyed the
Canadian batting line-up.
In response, Upul Tharanga’s unbeaten 67 runs and a well played innings of 44 runs by Dilshan, were enough to guide Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory. Sri Lanka won the match by 9 wickets and claimed another two points, as they continued their charge towards
the quarter-finals.
Malinga picked up the Man of the Match award with Sri Lanka hoping for more of the same, as they took on the defending champions at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Continued in Part 2



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