COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):
Spinners Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis shared five wickets as Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 16 runs yesterday to reach the World Twenty20 final.
Herath picked up 3-25 with his left-arm spin and Mendis took 2-27 in restricting Pakistan to 123-7 after Sri Lanka posted 139-4 in their semi-final.
It was sweet revenge for Mahela Jayawardene's team, three years after Pakistan won the title at Lord's by defeating Sri Lanka in the final.
Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 42 but Herath had the Pakistan captain stumped in the 15th over before bowling dangerman Shahid Afridi off the next delivery to take the game away from Pakistan and secure a place in Sunday's final. Sri Lanka will face the winner of today's other semi-final between Australia and West Indies.
"We made them hit big shots, take risks and then we struck through our spinners," Jayawardene said. "At the beginning we thought 140 was a par score where we could challenge, and we picked up wickets regularly, which helped us to execute the plan."
Pakistan made a confident start to their run-chase when Imran Nazir (20) added 31 runs off 30 balls with Hafeez before Mendis broke up the threatening stand.
The ball rolled back on to Nazir's stumps as he tried to play a defensive stroke on a wicket which assisted both spinners and seamers and was difficult for strokeplayers to hit boundaries.
Pakistan's in-form batsman Nasir Jamshed, who has scored two half centuries in the tournament, pushed the total to 55 before he was unlucky to be adjudged leg before wicket by Australian umpire Rod Tucker.
Television replays clearly showed that Angelo Mathews had pitched the ball outside leg stump, but Tucker thought otherwise.
Two balls later, Mathews struck again when Kamran Akmal misjudged a slower delivery and spooned the ball to Jayawardene at short midwicket.
Sri Lanka had its fielding lapses when Hafeez was twice dropped on 7 and 24, with the second one a sitter missed at long on by Lasith Malinga.
However, Herath proved Jayawardene's decision right to leave out off-spinner Akila Dananjaya when he had Shoaib Malik clean bowled off a straight delivery and then struck two decisive blows.
He first had Hafeez stumped and then clean bowled Afridi off a ball that took the inside edge on to the wickets. It left too much for Umar Akmal (29 not out) and the tailenders to handle.
With Pakistan needing 39 off the last four overs, Malinga conceded just 11 in his two overs, while Mendis bowled a superb 19th over for just four runs and had Sohail Tanvir (13) stumped.