After Tillakaratne Dilshan had set the tempo with a 57-ball 96, Angelo Mathews (3 for 16) and Muttiah Muralitharan (3 for 29) ensured Sri Lanka kept up the momentum as the islanders set up an all-Asian final with Pakistan, beating the West Indies by 57 runs on Friday.
Earlier, Dilshan treated the Oval to a spectacular batting display, carrying his bat through as Sri Lanka posted 158 for five in the second semifinal of the ICC WorldT20.
Given their penchant for chasing, the West Indies put Sri Lanka in. Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya took some time to get set, but once that happened, runs began to flow.
The ‘Dilscoops’ flew around with one of them going for an audacious six. Jayasuriya looked scratchy during his 37-ball 24 but thanks to Dilshan’s superbly timed shots, Sri Lanka reached fifty off 47 balls.
Disaster struck as some rank bad batting saw Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene fall in the space of six balls (77/3 in 11.3 overs).
Unmindful of the happenings at the other end, Dilshan began expanding his repertoire of strokes. Soon after taking Sri Lanka past the 100-run mark, he chose Dwayne Bravo for some preferential treating, hitting him for three consecutive boundaries to take his score past 80.
Needing a six off the innings’ final delivery to post the first century of this WT20, Dilshan managed just two but he had the satisfaction of putting up the tournament’s highest score.
Sri Lanka (158 for 5 in 20 overs): T Dilshan 96*, S. Jayasuriya 24, Taylor 1-31; Bravo 2-32 beat West Indies (101 in 17.4 overs): C Gayle 63*, Mathews 3-16, Muralitharan 3-29 by 57 runs.