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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014
Sri Lanka switch captains to avoid ban
AFP
Pallekele, Sri Lanka, October 02, 2012
First Published: 13:03 IST(2/10/2012)
Last Updated: 13:05 IST(2/10/2012)

Hosts Sri Lanka have used a bagful of tricks to outwit rivals on their way to the World Twenty20 semi-finals - even changing captains for a match to further their cause.

Eyebrows were raised when Kumar Sangakkara, and not regular captain Mahela Jayawardene, walked out to toss in Monday's last Super Eights match against England in Pallekele.

Both Jayawardene and designated vice-captain Angelo Mathews were part of the playing eleven, but the team sheet had senior pro Sangakkara as skipper in an extraordinary turn of events.

Jayawardene explained later the change was made to prevent him and Mathews from missing out on the semi-finals since both of them were already serving a one-match notice for slow over-rates.

"The intention was not wrong," Jayawardene said after the 19-run win over England that knocked the defending champions out of the tournament and lifted the hosts and the West Indies into the semi-finals from group one.

"I had a warning for an over-rate issue, and if it happened again I could have missed the next match. It's a tough system and it's tough to bowl 20 overs in one hour and 20 minutes in a tournament like this.

"We try our best, but the penalties are harsh. We don't want to miss the big games, so we did it with the right intentions.

"Angelo Mathews was on the same offence, so if he got nailed he would have missed the game as well. We had to find someone who didn't have a rap sheet and Kumar fitted the bill."

Jayawardene revealed team manager Charith Senanayake had verified the rules and consulted the International Cricket Council's code of conduct before making the change.

"I am sure they will change the rules after this, but hopefully not in this tournament," he said.

Dominant Sri Lanka won all three Super Eight matches to top the group and now await the second-placed team from the other half in the first semi-final at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Thursday.

The two semi-final spots in group two will be decided later on Tuesday with none of the four teams -- Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa -- assured of a place.

Sri Lanka's two frontline bowlers, Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis, who have taken 17 wickets between them, propelled the hosts forward on the slow pitches.

Malinga picked up five wickets against England, including three in his first over, to derail the chase along with teenage spinner Akila Dananjaya, who finished with 2-26.


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t20 fixtures

Match Date Time Teams
1st 19/09/2012 10:00 GMT | 15:30 IST AUS vs IRE
2nd 19/09/2012 14:00 GMT | 19:30 IST AFG vs IND
3rd 20/09/2012 14:00 GMT | 19:30 IST SA vs ZIM
4th 21/09/2012 10:00 GMT | 15:30 IST NZ vs BAN
5th 21/09/2012 14:00 GMT | 19:30 IST AFG vs ENG

t20 standings

Team MP MW ML MT NR NRR Pts
Chennai Super Kings 4 2 2 0 0 -0.049 8
Sri Lanka 3 3 0 0 0 +0.998 6
Kolkata Knight Riders 4 1 2 0 1 +0.488 6
Perth Scorchers 4 1 2 0 1 -0.474 6
Auckland Aces 4 1 2 0 1 -0.963 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 0 +0.464 4
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