SL, Pak clash in T20 semis today

4 October 2012 03:28 am - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former champions Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka clash in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Thursday, banking on the quality spinners in the two camps.

The pre-match focus revolved around Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and Pakistan's prolific Saeed Ajmal, both of whom have been the highest wicket-takers for their respective teams in the competition.

While Mendis has taken nine wickets, Ajmal has eight.

Mendis achieved the best figures in Twenty20 internationals with six wickets for eight against Zimbabwe in the preliminary league and remains the trumpcard for the hosts despite conceding 40 runs in four overs against England in Super Eights.

Pakistan had 18 overs of spin during their 32-run win over Australia on Tuesday as Ajmal was ably supported by Shahid Afridi, 20-year-old left-armer Raza Hasan and skipper Mohammad Hafeez.

Sri Lanka has the added bonus of sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who grabbed a career best 5-31 against England and remains one of the most destructive wicket-takers in the game.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was confident about his team reacting well to Pakistan's challenge.

“We have played each other quite frequently and it's been a good contest,” Jayawardene told reporters on Wednesday. “They've got some quality spinners but we just need to make sure that we execute our things well against them.

“Both Ajmal and Mendis have shown how good they are in this competition. It's going to be a big game for everybody, not just for those two guys. It's a huge game for both sides.”The semi-final is a repeat of the 2009 final in England when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka at Lord's to win the title.

The hosts will also depend on a seasoned batting line-up led by Jayawardene to win their first major tournament since the 50-over World Cup in 1996.
But the seasoned skipper was not looking too far ahead.

“We need to get to the final first before thinking of the title,” he said. “We may not have won too many finals but getting there itself shows that we have played consistent cricket.”Pakistan captain Hafeez played down the hype around spinners.

“We are blessed with world-class spinners but I think we have to play good all-round cricket to win the semi-final and we will look for that once we enter the field,” said Hafeez, who regarded Sri Lanka as tough opponent.

“Sri Lanka is playing good cricket and I am happy the way we have played so far and hope that we keep the intentions positive,” said Hafeez, who said crowd support for Sri Lanka will not matter to Pakistan.

“We have been playing our cricket away from home, so we are quite used to of it and I think the Sri Lankan crowd is sensible enough to support good cricket from both the teams,” said Hafeez. “It will surely be a good contest.”International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since terrorists' attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore three years ago. (AFP)
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  Comments - 17

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  • mithraka kulawansa Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:29 AM

    All the best wishes to our cricket team

    Jinn Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:35 AM

    SRI LANKA ZINDABAD..!! LIONS WILL ROAR TONIGHT..

    M.I.MUSTHAQ MOHAMED Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:43 AM

    HOPE OUR BOYS CAN WIN THIS SEMI FINAL AND FOR FINAL WITH AUSTRALIA OR WEST INDIES. WELL DONE BOYS GO AHEAD. " WISH YOU ALL THE BEST".

    wazeen Althaf Navavi Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:39 AM

    ALL THE BEST FOR MAHELA & CO..........................
    I humble request the muslim brothers not disgrace our community by supporting Pakistan. This is our country and we want our country to win.

    Cancer Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:43 AM

    I hope they will not play in the same pitch that Pakistan played NZ a couple of day ago. I heard it would be a pitch not used before. If so, that's fair to both teams. This is our BEST chance to win the T20 World Cup. Let's hope our boys would do the country proud.

    Good luck and all the best boys!

    Mohamed Jihaddeen Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:58 AM

    All the very best SL..may good accept our team to go to final and win this cup... Good luck - cheers

    Abdul Thursday, 04 October 2012 06:24 AM

    Go Lions, The World T20 is This time for Sri Lanka!!!

    chandler Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:44 AM

    Sri Lanka is the team in form, should win through. Victory is sweeter when played within rules, respecting the long traditions of the game of cricket.

    shameel Thursday, 04 October 2012 08:17 AM

    Has a lot of expectations on you SL team...Fingers crossed...

    Danushka Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:46 AM

    The Cricket board is putting out 3000 odd tickets for todays Semi at original prices. Readers if you want tickets go there now! but the line for tickets goes for more than a kilometer from Thurstan past Royal College.

    DM please publish this for the public not to get ripped off for tickets

    visaka Thursday, 04 October 2012 03:57 AM

    sri lanka pilata jaya lebi avasan tharangeta pivisennata waram lebewa.

    Sumi Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:03 AM

    Best of luck for Team Sri Lanka!!
    Only two more hurdles for the Cup !!!
    Ohoma yan .. Ohoma Yan !!!

    Kamal Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:03 AM

    All the best and good luck Sri Lanka. All our best wishes.

    prasa Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:29 AM

    Magula
    What rules... Hammer them as hard as you can. Only ruel is get runs and get wickets !!

    mohamed asfar Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:29 AM

    god bless sri lanka. come on boys. grab the cup for motherlanka.

    FAROOK Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:56 AM

    ALL THE BEST SRI LANKA

    Farisz Thursday, 04 October 2012 05:23 AM

    Go for it Lankan lions!!


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