Sri Lanka had Rangana Herath to thank for a stirring 59-run win against New Zealand in a low-scoring game which ensured they won Group 1 and sent the Black Caps home.
Put in to bat by New Zealand, Sri Lanka limped to 119 all out.
It looked as if the chase would be a formality, but fired by an inspired Herath, who collected figures of 5 wickets for 3 runs, New Zealand were bowled out for 60.
|New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka, World T20 Scorecard|
|Sri Lanka Innings|
|K Perera||c Ronchi||b Boult||16||8||8|
|Dilshan||c Ronchi||b Boult||8||16||11|
|M Jayawardene||b N McCullum||25||56||32|
|Sangakkara||c Anderson||b Boult||4||9||11|
|Thirimanne||c Guptill||b Neesham||20||21||18|
|Mathews||c Ronchi||b McClenaghan||6||9||10|
|T Perera||c Williamson||b Mills||16||20||13|
|N Kulasekara||c N McCullum||b McClenaghan||0||2||1|
|Senanayake||c Williamson||b Neesham||17||16||11|
|Extras||1nb 3w 0b 2lb||6|
|Total||all out||119||(19.2 ovs)|
|New Zealand Innings|
|Guptill||run out (Herath)||5||15||9|
|Williamson||run out (Mathews)||42||69||43|
|B McCullum||st Sangakkara||b Herath||0||2||5|
|N McCullum||c Mathews||b Senanayake||2||7||9|
|Boult||c M Jayawardene||b Herath||3||10||8|
|Extras||0nb 2w 0b 0lb||2|
|Total||for 10||60||(15.4 ovs)|
Had Sri Lanka not been caught up in the Alex Hales storm in their previous match against England, their place in the semi-finals would already have been secure. As it was, they batted with nerves, particularly against the excellence of Trent Boult.
Boult was mean and accurate, giving away just 20 runs as he prised out the wickets of Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
It put the pressure on Mahela Jayawardene to rebuild the innings, and his efforts to do so with Lahiru Thirimanne were painfully slow. When the latter fell, it left the innings at 65-4 after 11.1 overs and looked sure to come up short.
Nobody could pick up the pace—Angelo Mathews came and went, Jayawardene exited for 25, while even the likes of Thisara Perera fluffed their lines.
Scoring 120 for victory in the dew of the Chittagong evening looked to be a cakewalk for New Zealand, but it was anything but.
After a gentle start to reach 18 without loss, calamity struck, beginning with Martin Guptill senselessly running himself out.
Brendon McCullum then charged down the wicket and was stumped.
Herath, only recalled to the team for this game as a replacement for misfiring Ajantha Mendis, took total control, his left-arm spin producing successive maidens and then trapping Ross Taylor and bowling Jimmy Neesham.
Suddenly, the Black Caps were 29-5 when Herath beat Luke Ronchi with a leg before wicket. With Corey Anderson reportedly leaving the ground with a suspected dislocated finger sustained while taking a catch, the batting was in disarray.
Nathan McCullum was the next go as Herath was replaced by Sachithra Senanayake.
Hopes rested on the shoulders of opener Kane Williamson, who appeared unruffled and at at one stage had struck 27 of the 38 runs scored.
But a miscommunication with Boult when Herath returned to bowl his final over meant he was run out for 42, and with it New Zealand's ever-receding hopes vanished, too.
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