Hosts Sri Lanka are through to their second successive Cricket World Cup final when beating New Zealand by 5 wickets in Colombo on Tuesday.
The Black Caps struggled throughout their innings, failing to use their allotted fifty overs before eventually being skittle out for simply 217 in 48.5 overs.
And though Sri Lanka wobbled in their reply, Thilan Samaraweera (23 not out) and Angelo Mathews (14 not out) saw them home with a vital 35-run stand because the home facet created 220-5 off forty seven.5 overs — inflicting a sixth semifinal defeat on New Zealand.
As well because the significance of a World Cup semifinal, the match additionally marked the last appearance on home soil for legendary Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan.
The 38-year-old, who is that the most successful check and one-day bowler in cricket history, went out in vogue, taking his 534th one-day wicket off his final ball.
Muralitharan had New Zealand prime scorer Scott Styris (57) lbw to send the thirty eight,000-crowd at the R. Premadasa stadium into wild scenes of celebration.
It was one in every of Muralitharan’s 2 wickets, with Ajantha Mendis (3-35) and Lasith Malinga (3-55) additionally successful as New Zealand rarely threatened to post a score sufficiently big to defend.
In reply, Tillakaratne Dilshan (73) and skipper Kumar Sangakkara (54) helped Sri Lanka reach 160-1 to seem in total management.
However, the loss of 4 wickets for simply twenty five runs threatened to derail Sri Lankan hopes before Samaraweera and Mathews steered them to their victory target.
The victory moves 1996 champions Sri Lanka into their third final and, when finishing runners-up to Australia in 2007, they’re going to be trying to create amends once they face either India or Pakistan in Saturday’s final in Mumbai.
Those 2 rivals face one another in Mohali on Wednesday in one in every of the foremost eagerly anticipated matches in recent history.