Sri Lanka made to work for victory
Sri Lanka 107 for 5 (Dilshan 33, Price 2-9) beat Zimbabwe 106 for 8 (Taibu 45*, Mendis 3-15) by five wickets
Sri Lanka opened the T20 Canada tournament in King City with a five-wicket win against Zimbabwe, but were made to work hard chasing 107 in a match reduced to 17 overs per side. Ray Price bowled a superb economical spell of left-arm spin, and a couple of run-outs increased the pressure, however Sri Lanka's middle order completed the chase with an over to spare.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Udawatte began briskly, adding 36 in four overs, before Udawatte was caught behind. Price caused problems from the start and debutant Jeevantha Kulatunga struggled for 20 balls - and was dropped at deep midwicket - until being bowled for 8. A mild dose of panic hit the middle order as Thilina Kandamby was run out trying for a quick single, followed next ball by captain Mahela Jayawardene who fell without facing. It's a long way to come to not face a ball.
Dilshan was playing neatly, but in the next over he became Price's second scalp and suddenly Sri Lanka's reply was far from smooth at 77 for 5. It was proving tough to score against the spinners, while there was a hint of rustiness from Sri Lanka who only arrived in Canada two days ago.
However, no one could quite match Price's effort and when he finished his four-over spell the pressure was released. Chamara Kapugedera and Farveez Maharoof both hit sixes to calm the nerves and the sixth-wicket pair finished the match with an over to spare.
Zimbabwe's efforts in the field were commendable, but their batting let them down after a delayed start due to a damp outfield. Sri Lanka's bowlers proved a tough proposition with Maharoof nipping out two with the new ball, Thilan Thushara a brace in the middle and Ajantha Mendis - on his Twenty20 debut - three at the end.
Tatenda Taibu, the former captain, offered the most prolonged resistance as he finished on 45 off 47 deliveries to push Zimbabwe into three figures. He was at the crease in the fourth over after Maharoof removed both openers and Thushara, the left-arm quick, further dented Zimbabwe's progress with a tight spell of 2 for 19.
Mendis has proved too good for far better players than Zimbabwe's lower order and he helped himself to a few easy pickings. Elton Chigumbura was caught behind and Prosper Utseya was stranded by Mendis' carrom ball, which turns away from the right-handers. Sri Lanka weren't at their best, but it was still enough to clear the first hurdle.
TORONTO: A thrilling match between Sri Lanka and Canada has ended with victory bagged into Sri Lankan court as it beat Canada by 15 runs to qualify for the final.
Playing first Sri Lanka scored 153 for the loss of 7 wickets. In reply to the mounted total, Canada were bowled out on 138 in the last over of the match.
Aginta Mendia, young spinner from Sri Lanka made off with the man of the match award for his 4 wickets conceding 17 runs.
Cheema from Canada once sweated the Sri Lankan bowlers by knocking 68 runs with 4 fours and 6 sixes off 43 balls.
Unbeaten Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in T20 final.
TORONTO: A nerve breaking match between Pakistan and Sri Lankan teams ended in Pakistan’s victory featuring young Fawwad Alam’s stunning quick 23 off just 8 with 3 sixes and skipper Shoaib Malik’s watchful 42 with 4 fours.
Pakistan seamed almost out of the scene as wickets kept falling in a very quick succession in the middle of the battle after Fawwad Alam, hero of the moment, arrived on crease and turned the tables over.
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 3 wickets after a crunch fight, in response to the target of 138 run set by Sri Lanka here Saturday in four nation twenty 20 at Leaf North-West Ground, King City.
In chasing the modest total Pakistan team did not started well as both the openers went to pavilion without putting big score on board, but later with carageous inning of Fawad Alam and Captain Shaoib malik Pakistan managed to chase the target.
Earlier Sri Lanka made 137 runs with the loss of 9 wickets in their allotted quota of 20 overs, Jehan Mubarak was the highest scorer from Sri Lanka, Pakistani bowler made decent effort to hold Sri Lanka to a modest total,
Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first against Sri Lanka this decision of Shoaib Mailk was also under criticism as according to experts one should bat first after winning the toss on these kind of pitches but despite of that Pakistan manage to win.
Khan and Butt ease past Zimbabwe in T20
TORONTO: A mismatch on paper, a mismatch on the pitch. Pakistan romped to an easy seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe, knocking off the required 108 runs with Shoaib Khan stroking an even 50.
Zimbabwe briefly threatened to make it a contest thanks to an aggressive and uncomplicated 53 from Hamilton Masakadza, but none of his team-mates could match his ability in shot-selection. The next highest score was extras with 18, and against a batting side of the depth and natural stroke-play of Pakistan, their bowlers were equally unable to defend such a low total.
Nevertheless, Masakadza briefly exposed the rustiness in Pakistan's armory, taking a particular fancy to Abdur Rauf. After he was cracked behind square off the back foot, Masakadza then swiveled a six over square-leg, before bettering this with two stronger pulls off Anwar Ali, one of which landed in the road. Pakistan's bowling was predictably short, and Zimbabwe took toll to bring up their fifty in just the sixth over.
At the other end, Cephas Zhuwawo virtually static in his scoring, and a top-edge off Umar Gul failed to help his confidence. An ugly slog-sweep off Shoaib Malik did for him in the next over, and Pakistan had their breakthrough at 62 for 1. There was very little substance or fight thereafter from Zimbabwe, and Fawad Alam took centre-stage. A bullet-throw from the deep ran out Masakadza, who had just brought up a fine 35-ball fifty while Afridi beat Tatenda Taibu in the flight. Chamu Chibhabha hung around for 35 minutes, scoring 8, and became Alam's second wicket when he slapped him to long-off.
From 81 for 1, Zimbabwe lost 7 for 26, and a target of 108 was never likely to trouble Pakistan. They did lose their gun-opener, Afridi - typically attempting orbit and beyond with a huge heave - but Khan and Salman Butt played a fine hand with a partnership of 96 in just over 15 overs.
After losing Afridi, Khan propelled Pakistan forward with a classical off-drive, bisecting mid-off and the stumps, before he lifted Chigumbura for another over his head. Butt took toll of Chigumbura's floaty half-volleys, launching one over his head as Pakistan sprinted to the finishing line. No Zimbabwe bowler was spared - Ray Price began poorly with five wides down to fine-leg, and lacked control thereafter.
Unfortunately, Khan fell for an even fifty from 54 balls when he was brilliantly caught by Taibu, diving to his right. Appropriately, however, it allowed Alam to come in and flick the winning runs down to fine-leg, as Pakistan eased home with an over to spare.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka book Toronto final places
TORONTO: Pakistan cruised to a seven-wicket victory over an outclassed Zimbabwe in the four-nation Canada Twenty20 tournament on Sunday with opener Shoaib Khan taking man of the match honours for his 50 runs.
Pakistan will face Sri Lanka, who edged Canada by 15 runs, in Monday's final. Zimbabwe started brightly and were 62-1 at one stage before losing seven wickets for just 45 runs as they struggled to 107-8.
Shoaib and Salman Butt, who made 33 not out, put on 96 for the second wicket as the Asian giants reached their target with one over to spare.
Zimbabwe opener Hamilton Masakadza made 53, but none of his team-mates could match his ability with the next highest score being the extras at 18.
Masakadza was in flamboyant form hitting a giant six off Abdur Rauf before smashing two more off Anwar Ali, one of which landed out of the ground.
But once fellow opener Cephas Zhuwawo was removed for 12 and Masakadza was run out by Fawad Alam, Zimbabwe crumbled.
In reply, Pakistan lost Shahid Afridi for just five but Khan and Butt put on a comfortable 96 in just over 15 overs as they eased to victory.
Sri Lanka piled up 153-7 off their 20 overs against Canada for whom opener Rizwan Cheema struck an entertaining 43-ball 68 which briefly hinted at an upset win.
But the hosts fell short with spin wizard Ajantha Mendis grabbing 4-15.
Cheema smashed six sixes after his side had been reduced to 14-3 and helped his side to 80-3 after 10 overs before Mendis worked his magic.
Sri Lanka's top-scorer was skipper Mahela Jayawardene with 35 who looked in good touch pulling Eion Katchay for six before stepping onto the front foot to drive classily through the covers.
He fell leg before wicket to Balaji Rao, Canada's legspinner, who returned figures of 3-21.