English-Lankan T20 semi today
ST. LUCIA: Sri Lanka will meet England today in St Lucia in the semi final match of the ICC world Twenty20 tournament.
England topped their Super Eights group with three comfortable wins and are full of confidence of facing any team in the world. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, looked steady with several top batsmen in form including Mahela Jayewardene who has scored the highest runs in the tournament.
While England have not made the final of a ICC global tournament since 2004 Sri Lanka have been beaten finalists in both last year''s World Twenty20 and the 2007 World Cup.
Yet ahead of the match, it''s England who are the more bullish having topped their Super Eights group with three comfortable wins. They are on the verge of fulfilling their transformation that began after losing 5-1 to Australia last summer.
Gone is the stuttering top order hoping to ''keep wickets in hand'' and in its place is a fearless line-up led by two dashing hitters at the top and followed by the classiest middle-order pair of the tournament, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, looked unsteady to begin with but have found increasingly assurance as the tournament went on. Mahela Jayewardene''s graceful striking has completely carried Sri Lanka''s batting - his 292 runs are more than anyone else in the tournament and over double the next highest Sri Lankan tally of 123 from Kumar Sangakkara - but they showed they could perform without him when they beat India. Nevertheless how England''s nagging fast-medium attack fare against Jayewardene could well determine the outcome of the game.