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Saturday, Mar 28th

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jayawardeneSri Lanka picked up an excellent 9 wicket win against the West Indies on Saturday night, racing to their target of 130 with nearly 5 overs to spare to all but guarantee themselves a berth in the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 on home soil. An excellent bowling effort led by Ajantha Mendis restricted the Windies to just 129-5 in their 20 overs, despite an excellent half-century from Marlon Samuels. Sri Lanka had no trouble chasing down the target with Mahela Jayawardene scoring an unbeaten 65 to lead his side to victory.

The Windies made a poor start to the match, with the openers Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles taking their time to place themselves in. The decision backfired when both men fell within the space of three balls with Charles (12) being stumped off Ajantha Mendis, while Gayle (2) was out caught behind to a Nuwan Kulasekara slower ball.

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England Women beat India Women by nine wickets in their second group match of the ICC World T20 at Galle International Cricket Stadium today. England have won two group games and have one game still left to play, but victory today secured a place in the semi-finals.

India elected to bat first and were restricted to 116 for six from their 20 overs.

Katherine Brunt claimed the early wicket of Amita Shama in the third over but it was Laura Marsh who broke the 75-run partnership of Poonam Raut (51) and Mithali Raj (35) as Jenny Gunn caught Raut on the boundary in the 15th over. A fine forward diving catch from Anya Shrubsole gave Holly Colvin the wicket of Jhulan Goswami and in the following over the safe hands of Shrubsole saw Marsh (2-22) pick up her second wicket of the day.

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luke_wrightEngland kept their hopes of defending the ICC World T20 Championship by picking up a comfortable 6 wicket win against a New Zealand side that lacked that little bit of quality necessary to compete at the highest level. The Kiwis were always behind the eight ball and needed a late half-century from James Franklin to help them reach 148-6 in their 20 overs. Steve Finn was the pick of the English bowlers, taking 3-16 from his quota of 4 overs. New Zealand had a couple of early openings in the England chase, but Luke Wright showed his value at No.3 yet again, scoring an excellent 76 from 43 balls to power his side to an easy win.

New Zealand made just one change to the team which narrowly lost to Sri Lanka, bringing in Doug Bracewell for the unwell Jacob Oram, while England made one tactical change, selecting Danny Briggs ahead of allrounder Samit Patel, while recalling another bowling allrounder in Tim Bresnan for Jade Dernbach.

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New Zealand got its campaign back on track with a 22-run win over South Africa.

After losing its opening game to the West Indies, captain Suzie Bates was pleased with her team's performance: "We were a little nervous coming into the game for sure. It is such a relief to get back on track. It is a World Twenty20 and you do expect the teams to come hard at you. It was good that we exhibited tremendous positivity and got the right result going into the last game."

New Zealand put together a formidable 151 for five in 20 overs after being put in to bat by South Africa. The innings was propelled by Sophie Devine and Frances Mackay, who put together a 94-run stand for the third wicket.

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An inspired Sri Lanka created another major upset when it beat the West Indies by five runs, courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis method, in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 in Galle on Friday.

Rain delayed the start of play and it was no surprise to see West Indies opt to bowl. Sri Lanka was at 50 for three after 10.3 overs, with Shashikala Siriwardena unbeaten on 18, when the skies opened again. After another delay, West Indies was set a revised target of 48 from eight overs.

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shane_watson_batAn exceptional allround performance by Shane Watson powered Australia to a thumping 9 wicket win against India in Colombo on Friday evening. While Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to hold the rain responsible for his side's incredibly poor showing, India were outplayed with both bat and ball with the former champions having been restricted to just 140-7 in their 20 overs, with Pat Cummins and Shane Watson picking up 5 wickets between them. Australia were impeccable with the bat as well, with Shane Watson (72) and David Warner (63*) sharing a 133 run opening stand to guide the side to an easy win with more than 5 overs to spare.

It was a horses for courses approach for India in Colombo today as they won the toss and opted to bat first, having packed their bowling unit with spinners, going in with 5 specialists against Australia, including 3 spinners. Virender Sehwag was the casualty at the top of the order of India's 5 bowler approach with the veteran opener omitted from this key game. Zaheer Khan and R Ashwin returned to the side with Ashok Dinda and Laxmipathy Balaji making way.

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umar_gulSome appaling captaincy by AB de Villiers, and terrific cricket by the two Umars in the Pakistan side Akmal and Gul saw the former champions Pakistan sneak a 2 wicket win with 2 balls to spare in a nail biting contest in Colombo on Friday evening. South Africa won a crucial toss and opted to make first use of a pitch that had plenty of turn on offer. The Proteas made an under-par 133-6 in their 20 overs, with JP Duminy's 48 the only bright spark in a tepid batting effort that never really caught fire. In response, Pakistan were dead and buried at 76-7 in the 15th over, however, De Villiers kept his spinners out of the attack for the rest of the game, despite them having done the bulk of the damage, and that allowed Pakistan to put together a match winning partnership worth 49 for the 8th wicket to take their side to victory.

Both teams opted to bolster their spin attack with South Africa bringing in left-arm spinner Robin Peterson for Faf du Plessis, while Pakistan brought in a fourth spinner in Raza Hasan for left-arm seamer Sohail Tanveer. Allrounder Yasir Arafat could provide a second seam option for the former champions, who are no doubt looking to exploit South Africa's vulnerablity to quality spin.

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