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Sri Lanka through to World cup finals playing against 11 or 13?

Today is a special day for Sri Lankans as SL made their way to finals in World Cup 2007 after the semi final victory over New Zealand yesterday. That was a fantastic match even though it was hard to judge whether SL were playing against 13, not just 11 players. SL was playing against 11 friendly and claim NZ players (and 2 slightly unfair professional umpires).

Interesting point was both the 2 umpires, RE Koertzen (South Africa) and SJA Taufel (Australia) made poor LBW decisions against SL. One LBW was given for a thick edge and the other for a ball going far away from the leg stump. When NZs were batting, umpire RE Koertzen warned Dilhara twice putting him under huge pressure. Another a tough LBW decision was given against Rose Tailer for a ball slightly missing the stumps. We can not guess why such experienced umpires give that much bad decisions in crucial matches like semi finals.

Even with that type of a situation, SL team came up brilliantly in batting, balling as well as fielding. NZ got the wicket of SL inform batsman Sanath Jayasuriya pretty early putting SL under pressure. But SL came back strongly with Upul Tharanga's 70 followed by the superb captains knock of 115* by Mahela Jayawardana. SL scored over 100 runs in the last 10 overs. In the NZ innings, it was just a series of perfect bowling to get them all out for 208 runs. My deepest sympathies to all the New Zealanders.

We were discussing about the match here (before the match). Congratulations Sri Lanka and all the very best wishes for the coming finals to bring the World Cup here again.


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