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Pakistan triumph in Twenty20
Pakistan defeat Sri Lanka by eight wickets to become the first Twenty20 world champions.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2009 19:11 GMT

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi celebrates after scoring the winning run [AFP]
Pakistan has won the Twenty20 World Cup with an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Lord's in London.

Man-of-the-match Shahid Afridi made an unbeaten 54 as Pakistan made 139-2 to overhaul Sri Lanka's total. Kamran Akmal added 37 as he put on 48 for the first wicket with Shahzaib Hasan.

Sri Lanka's failure to take early wickets proved crucial as Afridi and Shoaib Malik (24) clinched victory with eight balls to spare.

Earlier, Sri Lanka, led by captain Kumar Sangakkara had recovered to reach 138-6 after Abdul Razzaq had ripped through its top order to take 3-20.

Sangakkara anchored the innings, top-scoring with an unbeaten 64 as a succession of batting partners came and went until Angelo Mathews (35 not out) arrived at the crease and helped steer the pre-match favourite to a defendable, but ultimately inadequate total.

Slow start

Pakistan made a sluggish start to the run chase and nearly lost Hasan in the fourth over when Mathews was inches away from taking a spectacular diving catch.

It was 39-0 after the powerplay and Akmal accelerated the innings in the next over, hitting Mathews for six over square leg.

Sri Lanka had to wait until the eighth over to take its first wicket when Sangakkara stumped Akmal off Sanath Jayasuriya's first ball.

Hasan was then caught by Jayasuriya off Muttiah Muralitharan at the start of the tenth, leaving Pakistan on 63-2 at the halfway point of the innings.

But that was the last wicket to fall and Pakistan ultimately cruised to a comfortable victory.

The run rate hovered around eight an over until Afridi smashed a six off Muralitharan at the start of the 14th over, then a four off the next ball.

Udana's 18th over effectively sealed Sri Lanka's fate when he conceded 19 runs, Afridi hitting a six from the fifth ball then a four from Udana's next delivery, a no ball.

That left Pakistan needing just seven runs from the last two overs and they clinched victory with eight balls to spare when Afridi scrambled a leg bye off Lasith Malinga.

Early breakthrough

Sri Lanka's initial delight at winning the toss lasted just five balls.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was named as the player of the tournament, but Mohammad Aamer drew him into a miscued pull shot that went straight to Shahzaib Hasan at short fine leg.

In the very next over Pakistan struck again, as Jehan Mubarak got a top edge to a delivery from Razzaq.

With three fielders converging on the ball

Hasan screamed at his colleagues to stand clear and took the catch, leaving Sri Lanka reeling on 2-2.

Jayasuriya seemed to be leading a recovery, hitting a six and a four off the first two balls of the fourth over, but Razzaq bowled him with his fifth delivery.

Mahela Jayawardene was caught at slip by Misbah-ul-Haq off Razzaq in the sixth over, limiting Sri Lanka to just 34-4 at the end of the powerplay and only 54-4 after 10 overs.

Umar Gul claimed the wicket of Chamara Silva in his first over, the 12th, drawing him into a feeble pull that was caught at midwicket by Saeed Ajmal.

Shahid Afridi then bowled Isuru Udana with the last ball of the 13th, meaning Sangakkara had to play a chanceless innings to give his side any hope.

His 50 came off 44 balls and he brought up Sri Lanka's 100 with a pull to fine leg off the final ball of the 17th over.

Given that Sri Lanka had looked unlikely to reach three figures at one stage, the partnership of 68 between Sangakkara and Mathews, who took 17 from Aamer's last over, was crucial in giving their bowlers a reasonable total to defend.

But ultimately, it just wasn't enough.

Source:
Agencies
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