|(Cricket) Sri Lankans put New Zealand in a spin
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath conjured up astonishing figures of 3 for 5 wickets to help Sri Lanka demolish New Zealand by 59 runs last night in the race for the World Twenty20 semi-finals in Bangladesh.
The spinner rocked New Zealand, chasing a modest 120-run total, in just 3.3 overs to bowl them for 60 in 15.3 overs in Chittagong. It was the Black Caps' lowest total in T20s, AFP reports.
The victory gave the 2012 runners-up their fourth successive semi-final place. They play the winners of today's game in group two between defending champions the West Indies and Pakistan.
The first semi-final will be in Dhaka on Thursday.
The 2007 champions India take on South Africa in the second semi on Friday. The final is on Sunday.
It was fourth time unlucky for New Zealand who played the semi-final only in the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007.
Just when they needed some sensible batting to overhaul a paltry total, New Zealand performed in a dismal manner with opener Kane Williamson the only man to reach double figures with 42.
He was the eighth man out and with Corey Anderson unable to bat due to a finger injury sustained while fielding, Herath wrapped up the match with Trent Boult's wicket.
New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill (5) in the fourth over, run out in Herath's first over.
After playing four dot balls, New Zealand's most dangerous batsman Brendon McCullum jumped out to hit Herath and was stumped.
Herath then trapped Ross Taylor (0) leg before and bowled Jimmy Neesham off successive deliveries to push New Zealand on the back foot.
It became 5 for 29 runs in Herath's third over when he had Luke Ronchi (2) leg before wicket to improve on his previous best figures of 3-25 in the 2012 semi-final against Pakistan in Colombo.
Fellow spinner Sachitra Senanayake took 2 for 3 in his 3 overs.
New Zealand's previous lowest Twenty20 total of 80 came against Pakistan at Auckland two years ago. It also becomes the third lowest total ever in all T20s, behind the Netherland's 39, also against Sri Lanka here last Monday and 56 by Kenya against Afghanistan at Sharjah last year.
Earlier left-arm paceman Boult and Neesham took three wickets apiece to wreck Sri Lanka for a paltry 119 in 19.2 overs after they were sent into bat.
Left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan took 2 for 24.
Boult had opener Kusal Perera (16) in his first over and then dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan (8t) and Kumar Sangakkara (4) to give New Zealand a headstart to the match.
Mahela Jayawardene, who top-scored with a 32-ball 25, added 30 for the fourth wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne (20) before the former captain was bowled round his legs in the 15th over.
Thisara Perera hit three boundaries in his 13-ball 16 before Neesham took three wickets in 14 balls to rout the pre-tournament favorites.