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Fourth time unlucky

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

CHITTAGONG - Left-arm spin wizard Rangana Herath has conjured up astonishing figures of 3-5 to help Sri Lanka demolish New Zealand by 59 runs in the race for the World Twenty20 semi-finals.

The spinner rocked New Zealand, chasing a modest 120-run total, in his 3.3 destructive overs to bowl them for 60 in 15.3 overs in Chittagong — the Black Caps' lowest total in T20s.

The victory gave the 2012 runners-up their fourth successive semi-final place.

They play the winners of Tuesday'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, with the final to be played in Dhaka on Sunday.

Stand-in captain Lasith Malinga hailed Herath.

"I trusted my spinners and Herath was unbelievable," said Malinga. "We were waiting for an occasion like this and we pulled through. Rangana was waiting for his chance and he proved himself really well."

It was fourth time unlucky for New Zealand who played the semi-final only in the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007.

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