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Sri Lanka beat New Zealand enter ICC- W C Finals

Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 5 wickets to enter ICC World Cup Finals: SLanka bundle out NZealand for a modest 217 in 48.5 overs despite Scott Stryis's fighting half-century, in the first semi-final of the cricket World Cup in Colombo on Tuesday.Pace spearhead Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis, with three wickets each, were the wreckers-in-chief, while Muttiah Muralitharan finished with two salps as New Zealand's innings lacked the thurst needed to power them to a challenging total.

Batting first after winning the toss, Styris struck 57 off 77 balls, an innings that was laced with five boundaries, before becoming Muralitharan's final ODI victim.The match at the Premadasa stadium is the veteran off-spinner's final ODI on home soil.Apart from Styris, Martin Guptill contributed 39 while Ross Taylor made 36.New Zealand didn't set the stage ablaze and preferred to play safe at the start.

A run-rate of just about 4 by the time the mandatory powerplay ended was an indication of their approach.But what must have hurt the Kiwis was Brendon McCullum's early departure.Continuing with his awful run with the bat, McCullum fell cheaply to Rangana Herath for 13.As McCullum positioned himself for a slog-sweap, a shot that brought him a six in the left-arm spinner's previous over, Herath slipped in a quicker delivery that disturbed the off-stump.

Jesse Ryder joined Guptill and the two looked at ease until Muralitharan brought to an end the burly left-hander's stay at the crease.The veteran spinner, who came into this match with 13 wickets from eight matches and is playing in his last ODI on home soil, bowled a perfect off-break that took a thin edge off Ryder's blade.

Returning for his second spell, Malinga then uprooted Guptill's stump with a inswinging yorker to leave the New Zealander's struggling at 84 for three in the 22nd over.Guptill's wicket was an important from Sri Lanka's perspective as he has the ability to play the sheet anchor's role to perfection.The gutsy right-hander was in his element till the slinger bowled that unplayable delivery to end his knock of 39 that included three hits to the fence.

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