Australia thump Sri Lanka to progress to Twenty20 semis

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CAPE TOWN, Sep 20 (Reuters) Openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist continued their prolific form to take Australia into the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals after a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Newlands today.

Needing a modest 102 for victory and qualification from Super Eights Group F, Hayden lashed 58 from 38 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes while Gilchrist remained unbeaten on 31 from just 25 balls.

It was the second century stand between the pair in the tournament following a 104 run partnership against Bangladesh and 78 against England. All three matches ended in victory.

Earlier, Stuart Clark and Brett Lee shared six quick wickets to send Sri Lanka spiralling to a dismal 101 all out in 19.3 overs after being sent in to bat by Australia captain Gilchrist.

Wickets fell in each of the first three overs and by the halfway point the innings was in disarray at 43-7 with Lee claiming 2-27 and Clark demolishing the middle order with 4-20 from his four overs.

Kumar Sangakkara did his best to shore up the top order with 22 from 23 balls and Jehan Mubarak top scored with 28 from 26 balls.

Chaminda Vaas added a patient 21 from 28 deliveries.

Left arm seamer Nathan Bracken (2-14) was no less impressive than Lee and Clark while Michael Clarke led an outstanding fielding display, grabbing two catches including an outrageous one-handed effort to dismiss Farveez Maharoof.

The result eliminates Sri Lanka and guarantees that Pakistan join Australia in Saturday's semi-finals.

REUTERS SSC PM1736

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