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Lankans, Windies through

Colombo: Defending champions England were knocked out the World T20 on Monday after they lost to Sri Lanka by 19 runs, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

England’s loss meant that Sri Lanka and the West Indies made the semi-finals from Group I. The other semi-finalists from group II will be decided on Tuesday.

While Sri Lanka finished on six points, West Indies garnered four and England remained on two. New Zealand couldn’t win any of their Super Eights matches.

Sri Lanka, on Monday, were led by Kumar Sangakkara as Mahela Jayawardene was curiously officially not listed as the captain during the toss. Mahela had been fined for slow over-rate in Lanka’s previous game, against West Indies. A further over-rate offence could lead to a match-ban for Mahela.

After Monday’s match, Sangakkara confirmed the strategy. “Well, I was the official captain. Both Mahela and (Angelo) Mathews were on warning and that is valid for six months... So we did not want to take the risk,” Sangakkara said.

Lasith Malinga ripped out the England top-order with three wickets in four balls, to set back their chase of 170, and then returned to finish with five for 31 to fashion their victory.

In an earlier match, unlucky New Zealand once again lost in the Super Over after their scores were tied at 139 with the West Indies. Ross Taylor’s side had their chances but failed to keep their nerves in the final moments and will have to return with no points in their kitty.

West Indies have been listed as the favourites for the title and it remains to be seen if they can live up to their reputation in the knockout stages of the tournament.