Mahela Jayawardene's knock was an education, and proved yet again that one need not resort to the power game to be successful in the shorter version. He took his time in building his innings and nearly took 40 balls to reach double figures but thereafter paced his innings brilliantly to make up for lost time. He led from the front and the team took pace along with him. What stood out in the innings was his placement and timing. Sanath Jayasuriya's failure was made up by Upul Tharanga who was due for a big one against a strong side. Once the duo of Tharanga and Mahela helped the total go past the 250-run mark the result was hardly in doubt.
With nearly a run to be taken of every ball, the Kiwis needed a strong start but they were hardly given the luxury to free their arms against some tight and imaginative bowling by Malinga and Vaas.
With a steeply increasing asking rate to contend with, the top-order had its task cut out, but Muralitharan coming in after the initial overs had plugged the run flow. It was always going to be a tough ask and the questions he posed was too much for the middle order. The win will give a lot of confidence to the Lankans going in to the final where if they have the luck with the coin, who knows there could be title No. 2 waiting for them.
For many followers, the real final might be today, where the top two sides in the world lock horns.