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Murali fires Sri Lanka to Super Eights win

  • Story Highlights
  • Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 19 runs in opening Super Eights match on Friday
  • Two wickets in two balls from spinner Muttiah Muralitharan proves difference
  • The match is the first time teams have met since the terrorist attack in Lahore
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(CNN) -- Muttiah Muralitharan struck twice in as many balls as Sri Lanka won a spin showdown against Pakistan in Friday's opening World Twenty20 Super Eights match at Lord's to go level with New Zealand at the top of Group F.

Two key wickets from Murali Muralitharan proved decisive in Sri Lanka's victory.

Two key wickets from Murali Muralitharan proved decisive in Sri Lanka's victory.

With the game firmly in the balance, Muralitharan's double strike in the 16th over of Pakistan's run chase proved the turning point, to give Sri Lanka a 19-run victory.

The spell reduced the Pakistanis to 101 for five, and their position deteriorated rapidly against an impressive Sri Lankan attack.

The margin of Sri Lanka's success was not anticipated when Pakistan captain Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a half-century partnership for the fourth wicket.

But Misbah pulled one straight to deep midwicket to terminate a contribution of 21 from 28 balls, and the dangerous Shahid Afridi holed out to the same region from the next delivery.

The two sides were meeting for the first time since the Lahore terrorist attack on the Sri Lankans in March, an event which has restricted Pakistan's participation on the international stage since.

Earlier, it took an inspirational display with the ball from wrist-spinner Shahid Afridi to restrict Sri Lanka to 150 for seven.

Afridi removed both openers Tillekeratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya after halting their first-wicket stand at 81. It also began a Sri Lankan demise of five wickets for 51 runs in nine overs.

However, Pakistan were always struggling in reply and eventually made just 131 for nine, with Lasith Malinga taking three wickets.

Meanwhile, a brilliant display from Dwayne Bravo helped West Indies pull off a shock win over holders India in the day's second Super Eights match.

Bravo struck an adventurous half-century to guide the West Indians to a seven-wicket victory, which has thrown open Group E.

He finished unbeaten on 66, scored from only 36 deliveries, with the winning runs coming in the penultimate over when he lofted a majestic six over extra cover off Zaheer Khan.

Earlier, Bravo claimed four wickets with the ball as reigning champions India recovered from a slow start to set a 154-run target.

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