New Zealand should consider themselves lucky to be in the semi-finals of the tournament beating South Africa in the quarter-finals. Had New Zealand encountered any of the other teams namely India or Sri Lanka, may be they would have given a grand exit there itself. Of course, the story would have been different had they met West Indies. At any cost, new Zealand would have not made it to the finals of this world cup for, India and Pakistan would also have given them the same treatment like Sri Lanka. May be there would have been a worse result for the Kiwis had they faced India.
However, looking at the scorecard, one can guess the panic that the Sri Lankan batsmen had towards the end of the chase suggesting that had the Kiwi total been somewhere close to 250, may be Sri Lankans would have been seen cursing themselves at the end of the day for coming so near and losing the plot mid-way. At one stage the scorecard read 161/3 requiring 58 runs from 102 balls at a rate of over 3 runs an over. But, the Sri Lankan batsmen took 47 overs to get into that magical score. Though they didn't lose wickets at regular intervals, some panic was evident.
The Sri Lankan batsmen had to concentrate more and one has to no doubt give full marks to the New Zealand bowlers for coming back to the game and showing the world that they deserved to be there. Towards the end of the game, one thing that makes me wonder and tough to come to terms with is the fact that Kumara Sangakkara was awarded the man of the match when it was Tilekaratne Dilshan who did the good work in the beginning of the Sri Lankan successful run chase. I just had to convince myself saying the person who captains and keeps wickets gets the precedence.