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Monday, 7 April 2014

Report: Final: India vs Sri Lanka – WT20 2014


Playing in his last T20I, Kumar Sangakkara propelled Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win in the 2014 ICC World T20 final against former champions, India. The former Sri Lanka captain smashed 52 not-out off 35 balls to help SL lift the coveted trophy. Virat Kohli’s 58-ball 77, to take India to 130 for four, went in vain as India lost the game in Dhaka.  (Also Read: Stats Highlights: Final: India vs Sri Lanka – WT20 2014 )

Defending the modest target, Mohit Sharma struck on the first ball of the second over to give India an early breakthrough with the wicket of Kusal Perera. Mahela Jayawardene then came out to bat in his last T20I with his team in a similar position as the opposition at five for one in the second over. 

However, in the Mohit’s next over, Tillakaratne Dilshan and his partner claimed 15 runs. While Jayawardene hit him over the ‘keeper’s head, Dilshan struck him on the leg side to up the momentum of the innings. But Ravichandran Ashwin ended the opener’s cameo by sending him back with the carrom ball. 

The Indian spinners kept their team in the fray. The Sri Lankans were cruising along with Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara milking the Indian spinners, until the former hit Suresh Raina to Ashwin at mid-wicket. With the partnership between the two seasoned warhorses ending for 24, Lahiru Thirimanne walked out to the middle. Then it was Amit Mishra’s turn to give India the next breakthrough. The ball brushed past the bat and Dhoni took a low catch to leave SL on 78 for four. 

But the experienced campaigner, Sangakkara, was still in the middle and he held the innings together. An over later, Thisara Perera lofted Mishra over long-on, while his senior partner timed the ball to the ropes. Playing his last T20I innings, Sangakkara entertained with some elegant stroke-play as he carried the innings forward. In the leg-spinner’s next over, Sangakkara drove him through extra cover, while Perera hammered the ball over long-on. His next big-hit went up in the skies, but couldn’t be caught by a diving Ajinkya Rahane. 

However, the Indian spinners’ wickets taking deliveries – the carrom ball and googly – were struck all over the ground. Sangakkara raced to his half-century with a boundary to fine-leg, and two balls later, Perera struck the winning runs with a boundary off Ashwin. 

Earlier, India lost Rahane in just the third over of the day. Angelo Mathews disrupted the opener’s stumps to leave India on four for one. But the loss of wicket brought Virat Kohli out to the middle. After getting off to a shaky start, Kohli was involved in a 60-run partnership with Rohit Sharma. He survived while on 11, as Lasith Malinga couldn’t hold on to a tough catch over his head at midwicket. 

As expected, missing out on that tough chance proved expensive for the opposition. Kohli smashed the last ball of the over for a six to garner 10 runs off the over. Two quieter overs later, Rohit powered the ball through point for four, while Kohli hit Mathews over deep midwicket. With 14 runs coming off the over, India were 64 for the loss of one wicket midway through the innings. 

However, in the next over, Rohit departed offering a catch to short cover where Sachithra Senanayake took a low catch. Yuvraj Singh, who then joined Kohli in the middle, played a more subdued knock, while his younger partner took on the bowlers in an effort to set Sri Lanka a competitive target. He stepped out to the spinners, hit Senanayake over extra cover for four and followed up by smashing Rangana Herath for a six in the next over. Kohli then brought up his fourth half-century of the tournament off 43 balls with a single to deep cover. An over later, he clobbered Nuwan Kulasekara for 16 runs as the innings entered the last quarter. 

But the last four overs belonged to Sri Lanka. With Yuvraj Singh struggling to get the ball away, Senanayake and Malinga kept the batsmen on a tight leash giving away only four runs each. Yuvraj eventually departed hitting Kulasekara to long-off. With 11 balls left, MS Dhoni came out to bat, but Kulasekara and Malinga tied down the batsmen, conceding only 11 runs off the last two overs. As India looked to add to the total, Kohli perished to a run out off the last ball while trying to squeeze in an extra run.

Sri Lanka 134 for 4 (Sangakkara 52*, Jayawardene 24) beat India 130 for 4 (Kohli 77) by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Kumar Sangakkara for his match-winning half-century.

Man of the Series: Virat Kohli for his tally of 319 runs.

Lasith Malinga gets a huge roar as he comes in to collect his medal. He says, "I was really lucky to captain in the last three games. Today, we thought it was Sanga and Mahela's farewell match.. the boys thought we needed to do it for them. Last few overs we bowled really well. Me, Kula and Sachithra. Mahela and Sanga are world-class batsmen and it was a good opportunity for us to be able to play with them. They are still playing Tests and ODIs and the younger players need to pick all that they can from the two."
"In the middle overs, our batsmen tried our best to get going, but we couldn't convert the good start," says MS Dhoni. "We could have always got those 10-15 runs, but cricket is about those runs. The last four overs they executed their plans very well and for our side that doesn't play scoops well, that worked for them. Malinga with that slingy action kept bowling it wide. It was a perfect game for them. Virat has been brilliant in the last few years. He is someone who makes most of the opportunity. The good thing is that he plays authentic shots and still scores runs. He is got a bright future ahead of them."
Kumar Sangakkara is the Man of the Match... What a way to finish his T20 career. He says, "it's been a long time coming.. Waited five finals. Pretty happy I was able to do something for our team. It means a lot to all of us. We are very humbled by this. The way Kohli was batting, he was about to take the game away from us, but the way we bowled was brilliant. It was an all-round performance, led by Lasith, Angelo had an amazing tournament. india are a tough side, but we are happy to be in the winning side. My family and playing for Sri Lanka are the two most important things that happened to me in my life. Everyone's got to go and my time is now."
Player of the tournament goes to Virat Kohli. "Congratulations to the SL team, especially Mahela and Sanga," he says. "Darren was right, the god was really smiling on them. But they deserved this, they played really well. Last T20 WC, i tried to do my bit, but this time around i tried to make the most of the good form. The most pleasing thing was that we made it to the finals. Some people talk about that i can't score in the first innings.. (smiles) but Malinga bowled very well in the last few overs. It was one of the off days. SL bowled in brilliant areas. Our boys can be proud of the way we played this tournament."
Dilshan says, "Last five world cups we lost them, but today is a great feeling to come back and win it. Today one of the three guys put their head up to do something for the team. Fantastic win for Sri Lanka. Good farewell for two happy guys."
Marvan Atapattu says, "What a way to finish the game! Sanga saved his best of the last innings. I think the first session is where we won the game."
It's now Sanath Jayasuriya's turn. He says, "The bowling was superb and then both Mahela and Sanga batted very well. Restricting them to 130 was the key. Even though we lost a few wickets early on, Mahela and Sanga are big game players"
Mahela says, "We finally managed to break the jinx. Thanks so much to family and friends but this one is for SL fans who have been waiting since 1996. It wasn't a normal match. Lot of emotions as this was the last T20. It hasn't sunk in yet and it will take a couple of days to get the feeling."
Angelo Mathews says, "Sri Lanka this is for you. I am glad the whole team did it for Sanga and Mahela."
Rangana Herath says, "This is the best send off for Sanga and Mahela. After 18 years, this is a different high."

source: bcci.tv

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