West Indies were favorites considering their batsmen were exceptional in the last 5 overs of their innings. Instead hailstorm ensured they were unable to bat beyond 13.5 overs and despite being aware of rough weather in store Mr. Duckworth and Lewis punished them for being 27 run short at that stage. Sri Lankans on the other hand were exceptional. Dilshan spent long time on crease, while Malinga – the captain bowler proved why he is the best in big matches. Letting Chandimal, the official captain, take rest was a major decision that helped. In the end, Sri Lanka became the first team to enter three finals of the T20 World Cup, registering 5th win over West Indies in 6 matches.
SL Bats WI Out
Electing to bat first (considering dew factor was negated due to high wind before match that turned into hailstorm to end the match), Sri Lankans opener added quick runs but then wickets of Kushal (12-ball 26), Mahela (0) and Sanga (1) in quick succession saw them tottering at 3/49 in 7th over. Dilshan (run-a-ball 39 runs) and Thirimanne (35-ball 42 runs) stayed together for valuable 42 runs partnership in 7 overs and after that the blitz of Player of the Match Angelo Mathews (23-ball 40 runs) took SL to a decent total of 160/6.
For West Indies, as expected the spin trio of Badree (1/23), Narine (0/20), Samuels (0/23) were economical. But Santokie (2/46), Russell (1/37) were too expensive. Since December 2012 Gayle bowled his first over. Only Sammy would know why. He went for 9 runs in his only over.
West Indies Top order Failed Again
Dwayn Smith (14-ball 17 runs), Gayle (3-ball 13 runs), Simmons (8-ball 4 runs), Samuels (29-ball 18 runs) took too much time still could now find any answer to Senanayake (0/6 in 2 overs), Malinga (2/5 in 2 overs), Kulasekara (1/22), Herath (0/27). They were tied down badly. In the end Dwayn Bravo scored 19-ball 30 runs, but when hailstorm arrived Sammy was unbeaten without facing a ball with Samuels and West Indies had only 80/4 on board in 13.5 overs, far behind the then target.
Sri Lanka will hope to be third time lucky to give a deserving farewell to its old trio of Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga from World Cup.