Sunday, October the 7th the world will see a new World T20 Champion. The hosts Sri Lanka plays West Indies at Colombo. It has been a tournament to remember for both the viewers and some players as we saw some breath taking performances in both the bowling and batting department.
Sri Lanka – How they made it to the final
Sri Lanka as hosts played the first match of the tournament in a group C encounter with struggling Zimbabwe side. Sri Lanka made a good total of 182 with contributions from DIlshan, Sangakara and Jeevan Mendis. The score was not unreachable but proved too much for Zimbabwe who crumbled for a mere 100 as the trickster Ajantha Mendis took 6 wickets for 8 runs in his 4 overs. Jeevan Mendis took 3 wickets for 24.
Sri Lanka’s second match was against the Proteas. Rain reduced the match to a 7 over affair. South Africa scored a gigantic score of 78 in the 7 overs which proved too much for the Lankan batsmen as the fell short by 32 runs. AB De Villiers was the man who took the match away from the Lankan’s as he scored 30 of 13 balls.
Sri Lanka were placed in the next round in a group consisting of England, New Zealand and West Indies.
Their first match was against the black caps. The match was decided in a super over with both teams scoring 174 in 20 overs. Dilshan was the star for the Lankan’s, who scored 76 of 53. In the super over Sri Lanka made 13 for 1. New Zealand could only manage 7 runs in for 1 wicket as Malinga proved too difficult to play.
In the second match of the group they played West Indies. Lankan’s restricted them to 129 a total that proved too easy for them. Lankan’s chased down the target in 15.2 overs. Jayawardene made 65 of 49 for the hosts.
In the final group match they played England. Sri Lanka made 169 in their 20 overs. The English fell short by 19 runs. Malinga was the difference between the 2 teams as he took 5 for 31.
In the semi – final, Sri Lanka played fellow Asian team and one time champions Pakistan. Sri Lanka set an achievable target of 139. But some good bowling from Mathews, Malinga, Mendis Kulashekara and Herath made sure they restricted Pakistan to just 123.
West Indies – How they made it to the final
West Indies started off their tournament against Australia. They scored 191 in 20 overs, courtesy to another Gayle tornado (54 of 33). Due to rain Australia’s target was revised to 84 from 9.1 overs, by that time the Aussies had already scored 100 off 9.1 overs. Watson was the man in form for the Aussies.
West Indies then played Ireland. The match was abandoned and the points were shared. West Indies went through to the next round on a better net run rate basis over Ireland.
In the second round they were placed with fellow finalists Sri Lanka.
Their opening fixture was against England. West Indies made 179 with some big hitting from Gayle and Johnson Charles. England in the end fell short by 15 runs. Their next match was against Sri Lanka, which Lanka had won easily.
Their third match of Group 1 was against New Zealand. The match ended in a super over, the second in the same group and both involved the black caps. Both teams scored 139 in 20 overs. In the super over New Zealand made a decent score of 17. West Indies scored 19 from their one over to defeat the black caps.
West Indies played Aussies in their semi – final match. They took revenge for their group stage defeat against them by comfortably defeating the Aussies. West Indies set a huge target of 206. Aussies were bowled out for 131 in 16.4 overs.
The semi – final results would have been highly pleasing for Indian fans after India missed out on a semi – final berth because of an inferior Net Run Rate to both Australia and Pakistan. West Indies were defeated by Australia and Sri Lanka in the tournament and they have already taken revenge on the Kangaroos. Will they be able to do the same to Sri Lanka or will the hosts take the home advanatage in their favour and win their first title after losing out to Pakistan in the 2009 edition final? This is also Jayawardene’s fourth major tournament final after 2007 and 2011 World Cup finals and the 2009 T20 WC final. Will he end up on the losing side again or will he lift a cup finally? Only time will tell the answer.