Written by Staff Writer
06 Apr, 2014 | 2:29 pm
Sri Lanka is to face India in Sunday’s all-Asian World Twenty20 final in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
India which has won all the matches it played in the tournament, is considerd to be a tough opponent for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, which recently won the Asia Cup desperately wants to put an end to inexplicable losing streak in title matches, after being beaten twice in World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011 and the World Twenty20 finals in 2009 and 2012.
The game is going to be more emotional to the Lankan fans as veterans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s International T20 career comes to end from this match.
Both the players announced that they would quit the shortest form of cricket after this tournament.
Paul Farbrace coach of Sri Lanka national cricket team says past results counted for little in T20 games and pointed to his team’s victory in the Asia Cup one-day tournament in Dhaka last month as a turning point.
“We’ve done really well in most competitions and got to finals,” he said. “That’s where teams want to be. We had a big win here in the Asia Cup a few weeks ago where we beat India pretty convincingly, and also beat Pakistan twice.
Sri Lanka reached Sunday’s final with a 27-run win over defending champions West Indies through the Duckworth-Lewis calculations in a rain-hit semi-final on Thursday.
At the other side, India have enjoyed an amazing run in the tournament, winning all four Super-10 league matches before beating South Africa in Friday’s semi-final.
If team India win, they will become the first team to hold all three major limited-overs titles, having won the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy last year.
Sri Lankan bowlers Lasith Malinga, who captained the team in last matches of tournament, seamer Nuwan Kulasekara , who has got 7 wickets so far in the tournament, and Rangana Hearth who had a fantastic spell against New Zealand taking five wickets for three runs, are expected to shine in the final match.
In batting Mahela Jayawardene, has compiled 134 runs in the tournament, and has been the top scorer for the SL team. India has a strong batting line up which consits Viraht Kohili, Rohit Sharma and Dhoni who are expected expected be a real test for Lankan bowlers.
Virat Kohli remains the tournament’s leading scorer with 242 runs from five games while Rohit Sharma has scored 171 runs in the tournament.
Ravichandran Ashwin, has captured 10 wickets in the tournament. He is also the higest wicket taker for India.
But having experienced players like Mahela and Sanga will be advantageous for SL team and Sri Lanka may include Thisara Perera into the squad who was replaced by Seekuge Prassana in the crucial semi final match against West Indies.
Meanwhile, in a press conference Lasith Malinga had stated that SL team wont making any big changes in the side as it did in 2011 World Cup final against India, where four changes were made.
He had also stated that Sri Lanka would make decisions looking at the track; even Dinesh Chandimal has a chance to play.
There could be one possible change in the squad as far as the all-rounder’s spot is concerned.
Following are the excerpts from Malinga’s press conference speech.
“We all know Virat is a great player. But even the greatest player needs only one ball to get out. I have a good feeling that someone from my side can bowl that one good ball tomorrow,”
“We have to plan for all 20 overs. They have six or seven good batsmen. We don’t think only about getting one particular batsman out. We have to focus on bowling 20 good overs.”
“The final is a big game; the tension is completely different. Whoever plays well on the day can win.”
“We all know it is a final but we have to treat it as a normal T20 game. That’s the way we are approaching it, and then you don’t take any extra pressure. Whoever makes fewer mistakes will win. That’s what we are looking forward to doing tomorrow.”
If India decide to make one, they could think of bringing in Mohammad Shami in place of Mohit Sharma. While Shami was expensive in the earlier games and hence dropped
Apart from all these. tje weather is the most important factor , that is beyond human power.
If the weather stops the match, a reserve day is in place, yes the match will be played tomorow.
In the semi final match against West Indies weather played a big role it rained cats and dogs. The match between SL and WI was stopped and SL announced victorious as per the (D/L) method.
According to world weather online, predictions are below. (refer the picture)
Weather reports indicate that the rain may play spoilsport in the India vs Sri Lanka game but fans are praying for a un interuppted game which wont spoil their mood.
Whatever the conditions are the only thing that dominates the minds of Sri Lankan cricket fans is preventing India ffrom treble and winning the trophy.
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