About the Match
The men in both shades of blue will lock heads in the World T20 finals on Sunday, Apr 6th at Dhaka. India sailed smoothly into the final as they successfully chased 173 runs to defeat South Africa by 6 wickets; Sri Lanka on the other hand survived the rain-hit match against West Indies as they won the contest by 27 runs (D/L) method. While the Lankan bowlers worked their magic to beat West Indies, the Indian batsmen dominated in the second half of the match to score a convincing win yet again. It’s going to be a mammoth game on Sunday as supporters of both sides will come out in full strength to see their heroes lift the cup.
This is the second time the Lankans have reached the World T20 finals and this time they made it by a whisker. Had the rains not played spoilsport, the team could have landed in soup but Malinga caught two breaks in the 5th over to put the pressure back on the Windies. He will be key to the team’s success and coupled with Senanayake and Kulasekara’s superb spells, the bowling unit looks confident to cause worry for the Indian batsmen. In the batting department, the youngsters have been getting the big runs but they need to be cautious against the Indian spinners, who have a lot going on for them lately. Sangakkara and Jayawardene will try to bring out their best for their country one last time as they get ready to take a bow; and the players will be determined to win the World T20 title for the first time. They will need to be smart in devising a plan for the in-form Indian batsmen and keep the fielding super tight to avoid leaking away runs.
Kohli steered the team to the finals as he posted an unbeaten 72 off 44 deliveries and partnered with comeback man, Yuvraj to add a 56-run stand for the 3rd wicket. Earlier, Rahane and Sharma had started the chase well but it was Kohli who took the team safely home. Raina looked in good shape too as he gave good support towards the end; the batsmen dominated right from the start and never backed down. Their continued brilliance with the bat and the magic of the spinners will be instrumental in their battle against the Lankans. Ashwin is at the top of his game as he claimed 3-22 on a day when others like Mishra and Mohit Sharma failed to provide the breakthroughs. While Jadeja kept his bowling tight, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Quinton in the very first over; the duo will need to continue supporting Ashwin in the bowling squad and Mishra, who had a good run in the series, needs to work his magic again. Overall, the team is poised to throw tough challenges at the Lankans but need to tread cautiously and cross the final hurdle.
India is on a high now and the bowlers have peaked at the right time; the batsmen have more than regained their confidence with straight wins and the team has worked hard to get here. Sri Lanka too deserve their place in the finals as they toiled right from the start and this will their second attempt to try and win the title. Though the islanders will be eager to give the perfect send off to two of their greatest players, India looks super confident to make it to the top once again.
India, 1.66 @ Bet365