After being hammered at the two earlier ICC T20 World Cup finals, Sri Lanka finally succeeded in overcoming their heartbreak in 2014. On 6 April 2014, they lifted their maiden ICC T20 World Cup trophy after beating India at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, in Dhaka.
The title was also a testament to Sri Lanka’s consistency in major ICC tournaments. They were finalists in the 2009 and 2012 editions but couldn’t bring the trophy home. Sri Lanka became the fifth country to register their name in the ICC T20 world cup winners list.
In 2014, Sri Lanka started their T20 World Cup journey in style. Their only defeat came against England in the group stage. The team went on to lose the game despite posting 189 on the scoreboard, after a memorable 90 from Mahela Jayawardene.
Sri Lanka were set to meet India in the tournament final, making it the second time the two would battle it out in a high-stakes match after the 2011 ICC World Cup.
As then-skipper Dinesh Chandimal had been suspended earlier due to a slow over-rate issue, pacer Lasith Malinga led the Sri Lankan side in the final. He won the toss and let India bat first.
The Sri Lankan side created pressure early on by sending opener Ajinkya Rahane back to the pavilion in the second over. Virat Kohli, along with Rohit Sharma, tried to revive India’s innings and put up a 60-run partnership on board, before Sharma’s dismissal by Rangana Herath in the 11th over.
Then India’s limited over star Yuvraj Singh came out to bat, but failed to create an impact. He scored 11 off 21 deliveries with a strike rate of only 52.38. It was rare for the Indian all-rounder to struggle in the slog overs. As a result, India’s run-rate fell drastically.
The only remarkable contribution was Virat Kohli’s 77 off 58. Virat Kohli scored his eighth T20 half-century and topped the scoresheet among Indian batters. The disciplined bowling unit of Sri Lanka restricted India to just 130 in 20 overs. Spinner Rangana Herath, all-rounder Angelo Mathews and seamer Nuwan Kulasekara picked one wicket each, while Virat Kohli was run out by Sachitra Senanayake.
While chasing the target, Sri Lanka also faced an early setback with the dismissal of Kusal Perera in the second over. Veteran batter Tillakaratne Dilshan only managed to score 18 runs before Ravichandran Ashwin scalped his wicket in the sixth over.
Then, wicketkeeper-batter Kumar Sangakkara took charge of the game and played an unbeaten knock of 52 off 35 to provide some much-needed momentum to his side. Along with Sangakkara, Thisara Perera steered the Sri Lankan innings and helped the team win by 6 wickets in just 17.5 overs.
/ 1 year ago
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