World T20 2014: Winners and Losers
Sri Lanka capped a highly entertaining World T20 2014 by comfortably beating India in the final on Sunday.
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara signed off from the international 20-over game in style, and skipper Lasith Malinga delivered another yorker masterclass.
There was much to enjoy in a competition that featured plenty of big hitting, quality spin and some genuine shocks. Less impressive was the standard of fielding and the underperformance of a number of notable names.
So, who departs Bangladesh with their reputation enhanced?
Who has been banished to the back of the class?
Check out Bleacher Report's winners and losers from the 2014 World T20.
Winner: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara
Two of the game's all-time greats walked away from the international T20 arena in style on Sunday. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara saved the best til last, steering Sri Lanka to a convincing win over India in the final.
The pair were on the losing side in three previous world finals but deservedly took their place in the winner's circle this time out.
Farewell Sanga and Mahela. 2 great ambassadors for SL and World cricket. At least we still get to watch them in 2 other formats #wt20final— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) April 6, 2014
England fans should make the most of their visit this summer.
Loser: Yuvraj Singh
Watching Yuvraj scratch around in the final must have been torture for India's millions of fans. The left-hander's Tavare-esque 11 from 21 balls ripped the momentum from the Indian innings, just when it should have been building.
Unable to get the tournament's best batsman, Virat Kohli, on strike, India managed just 19 runs from the final four overs.
As Darren Sammy tweeted when Yuvraj finally holed out:
Hmmmmmm not sure the catch should have been taken #wt20 final— Darren Sammy (@darrensammy88) April 6, 2014
By that stage, the damage was done, with the pre-match favourites ending up 30 runs below par.
To cap it all, poor old Yuvraj will return home to find that his house has been stoned by disgruntled fans.
Winner: Super Spinners
Slow bowlers dominated the World T20 with leggies Imran Tahir, Samuel Badree and Amit Mishra all finishing among the tournament's leading wicket-takers.
Joining them was a rejuvenated Ravichandran Ashwin who looks a totally different bowler thanks to the reappearance of the carrom ball. The Indian's delivery to dismiss Hashim Amla was such a beauty, it prompted Adam Gilchrist to describe it as the "T20 ball of the century."
Throw in the amazing 5-for-3 performance from Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath and a 4.60 economy rate from Sunil Narine, and there was plenty for spin lovers to enjoy.
Fans also got a glimpse into the future in the form of Aussie James Muirhead. Raw he may be, but the 20-year-old certainly gives it a rip and is one to keep an eye on over the coming years.
Loser: Ashley Giles
A good performance from England in the World T20 and interim coach Ashley Giles was in pole position to get the gig permanently.
Instead, it looks like the King of Spain will be dusting off his CV.
After an unlucky defeat to New Zealand and an Alex Hales-inspired win over Sri Lanka, England's destiny was in their own hands.
That they threw away a promising position against South Africa was hugely disappointing. The thrashing by the novices from the Netherlands was indefensible.
The knives are already out for the former Warwickshire coach in much of the media with opening batsman Michael Carberry the latest player to put the boot in.
Winner: Lasith Malinga and His Yorkers
Spinners were the prime wicket-taking option in the World T20. When it came to stemming runs at the end of an innings, an old weapon returned to the fore.
The yorker is the ultimate in high risk, high reward. Get it wrong and a bowler can be made to look very silly.
In the hands of an expert practitioner such as Lasith Malinga, though, the yorker is the perfect run stuffer. The Sri Lankan slinger delivered a masterclass in full-pitched bowling in the final. Waqar Younis would have been proud.
The odd floodlight failure aside, the Bangladeshi authorities can be pleased with the way the World T20 shaped up. The crowds have been excellent, the atmosphere superb and the surprisingly pacy pitches have offered something for both batsmen and bowlers.
It's a shame to report then, another sorry showing from the Bangladesh team. The warning signs were there in the qualifying group when the hosts crashed to minnows Hong Kong.
They followed that up with four wallopings at the hands of their Test-playing opponents.
The potential for cricket to succeed in Bangladesh is there for all to see. There's precious little evidence that it's actually happening, though.
Winner: The Netherlands
Dutch fans could have been forgiven for thinking that their World T20 had peaked with their astonishing win over Ireland in the final Super 10 qualifier.
Excluding the no-show against Sri Lanka (and if you're going to lose, you may as well do it spectacularly), the Dutch put in excellent performances in their three remaining matches against Test opposition.
Holland could have beaten New Zealand, should have beaten South Africa and did give England a right spanking.
Peter Borren and his men can be rightly proud of a highly successful tournament.
The Australians have conquered all-comers this winter but came seriously unstuck in the World T20.
George Bailey's men managed just a single win against lowly Bangladesh and were soundly beaten by Pakistan, India and the West Indies.
The decision to pick the veteran "Brads Army" of Haddin, Hodge and Hogg backfired badly, as did James Faulkner's misguided comments about the West Indies.
Winner: Kevin Pietersen
He may not have faced a single ball in the tournament, but Kevin Pietersen came out of the World T20 with his reputation enhanced.
Every time England's middle order failed, the cry on social media went out for the return of KP.
It's not going to happen, of course, but the chorus of disapproval could prove to be a massive distraction for Alastair Cook and whoever takes the England coaching job.
During the World T20, Pietersen was made the top pick in the Caribbean Premier League draft. The 33-year-old also bagged a spot in the Rest of the World line-up to face the MCC at Lord's in July. Who needs international cricket?
The England hierarchy had better hope that someone in the middle-order scores some runs this summer.
Loser: Jade Dernbach
One criticism that cannot be levelled at Jade Dernbach is a lack of bottle. The Surrey seamer willingly ran in during the powerplays and happily volunteered for the carnage overs at the end of an innings.
Unfortunately, carnage is what usually ensued when Dernbach was given the ball.
AB De Villiers took a shine to all of England's seamers during South Africa's Super 10 win but singled Dernbach out for special attention.
The paceman's final nine balls yielded a whopping 26 runs, helping the South Africans to an above-par total.
An overall economy rate of 11, coupled with a memorable clanger in the field, made it a tournament to forget for the 28-year-old.
The one saving grace is that he can't be blamed for the debacle against the Netherlands.
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