Sri Lanka won the World Twenty20 final in Bangladesh against a lacklustre Indian side as the two-time finalists finally got their hands on the trophy.
In a low-scoring—yet gripping—final, India were outclassed by the Sri Lankans, who romped to a six-wicket victory with time to spare.
Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara signed off in the best-possible fashion in his last T20 international by steering his nation to the coveted trophy.
It was only fitting that Sangakkara was at the crease as Thisara Perera found the boundary to give Sri Lanka a historic victory, sparking wild celebrations in the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
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India’s innings (with statistics courtesy of International Cricket Council)
Having won the toss and elected to bowl, Sri Lanka limited India to just 130 runs, despite Virat Kohli slogging his way to 77 from 58 balls.
Kohli became the highest run scorer of the tournament with his innings, chalking up 242 runs from 189 balls across the tournament.
However, the bowling from Sri Lanka was enough to ensure that Kohli’s innings wasn’t good enough to instrument India’s second World T20 victory.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers delivered 44 dots to the Indian order despite taking just three wickets, limiting them to such a reachable total.
Rangana Herath was once again the driving force behind Sri Lanka’s success with the ball, taking team-best figures of 1 for 23 with 11 dot balls.
Kohli aside, India just never got going with the bat, and four of their six batsmen to take to the crease scored 11 runs or less.
Rohit Sharma performed well once again with an innings of 29, but his effort wasn’t enough as India’s unbeaten record came to an end in the most crucial match of the tournament.
India had barely broken a sweat during this year’s tournament, recording routine victories over Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, Australia and South Africa en route to their heartbreaking final defeat.
Sri Lanka’s innings (with statistics courtesy of International Cricket Council)
Facing a chase of just 130, Sri Lanka were full of confidence of ending their ICC finals curse when they took to the crease in the Sher-e-Bangla.
Having lost out in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup finals, together with the 2009 and 2012 World T20 finals, Sri Lanka finally lost their bridesmaid status with a tremendous batting display.
Mahela Jayawardene, also playing his last T20I, chalked up 24 runs from 24 balls, but it was Sangakkara who stole the show.
The 36-year-old cruised to a half century from 35 balls, and when Perera’s six handed Sri Lanka victory, he could barely contain himself.
Sangakkara spoke with Jonathan Liew of The Telegraph and explained that the victory was not just for himself and the bowing-out Jayawardene.
“It’s not just about me or Mahela, or the two of us, or any single person. We have 20 million other people we’ve got to win it for. Everyone who stands with you and behind you.”
Mohit Sharma’s figures of 1 for 18 were as good as it got for India, who took just four wickets and still had two overs to bowl when Sri Lanka blasted their way to victory.
Sri Lanka’s victory means that the tournament hosts have won the following competition every year since England hosted the 2009 tournament.
With Bangladesh hosting the 2014 tournament, they’ll have high hopes for the World Twenty20 2016 in India. However, MS Dhoni’s Indians will have other ideas as they look to make up for their crippling defeat to the Sri Lankans, who are the fifth different winner of the World T20, and a deserved winner at that.
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