SRI LANKA WINS T20 TITLE

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, center, celebrates with teammates their win over India in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final match in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, April 6, 2014. Sri Lanka won the match by six wickets.
AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

Sri Lanka eventually broke its jinx after losing two Twenty20 ICC World Cup finals and two 50-overs deciders over the past seven years.

The victory came 18 years after the Asian team won its first Cricket World Cup in 1996.

It was the third World Twenty20 finals for Sri Lanka, who was beaten by Pakistan in 2009 and the West Indies in 2012.

Sri Lanka also lost two World Cup finals to Australia in 2007 and India in 2011 in Mumbai, India.

They turned the tables on India this time as they came out victorious last Sunday in what was described as a one-sided game at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium in Bangladesh.

Sri Lankans were overjoyed as in 2012 they came close to winning their maiden World Twenty20 but were defeated by the West Indies in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

India put on a disappointing performance with both bat and ball after going into the finals unbeaten – winning their previous four games in two and a half- month long tournament.

The 130 runs off their 20 overs were the lowest India had scored when they were put in to bat by Sri Lanka.

India had gone into the finals with three World Cup titles in the bag.

Their batsmen had chased a score of 172 against South Africa but for the first time in their four matches they could not get off to a flying start as only star batsman Virat Kholi stood up against the Sri Lankans spinners and fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who captained the team in their last three matches.

Kholi was named Man-of-the- Series for scoring the most runs in the tournament (319 runs).

Malinga won the toss and sent in India to bat in what was described as a slow pitch, but all the batsmen struggled to get the ball to the boundary with the exception of Kholi.

India could only score 19 runs of the last four overs, which was a deciding factor in the outcome of the game.

It was India’s lowest total in their last four matches. India’s captain, MS Dhoni would admit after they lost “it was just an off day” for the team.

However, some cricket experts were saying on the law of averages, India was due to lose a game after they were on a winning streak.

It was a fitting send off for two of Sri Lanka’s most experienced batsmen Mahela Jayawrdene and Kumar Sangakkara, as it was their last international Twenty20 games.

Sangakkara was run out after scoring 52 in the last over of the match.

Three days before, rain “bowled” out defending champions West Indies from the finals after a furious rain and hail stormed ruined their bid to recapture the title they won two years ago.

When rain ruined play, West Indies were behind by 27 runs according to the Duckworth/Lewis method, handing Sri Lanka victory at the Shere Bangala Stadium in Bangladesh.

Chasing 161 for victory for a place in last Sunday’s final, West Indies were struggling at 80 for four in the 14th over, when the fearsome weather swept across the stadium to end their dreams of keeping the crown.

India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot during their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, April 6, 2014.
AP Photo/A.M. Ahad

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