DHAKA – West Indies’ reign as ICC World Twenty20 champions came to a very damp end as they suffered a 27-run defeat via the Duckworth-Lewis method against Sri Lanka in the first semi-final at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Sri Lanka gained a modicum of revenge for their final defeat on home soil in Colombo two years ago as the holders could only reach 80 for 4 in 13.5 overs replying to 160 for six.
Captain Darren Sammy didn’t even get the chance to take strike before an almighty rain and hail storm hit the stadium, wiping out any further chance of play in Dhaka.
Sri Lanka counterpart Angelo Mathews had earlier made 40 in a hurry to repair an innings that was teetering a little at 49 for 3, their cause not aided by Mahela Jayawardene being run out before he had faced a ball.
Opener Kusal Perera was the first to go when he was bowled by Krishmar Santokie (two for 46) at the end of the fourth over, though he had belted two fours and a pair of sixes in his knock of 26.
Jayawardene replaced Perera but was soon joining him back on the sidelines when he failed to out-run Sammy’s throw, while Kumar Sangakkara managed just a single before chipping a return catch to leg-spinner Samuel Badree.
A run-a-ball 39 from Tillakaratne Dilshan came to an end when he was caught short by Lendl Simmons’ direct hit from cover, ending a 42-run stand for the fourth wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne (44).
Mathews provided some much-needed momentum in the closing overs, though, including taking a six and two fours at the start of a rather expensive 19th over from Santokie.
Andre Russell also suffered in the next, with 17 coming off it. He did get the wicket of the Sri Lanka captain, just not before he had been belted for 10 off the previous two deliveries.
Mathews’ 23-ball knock proved crucial, despite West Indies’ run chase beginning with Dwayne Smith hitting Nuwan Kulasekara for a six and a four.
Lasith Malinga, though, proved a much tougher proposition to attack. He conceded just five runs from two overs, the second of which saw him bowl both Chris Gayle, who laboured again, making three from 13, and then Smith.
Seekkuge Prasanna trapped Simmons leg before with his first delivery of the match as Sri Lanka’s spinners tightened their side’s grip on proceedings.
Marlon Samuels certainly struggled; he was 18 not out when the rain arrived, having faced 29 deliveries and hit just one four. Dwayne Bravo did his best to keep his team in contention with 30, including the second six of the innings.
He eventually perished to Kulasekara trying to clear the rope again, and Sammy never even got the chance to open his shoulders and launch a late onslaught before the players were taken from the field.
Such was the nature of the downpour a return to the field never looked likely, meaning West Indies reluctantly relinquished their grip on the trophy. Sri Lanka will now face either India or South Africa in Sunday’s final.
Afterwards a disappointed Sammy said despite the stiff asking rate, he was confident that West Indies were in with a great chance of getting the runs.
“We left home with a goal to defend the title but we have no control over the weather. Credit to Sri Lanka, they bowled very well upfront. I see it as the Gods smiling on Sanga and Mahela, they have one more chance, they’ve done so much for Sri Lanka. Probably the Father Almighty wants them to leave on a high note. It’s disappointing to lose this way though. There was no panic in the dressing room, Bravo was batting very well. We always believed that we could get 12 runs an over every time. Today it might have been very difficult but with the batsmen at the crease and Russell to come, we backed ourselves to get [the runs],”
Malinga praised the role played by Mathews in boosting their score and said his team were looking forward to Sunday’s final.
“’We just were looking forward to the batsmen doing well at the top so that the bowlers could defend. We got a good start but we fell off in the middle. Mathews played a crucial role to propel the score. With the ball, the first six overs were exceptional. The run rate was going up all the time and we were ahead on D/L. Everyone is looking forward to the final game. We just don’t want to look at the opposition, we just want to play well on Sunday,” he said.
Man-of-the-Match Mathews said his team had been pleased with the runs they put on the board and revealed that during his late assault, a decision was made not to risk aggression against West Indies most miserly bowler, Sunil Narine.
“I had to pick my bowlers, Narine wasn’t an option. We wanted to play him down. So I had to attack at the other end. 160 I thought was a good target and I am glad that we got there. It was a very good wicket to bat on. Off-cutters were difficult to pick but for pacers the ball came on nicely to the bat. We have a few seniors in the side and Lasith was fantastic as captain,” Mathews said.
K Perera b Santokie 26
T Dilshan run out (Simmons) 39
M Jayawardene run out (Sammy/Ramdin) 0
K Sangakkara+ c & b Badree 1
L Thirimanne c Simmons b Santokie 44
A Mathews c Dwayne Bravo b Russell 40
S Prasanna not out 6
Total 160/6 (20 Overs)
Extras: (lb 2, w 2) 4
Did not Bat: N Kulasekara, S Senanayake, R Herath,
Fall of Wickets: 1-41 (Perera, 3.6 ov), 2-41 (Jayawardene, 4.2 ov), 3-49 (Sangakkara, 6.2 ov), 4-91 (Dilshan, 13.3 ov), 5-121 (Thirimanne, 16.6 ov), 6-160 (Mathews, 19.6 ov).
West Indies Bowling: S Badree 4-0-23-1, K Santokie 4-0-46-2, S Narine 4-0-20-0, M Samuels 4-0-23-0, A Russell 3-0-37-1, C Gayle 1-0-9-0.
West Indies (Target; 161)
D Smith b Malinga 17
C Gayle b Malinga 3
L Simmons LBW Prasanna 4
M Samuels not out 18
Dwayne Bravo c Jayawardene b Kulasekara 30
D Sammy* not out 0
Total: 80/4 (13.5 Overs)
Extras: (lb 1, w 7) 8
Did not Bat: D Ramdin+, A Russell, S Narine, S Badree,
Fall of Wickets: 1-25 (Gayle, 4.1 ov), 2-28 (Smith, 4.5 ov), 3-34 (Simmons, 7.1 ov), 4-77 (Bravo, 13.2 ov).
Sri Lanka Bowling: N Kulasekara 2.5-0-22-1, S Senanayake
2-0-6-0, L Malinga 2-0-5-2, R Herath 4-0-27-0, S Prasanna
2-0-15-1, A Mathews 1-0-4-0. (Sky)