Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The rain Gods helped Sri Lanka reach the finals once again
Sri Lanka made it to their second consecutive World Twenty20 final after beating the West Indies, who were the defending champions, by 27 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the first semi-final in Mirpur.
However, Sri Lanka should also consider themselves slightly lucky to get a major assist from the rain Gods.
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga would have been satisfied with his decision to bat first as the team’s opening pair of Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan put together a 41-run partnership before Perera was clean bowled by Krishmar Santokie for 26.
Mahela Jayawardene failed to face a single ball as he was run out by West Indies skipper Darren Sammy.
Kumar Sangakkara failed to have an impact as well as he was caught and bowled by Samuel Badree for just six runs.
Dilshan went on to make 39 off 39 balls, which included two boundaries and a six, before he was run out by Lendl Simmons.
Lahiru Thirimanne smashed a career-best 44 off 35 deliveries, which included three boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Simmons at point off the bowling of Santokie.
Despite Thirimanne’s brilliant knock, Sri Lanka were still struggling in the 17th over when they were on 121/5.
However, this was where Angelo Mathews took over and blasted 40 runs off only 23 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, before he was the victim of a spectacular catch by Dwayne Bravo at deep midwicket off the last ball of the innings.
Thanks to Dilshan, Thirimanne and Mathews, Sri Lanka finished on 160/6 at the end of their 20 overs.
Santokie was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Badree and Andre Russell chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 161 to win, the West Indies got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Chris Gayle was clean bowled by Malinga for only three runs.
Malinga struck again just four balls later when he shattered Dwayne Smith’s stumps.
Simmons fared no better as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Seekkuge Prasanna for four runs.
Bravo made a quickfire 30 before he was caught by Jayawardene at deep square leg off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara.
Just three balls after Bravo’s dismissal, the heavens parted and the players were ushered off the field.
With the rain refusing to relent, the umpires had no choice but to call the match off, which meant that Sri Lanka won by 27 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Malinga was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Prasanna and Kulasekara snapped up one wicket each.
Mathews was named Man of the Match.