West Indies vs Sri Lanka- It all ends here
In about an hour and 50 minutes, the final of the ICC World Cup T20 will begin. The last game of the league. All the efforts, all the sixers, all the wickets, it all boils down to this one game. The Sri Lankans, not surprisingly, have done well on their home track, and qualified for the finals. The fact that the West Indies qualified, however, is rather interesting. You see, the West Indies didn’t win either of their league matches, and qualified for the super 8s by the grace of net run rate. Then they brought out two wins in the Super 8s, beating England and New Zealand. And they qualified for the semis, this time by the fact that Sri Lanka had won all 3 of their games. And in the semifinals, they brought out their best performance this season. The West Indies were rated as one of thethe strongest sides this tournament, and that, I think, is because of their all-round balance. Pollard, Russell, Gayle, Sammy, Bravo and Samuels. All big and mean, all all-rounders. And that’s a combination many team owners would kill to have. And with a bowling back-up containing Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine, who would stand a chance? Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have also got a good balance, but are dependent on their top 3 for the bulk-scoring. So far, that hasn’t really hurt them, as Lanka has won 5 of the 6 games they played, losing that one rain-soaked encounter to South Africa. Also, Mahela Jaywardene has shown class as both a leader, and an opener. He has been scoring the big runs, which allows Tillakaratne Dilshan’s inconsistency to go unnoticed. Also, the bowling unit, lead by Nuwan Kulasekara, has hit the deck hard, and won the Islanders many close games. So now here are some clashes to watch:
Chris Gayle vs Ajantha Mendis: Mendis gave Sri Lanka a whoop-de-doo start to their season with a six-for haul, but was a bit off-color until the Pakistan game. He took 2/27 in his 4 overs. Gayle, on the other hand, has had a very successful tournament and is just 31 runs away from overtaking Shane Watson as leading run-scorer. And he will definitely want to go for it and give his team a good start. If Mendis can get in his variations, however, Gayle might just have a bit of a problem playing him.
Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Ravi Rampaul: Whether it’s for Sri Lanka, or RCB, Dilshan likes to get a good, quick start. Ravi Rampaul, on the other hand, likes to take early wickets, and shake the other side. Though he looked out of touch vs Pakistan, Dilshan can be living hell if not dealt with early on. So if he tries to go after Rampaul early on, it will be very interesting to see who prevails.
Mahela Jaywardene vs Sunil Narine: Despite a poor start, Narine has definitely made his mark on this tournament. His ability to bowl the death overs economically, as well as taking crucial wickets at crucial moments, has won the Windies more than one game . On the other hand, Mahela has been pivotal upfront, and he’s also a beautiful player of spin. So who will win? Narine’s variations, or Mahela’s nerve? We’ll find out soon….
It all ends here. May the best team win 🙂