Sri Lanka 134-4 (Sangakkara 52no) beat
India 130-4 (Kohli 77) by six wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 final, Mirpur
In his final Twenty20 International, Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten half-century as Sri Lanka broke their final hoodoo to win the ICC World Twenty20 final by six wickets against India.
Sangakkara was unbeaten on 52 in 35 balls as he expertly marshalled his side's run chase after India had posted 130 for four batting first.
Thisara Perera (23 not out) hit the winning runs to seal Sri Lanka's first ICC WT20 crown with 13 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli had earlier starred again for India, hitting 77 in 58 balls, but the 2007 champions were thwarted by a team that had lost two finals previously, in 2009 and 2012.
Chasing 131, Sri Lanka made a cautiously slow start and lost Kusal Perera (5) in the second over.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) and Mahela Jayawardene then batted together, putting up 36 runs for the second wicket.
Sri Lanka's losing run comes to an end
2007: runners-up to Australia in the 50-over World Cup
2009: runners-up to Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20
2010: semi-finalists in the ICC World Twenty20
2011: runners-up to India in the 50-over World Cup
2012: runners-up to the West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20
2013: semi-finalists in the ICC Champions Trophy
The runs were coming at a fine pace but Dilshan tried an aggressive approach in the first over of spin introduced by India, in a bid to take advantage of the last power play over and was caught in the deep by Kohli off Ravichandran Ashwin (1-29).
Jayawardene, also playing his last T20I, carried on though, and went on to score 24 runs off 24 balls, with four boundaries.
He put on 24 runs for the third wicket with Sangakkara and just when it seemed that the two batsmen had closed the doors on an Indian comeback, Suresh Raina (1-24) came on to bowl and dismissed Jayawardene, caught by Ashwin with a sharp effort at mid-wicket.
The Sri Lankan fifty had come up in the ninth over and despite Lahiru Thirimanne’s (7) dismissal they continued without much ado, reaching the 100-run mark in the 16th over.
Amit Mishra (1-32) had taken this wicket, aided by a smart catch by keeper MS Dhoni, but then the leg-spinner was carted around by Thisara Perera. This broke the shackles and thereafter it was a matter of time for the Sri Lankans to coast home.
Sangakkara then brought up his eighth T20I fifty off 33 balls and finished off the game in style for Sri Lanka, taking his side home with 13 balls to spare.
Perera was unbeaten on 23 runs off 14 balls, hitting three sixes, while Mohit Sharma (1-18) was the other wicket-taker for India.
Earlier, due to an untimely rain shower, the match was delayed by 40 minutes. Then, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first.
India got off to a horrible start, with Ajinkya Rahane (3) dismissed cheaply by Angelo Mathews (1-25).
Rohit Sharma and Kohli then made amends, as they countered the swing in the pitch with some patience, scoring runs by singles and twos.
Soon enough they opened up to play handsome shots, especially against the spinners Sachithra Senanayake (0-22) and Rangana Herath (1-23).
They put on 61 runs for the second wicket, with Sharma scoring 29 runs off 26 balls with three boundaries. In doing so, the 50-run mark came up in the ninth over, a tad slow yet India had the batsmen to make up for it.
ICC World T20 roll of honour
2007: India beat Pakistan (Hosts: South Africa)
2009: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka (England)
2010: England beat Australia (West Indies)
2012: West Indies beat Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
2014: Sri Lanka beat India (Bangladesh)
Then the game changed altogether. Sharma fell in the 11th over and Yuvraj Singh came to the crease.
He put on 55 runs for the third wicket with Kohli, but that is what the scorecard will say. It won’t say that Yuvraj was seemingly batting on an entirely different pitch and in an entirely different game altogether, as he struggled his way to 11 runs off 21 balls.
At the other end, Kohli moved on to score his eighth T20I fifty – and his fourth of the tournament – off only 43 balls.
He ended up scoring 77 runs off 58 balls, with five fours and four sixes, and was dismissed off the last ball of the innings.
However, Yuvraj’s struggles to rotate strike and then Dhoni’s inability to strike the ball hard enough, making four runs in seven balls meant that India finished with a below-par score on the night.
Nuwan Kulasekara (1-29) was the other wicket-taker for Sri Lanka.
© Cricket World 2014