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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Sri Lanka break final jinx with T20 World Cup win as Sangakkara, Jayawardene sign off in style

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
©Action Images / Ed Sykes Livepic
 

April 6, 2014 - After four losses in World Cup finals, Sri Lanka finally turned the tide with a commanding six-wicket win over India to win the 2014 World T20 and give a fitting farewell to legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

 

Match Summary

 
India 130/4 (20)

Sri Lanka 134/4 (17.5)

Result - Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets

Player of the Match - Kumar Sangakkara

 

Sri Lanka had been on a role in white-ball cricket in 2014. Their tally of matches from the beginning of the year till the World Cup win read: W W W W W W W W W W W W L W W W. 

Before the win, Sri Lanka had make it to the finals of four other world events but had faltered at the big moment. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were playing their last match and it was only just that they had their moment.

Like Sachin Tendulkar who said goodbye to the game soon after being lifted on the shoulders by his teammates after winning the 2011 World Cup, Sangakkara was carried on the shoulder by Chandimal as they went around the ground. Likewise, Jayawardene was lifted by Thirimanne and Kusal Perera.

Man of the match Kumar Sangakkara hit a memorable half-century to help Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory over India in the World Twenty20 final in Dhaka. The veteran left-hander knocked a 35-ball 52 not out in his last Twenty20 match to guide the Sri Lankan chase of a modest 131-run target in 17.5 overs at a packed Shere Bangla stadium.

Thisara Perera hit Ravichandran Ashwin for a winning boundary to seal the win, finishing with 21 not out. But it was Sangakkara who anchored the chase with six boundaries and a six in his unbeaten knock. Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals as Indian spinners applied pressure, but Sangakkara held one end intact.

Openers Kusal Perera went for five and Tillakaratne Dilshan for 18 before Sangakkara added 34 for the third wicket with Jayawardne (24) and another 54 for the unfinished fifth wicket with Thisara.

Earlier, India were reduced to 130-4 by some tight Sri Lankan bowling despite a brilliant half-century by Kohli, whose 58-ball 77 was his eighth Twenty20 half-century (and fourth of this tournament) after India were sent into bat. Let off by Lasith Malinga at mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath's first delivery when 11, Kohli took full advantage of the lapse by hitting five boundaries and four sixes before he was run out off the final delivery. 

Kohli added 60 for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma (29) and another 55 for the third with Yuvraj Singh who slowed down the tempo with a snail-paced 11 off 21 balls. Sharma hit three boundaries during his 26-ball knock before he was caught off Herath who finished with 1-23 in his four overs.

So facile were India's last four overs that there was no boundary and a well-set Kohli got just seven balls to play, restricting their total badly. Kohli, the tournament's top scorer and player of the event, ran himself out on the final delivery of the innings after a 58-ball knock that included four sixes and five boundaries. Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga dished out plenty of accurate yorkers as India managed just 19 runs off their last four overs.

The victory gave Sri Lanka their first world title in 18 years since winning the World Cup (50 overs) crown in 1996 and gave the World Twenty20 a fifth champion in as many editions. The victory also broke Sri Lanka's jinx of losing the final of major world level events as they had lost two World Cup (50 overs) finals (2007 and 2011) besides being runners-up in as many World Twenty20 events in 2009 and 2012.

With the win, Sri Lanka also capped a long two-and-a-half month tour of Bangladesh during which they won all matches in a bilateral series against the home team and the five-nation Asia Cup.

 

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