Sri Lanka roars as World T20 champs!

Monday, 7 April 2014 01:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Sangakkara shines in T20 International swansong as spirited Sri Lanka beats much fancied India by six wickets to win maiden T20 title
REUTERS: Sri Lanka lifted their maiden World Twenty20 title following their six-wicket victory against former champions India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday. Kumar Sangakkara hit an important 52 not out in his last Twenty20 international outing to help Sri Lanka chase down the 131-run victory target with 13 balls to spare and deny India, the reigning 50-over World Cup and Champions Trophy winners, a record limited over treble. Put into bat after evening drizzle delayed the start of the all-Asian final by 40 minutes, India posted a below-par 130 for four wickets despite Virat Kohli’s breezy 77. Sangakkara’s crucial 35-ball knock included six boundaries and a six. Another departing great, Mahela Jayawardene, contributed a run-a-ball 24. Earlier, India lost opener Ajinkya Rahane in the second over before Kohli added 60 runs with Rohit Sharma (29) to prop up the innings and prepare for a late assault that failed to materialise. Yuvraj Singh’s (11) 21-ball struggle to find the middle of the bat, coupled with Sri Lanka’s brilliant death bowling, restricted India to a total that left little margin for error when the 2007 champions returned to defend the score. Kohli, the tournament’s top scorer, ran himself out in the final delivery of the innings after a 58-ball knock that included four sixes and five boundaries.

 Victorious watch from Waskaduwa for MR

Given bad omens of the past, Lankan fans wished President Mahinda Rajapaksa to watch the hot final from Sri Lanka than from Mirpur Bangaldesh. Thankfully, President was busy opening the latest five star resort 150-room Rs. 2.7 billion worth Citrus Waskaduwa yesterday at 6.00 p.m. and as Sri Lanka progressed, the first citizen savoured the victory from Waskdauwa itself.  

 World champs arrive tomorrow at 4 p.m.

The World T20 champion Sri Lankan team will arrive back in the island on Tuesday 8 April 2014 at 4 p.m. The champion players will be then taken in an open top bus on the old Colombo-Negombo Road (Seeduwa, Ja-Ela, Kandana, Mahabage, Hendala, Wattala, Peliyagoda, Orugodawatte, Borrella, Maitland Place) to Independence Square. Sri Lanka Cricket invites all loyal cricket fans to line the roads up to Maitland Place and Independence Square and welcome our champion national cricketers.

 Heroes speak out

Lasith Malinga: “I was really lucky to captain in the last three games. Today, we thought it was Sanga and Mahela’s farewell match... the boys thought we needed to do it for them. Last few overs we bowled really well. Me, Kula and Sachithra. Mahela and Sanga are world-class batsmen and it was a good opportunity for us to be able to play with them. They are still playing Tests and ODIs and the younger players need to pick all that they can from the two.” Man of the Match Kumar Sangakkara: What a way to finish his T20 career. “It’s been a long time coming... I’ve waited for five finals. Pretty happy I was able to do something for our team. It means a lot to all of us. We are very humbled by this. The way Kohli was batting, he was about to take the game away from us, but the way we bowled was brilliant. It was an all-round performance, led by Lasith. Angelo had an amazing tournament. India are a tough side, but we are happy to be on the winning side. My family and playing for Sri Lanka are the two most important things that happened to me in my life. Everyone’s got to go and my time is now.” Dilshan: “The last five world cups we lost them, but today is a great feeling to come back and win it. Today one of the three guys put their heads up to do something for the team. Fantastic win for Sri Lanka. Good farewell for two happy guys.” Batting Coach Marvan Atapattu: “What a way to finish the game! Sanga saved his best of the last innings. I think the first session is where we won the game.” Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya: “The bowling was superb and then both Mahela and Sanga batted very well. Restricting them to 130 was the key. Even though we lost a few wickets early on, Mahela and Sanga are big game players.” Mahela Jayawardena on retiring from T20s: “We finally managed to break the jinx. Thanks so much to family and friends but this one is for SL fans who have been waiting since 1996. It wasn’t a normal match. Lot of emotions as this was the last T20. It hasn’t sunk in yet and it will take a couple of days to get the feeling.” Angelo Mathews: “Sri Lanka this is for you. I am glad the whole team did it for Sanga and Mahela.” Rangana Herath: “This is the best send off for Sanga and Mahela. After 18 years, this is a different high.”