Sri Lanka vs India 2014 T20 World Cup Final: Sangakkara’s Cool Innings Breaks Final Hoodoo

Review of Sri Lanka vs India T20 World Cup Final 2014: After the bowlers held India to 130 for 4, cool innings from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene ensured that the final hoodoo was eventually broken.

The intense final highlighted the challenges of big matches, with India’s Virat Kohli providing a valiant effort with his 77 runs.

Sri Lanka vs India 2014 T20 World Cup Final: Sangakkara’s Cool Innings Breaks Final Hoodoo

India 130 for 4 (Kohli 77) lost to Sri Lanka 134 for 4 (Sangakkara 52*, Jayawardene 24) by 6 wickets.

World event victory is a dirty business. Aspiring to succeed is also. Consult Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. They had made it to the finals four times before now, each time with broken hearts despite their fervent desire to win. In their most recent Twenty20 international competition, these two champion players ultimately managed to get over their personal issues; yet, on that same night, another champion player delivered a heartbreaking, cagey innings that ultimately cost his team the title.

During that spell of play, India achieved the lowest first-innings total in a World Twenty20 final and the second-lowest score for the loss of just four wickets. Yuvraj Singh, who had been India’s limited-overs talisman for so long, came in at 64 for 2 in the 11th over, scored 11 off 21, and denied the unstoppable Virat Kohli the strike.

The defeated are consumed by title bouts. One of the all-time greats in limited overs may have been eliminated in this final, but ask Jayawardene and Sangakkara—they both had a difficult time getting back on track.

India did a great job of defending the modest total, playing on the nerves of the Sri Lankans, fielding everything down, and creating a web around the batsmen, but the two champs had just enough left in them to win the match. With a run-a-ball score of 24, Jayawardene calmed early anxieties against a clever limited-overs skipper under intense pressure, and Sangakkara completed the chase with an ice-cold undefeated 52 off 35.

However, major finals are a brutal game, and history will recall Yuvraj’s knock just as much as Sangakkara’s. He was kept on the team for the final because he has proven time and time again can turn around games in 10 balls, bury sides with cameos, and win India contests out of thin air.

MS Dhoni sent in his match-winner ahead of both himself and Suresh Raina because he had faith in him. Against disciplined Sri Lankan bowling, Kohli had just started to overcome a sluggish start that has already made him the highest run scorer in any World Twenty20. Even opposing captain Lasith Malinga had sacked him on November 11. He felt like making them pay.

However, Sri Lanka maintained their composure and gave Yuvraj little to work with. That too after Kohli had made it 111 for 2 in the 16th over by ripping the normally thrifty Nuwan Kulasekara for six, four, and six. Another fielding error occurred during that over when the fielder at cow corner misjudged a catch and lobbed the ball. At these points, you would normally expect teams to crumble, but Sri Lanka produced four outstanding overs.

When Yuvraj faced Sachithra Senanayake in the seventeenth, he had no pace or space to maneuver. After bowling the next over, Malinga was satisfied with a first ball single to Kohli. Then a yorker emerged from outside. By now, the dugout was starting to get tense. They were in desperate need of Yuvraj to leave immediately and make up for the 9 off 17 that he had made up to this point. It is impossible to even begin to comprehend what it would have been like to be Kohli, the tournament’s top batsman, there and not have the strike to win it.

Also Read: Reliving India’s 2007 T20 World Cup Triumph

Malinga again produced a low wide delivery that Kohli could not get beneath when he got the strike fourth ball, and before the over was out, he bowled another dot to Yuvraj. Sangakkara didn’t make a loud appeal because the dot, a yorker wide outside off that passed and was very close to Yuvraj’s outside edge, told you everything you needed to know about Yuvraj’s innings.

Sri Lanka vs India 2014 T20 World Cup Final: Sangakkara’s Cool Innings Breaks Final Hoodoo

Following Yuvraj’s successful full throw down long-off’s neck, Darren Sammy tweeted, “Not sure this catch needed to be taken.” You felt sorry for the batsman who used to place these in the bleachers while wearing a blindfold and having one arm restrained behind his back. However, Sri Lanka’s strategy had worked this time, as they bowled full and wide, suffocating India right within the tram lines.

Although Kohli and Dhoni gave it their all, Malinga and Kulasekara’s performance was superior. For the final four overs, Kohli faced just eight balls. With just 19 wickets falling off them, it would have been game over if it hadn’t been a final and Sri Lanka.

However, Sri Lanka was venturing into unknown territory. Fear of victory has peculiar effects. They searched for the simplest path. Kusal Perera attempted to destroy every object; he succeeded in smashing one of the first six and lost to the seventh.

With a little nudging here and there, Jayawardene brought order to the proceedings. Once the necessary run-rate was reached, it started to become a walk. However, R Ashwin, the tournament’s best bowler, produced a top edge from Tillakaratne Dilshan, which Kohli superbly caught at the square-leg boundary. India was being saved by two individuals who did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Then, Sangakkara and Jayawardene added a run-a-ball score of 24. Jayawardene started experimenting with the fields. Now, cricket fans everywhere started to imagine a happily ever after. What could be better in the end than these two stalwarts, who are similar to Arjuna and Aravinda from eighteen years ago? But this would require much more tears and sweat.

Part-time player Suresh Raina was dismissed by Jayawardene, and Ashwin made a diving catch at midwicket. Lahiru Thirimanne was soon sent back by Dhoni after a breathtaking low catch. At 78 for 4 in the 13th over, Dhoni’s squad was feeling the kill. Prior to this, they had never lost a world final.

It was tense material. I mean, wouldn’t the dugout have brought back that old, horrible sense of being so close and coming up short? Now they tried the desperate. They threw in Thisara Perera, a heavy hitter, ahead of Angelo Mathews because they didn’t have the emotional stamina to fight this through to the very end. its assumption was that India will soon need to use spinners to feed the ball to its left-handed hitters.

On one end, Sangakkara had been going well, but the issue was coming from the other end. It was decided to take the chance. With Perera scoring just two off the first six overs and 47 needed off the final six overs, you couldn’t even try to alter the situation. Still, this was the time.

Sri Lanka vs India 2014 T20 World Cup Final: Sangakkara’s Cool Innings Breaks Final Hoodoo

Mishra was bowling to two left-hand batsman, going two overs for four runs so far. Perera swung hard and shimmied down a bit on the first ball he received from Mishra. Relief returned to the camp as it soared past long-on and into the night sky. Then Mishra was led by the composed Sangakkara past a beautiful leg, and this was now going Sri Lanka’s way.

Sangakkara played what was likely the shot of the match in the following over. Throughout the day, India had depended on Ashwin’s accuracy and had gained an additional fielder by not putting in a single fine-leg. But this time, Sangakkara took it in front of middle, went inside the line of one, and closed his mouth just in time to entice it through the fine-leg gap for four.

Now that the edges were securely landing in the final stretch, some luck also showed up. Sangakkara was understandably perplexed after being heartbroken by Gilchrist, Gambhir, Afridi, and Samuels, and wondered where in the world this luck had appeared. But this was his night to celebrate. It will hurt a little less now, all those losses.

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