Virat Kohli (right) scored his eighth half-century in T20Is © Getty Images
Virat Kohli (right) scored his eighth half-century in T20Is © Getty Images

 

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

 

Mirpur: Apr 6, 2014

 

India could muster only 130 for four in the ICC World T20 2014 final against Sri Lanka on a slow surface at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. Although Virat Kohli scored a well-paced 77, India couldn’t get going and have managed a modest score. Sri Lanka would now fancy their chances of winning their first World T20 in three final appearances, unless India pull a rabbit out of the hat. MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on four.

 

There was a delayed start due to rain and once it cleared, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl first. There was one change in their line-up as Thisara Perera came in place of Seekuge Prasanna. India were unchanged coming into this game.

 

Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma walked out to bat with the packed house cheering the players onto the field. Sri Lanka backed their plans to start off with Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo Mathews. The duo built the pressure early and had tied down Rahane. After a nervous stay, Rahane was dismissed in the second over when he missed a heave across the line and Mathews hit the woodwork.

 

Kohli walked in and showed he was in good touch when he smashed Kulasekara through the mid-wicket. In the powerplays, India had scored only 31, with three boundaries to show. As soon as the powerplay was done, Malinga introduced Rangana Herath and Kohli offered a chance to mid-wicket first ball. Malinga stretched himself to reach the ball high, but wasn’t able to hold on. At that stage, Kohli was on 11 and to add insult to injury, he smashed the last ball over wide long-off for a six.

 

Mathews had bowled a brilliant spell and his first three overs had conceded only 11. But in his last over, which was the tenth was taken for 14 as Kohli managed to smash a six over mid-wicket. Rohit was dismissed by Herath with India being 64 for two in the 11th over. Sri Lanka were quietly keeping India under control and it continued for a while with Yuvraj Singh in the centre. Although Kohli did find the occasional boundary and moved to 50, India were still going slow and in 15 overs, they were going at around a run-a-ball.

 

That was when Kohli decided to break the shackles. Kulasekara was welcomed into the attack by Kohli as he smashed one for six over wide long-on. The next ball was creamed through the covers for four. Sri Lanka had another possible chance as Kohli pulled one to mid-wicket and the fielder misjudged it as it went over his head for four.

 

But, Yuvraj was still having an uncertain stay in the centre. The 17th and the 18th over, only went for eight runs as Yuvraj struggled to middle the ball. He was ultimately dismissed off the first ball of the 19th as he holed out to the deep. Yuvraj’s 21 deliveries fetched him only 11 runs and it is an innings that could prove costly.

 

In the last four overs, India could only score 130 for four. Sri Lankan bowlers have put in a brilliant effort, now up to their batsmen.

 

Brief scores:

 

India 130 for 4 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 29, Virat Kohli 77; Rangana Herath 1 for 23, Angelo Mathews 1 for 25) vs Sri Lanka.

 

Full Scorecard

 

Photo Gallery

 

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)