Wednesday, February 21, 2024

World T20 final today

The ICC World Twenty20 reaches its climax today with two deserving, talented teams in Sri Lanka and West Indies facing off in the final at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo.
The match starts at 7:30pm Bangladesh time. State-run Bangladesh Television will show the match live.
The final marks an opportunity for both teams to add major silverware to their respective trophy cabinets after a long gap. West Indies last won a multi-nation ICC event in 2004 when they won the Champions’ Trophy in England, while Sri Lanka last tasted global success when Arjuna Ranatunga led the country in 1996 to the 50-over World Cup of which they were a co-host.
Sri Lanka may have a slight edge as they have the support of their fans and are also the form team, having lost only one of their six matches, to South Africa in the first round. They also have the added psychological edge of having beaten their opponents in their Super Eights match by the sizeable margin of nine wickets.
But while they enter the final on a four-match unbeaten streak, they will be wary of a West Indies team packed to the brink with explosive hitters and a bowling attack that seems to have hit form at the right time, as their dismantling of a formidable Australian line-up in their semifinal on Friday proved. Also, during that semifinal the West Indies proved that they are unfazed by past results in the way they put their first-round loss to Australia out of their minds.
With West Indies in the final, the Chris Gayle factor is always a huge consideration. The powerful Jamaican hit an unbeaten 75 against Australia, an ominous sign for the home team as it shows that his appetite for runs is as big as ever. Then there are the likes of Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard — who hit three sixes in the final over of the semifinal — and Dwayne Bravo to contend with.
But if any team has the bowling to counter the aforementioned threats, it is Sri Lanka. They not only have two of the world’s best T20 bowlers in pacer Lasith Malinga and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, but also a slew of disciplined bowlers in Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera and all-rounder Angelo Mathews.
Their batting too is formidable, with the big three of captain Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan invariably pulling off special performances.
West Indies, who are more characterised by flair than discipline, have a mystery spinner of their own in Sunil Narine. Pacer Ravi Rampaul has also been hitting form, spinner Samuel Badree has proved incisive and economical, while Samuels has proved to be one of the better ‘death overs’ spinners with his speared-in full deliveries.
It is a final that pits flair against discipline, inspiration versus perspiration. In Twenty20 cricket, much depends on who performs better on the day. Sri Lanka have the consistency, but West Indies carry the threat of the unexpected. Either way, the ICC World Twenty20 will have a new winner.

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