Home > Features >

ICC World T20 2014: Sri Lanka and West Indies clash in mouth-watering contest

Kumar Sangakkara (left) and Mahela Jayawardene © Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara (left) and Mahela Jayawardene will look to sign off from playing T20Is on a high © Getty Images (File Photo)

Sri Lanka and West Indies clash in the ICC World T20 2014 semi-final at Mirpur and this tale has many subplots that will unfold in the space of three hours. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about what one can expect from this game.

Can Sri Lanka exorcise the ghosts of the ICC World T20 2012 final when they meet West Indies in the semi-final at Mirpur? Back in 2012, the West Indians danced their way to glory by strangling the Sri Lankans on home soil in the final. Darren Sammy, the West Indian skipper did emphasise on the present, but added that the previous final and the recent warm-up clash will play on the Sri Lankan’s minds. Here is a side that doesn’t have a good record in finals in recent times, but coach Paul Farbrace is confident about his unit.

Feel good factor for both sides

Things may change a touch for the Sri Lankans, at least on the psychological front. A few weeks ago, they won the Asia Cup 2014 on this very ground. That should help them shed some of the psychological barriers ahead of the upcoming game. As Farbrace mentioned, they not only won it, but clinched it convincingly. This victory was their first in a tournament final in a long time and that will give them confidence. The familiarity of the surroundings will breed in a bit of comfort.

 

Having said that, West Indies have a few things going for them. They have been stationed at Mirpur for the whole tournament and have adjusted well to the conditions. In their last game, they trumped another side that plays spin quite well. Pakistan were left shell-shocked by Samuel Badree early on. And then to back him up, there was Sunil Narine waiting to unleash his art. The West Indian spin-twins are ranked No 1 and 2 in the ICC T20 International Rankings for bowlers.

Back in 2012, these spinners had strangled the Sri Lankans, who crumbled under the pressure. While Sammy did acknowledge that it will be a challenge for Badree when he comes up against the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, he sounded a warning: It would be a challenge for them as well. That is the kind of confidence West Indies have after their last victory.

But, Sri Lanka also have their answer to that spin. Rangana Herath announced his entry in the tournament in some style. A spell of five wickets for three runs is unheard of in T20 cricket, whereby he bowled with great control and used every bit of turn in the surface. Will they pick Ajantha Mendis to strengthen their spin department? They already have Sachithra Senanayake in the team and they have a few tough calls to make. A “good headache” as Farbrace would like to call it.

The retiring legends

Sangakkara and Jayawardene will bid adieu to T20 Internationals (T20Is) after this tournament and it would rob Sri Lanka off some real quality. The duo would be pumped up for this game as they would want to sign off on a high from the format. There was a work on the eve of the final about pumped up Jayawardene was before the Sri Lankans defended their total against New Zealand. It just goes to show how much it means to them as they still search for that elusive world title. Sri Lanka’s batsmen have played well in patches and need to find form as a unit if they are to win.

This interesting tale has a lot of subplots which will unfold in the space of three hours. This is now the business end of the tournament and as the cliché goes: It’s now or never!

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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

Live Cricket Score India A vs Sri Lanka, warm-up match at Mumbai: India A maul Sri Lanka by 87 runs

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 2: South Zone lead by 32 runs at the end of second day’s play

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 1: Younis Khan reaches his 100

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in CAB S K Acharya Memorial Challenger Trophy final

Pankaj Singh hopes for good season with Rajasthan

KL Rahul aims to emulate AB de Villiers’ style of batting

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Younis Khan 4th Pakistani to score 3 consecutive 100s

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here