A dominant Sri Lanka today made it to the ICC World T20 final for the third time knocking out defending champions West Indies by 27 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method after thundershowers stopped proceedings in the 14th over of the second innings.
Batting first in the first semi-final, Sri Lanka scored an impressive 160 for six riding on important contributions from Angelo Mathews (40) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45). In reply, West Indies were 80 for four in 13.5 overs when a storm followed by heavy downpour ruled out any chances of a game.
The D/L par score at that point of time was 107 and the Caribbeans were well short of the target, struggling at 80 for four in 13.5 overs.
There was certainly no 'Gayle-storm' but the 15-minute 'Kalboisakhi' (NorWesters), as they call in this part of the world, turned the ground into a lake. Umpires Richard Kettleborough and Rod Tucker had to wait as per rules before Sri Lanka were adjudged winners.
But the Lankans were the deserving winners considering that West Indies were never in the hunt during their chase except for the first over.
Dwayne Smith (17) made his intentions clear in the first two balls bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara, lofting him for a boundary and a six respectively as 17 came from the first over.
Chris Gayle (3) looked out of touch and looked shaky having been hit on the shinbone while fielding. After scratching around for a dozen deliveries, he played a Lasith Malinga slower delivery onto his stumps.
The skipper then bowled another slow off-break that breached through Dwayne Smith's defence.
After their stand-in captain provided twin breakthroughs, the rejuvenated Lankans stemmed the flow of runs with some tight bowling.
Lendl Simons (4) was done in by a flipper from leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna as he was caught plumb on the back-foot.
West Indies were struggling at 34 for three at the start of the eighth over. Marlon Samuels' struggle on the slow Mirpur track continued as he simply failed to get going against Rangana Herath and Prasanna. His first positive shot was an uppish cover drive off Herath.
Dwayne Bravo (30) got his first six off the same over from Herath, lofting him over extra cover, but it proved to be his only big hit of the match as he mistimed a pull shot for Mahela Jayawardene to take a nice catch running forward from his deep square leg position.
The target was