Sri Lanka: 158 for 5 (20 overs)

(Dilshan 96* off 57 balls, Jayasuriya 24 off 37 balls, Bravo 2 for 32)

West Indies: 101 all out (17.4 overs)

(Gayle 63* off 50 balls, Matthews 3 for 16, Muralitharan 3 for 29, Mendis 3 for 9)

Sri Lanka began with a very solid start, though with reversed roles. Dilshan began hitting hard and Jayasuriya remained quite. The strategy threw West Indian bowlers off guard. And Sri Lanka raced off to 73 for no loss in no time. However, Bravo bowled a wonderful over and in a short span the were 77 for 3. However, Dilshan played the innings of his life to rescue Sri Lanka. This seems to be a winning total. Would they win?

West Indies began and Gayle took a run off the very first ball. He may regret this run later. In the next 5 balls, West Indies had their nose pinned to the ground. They lost 3 wickets and were just one run off the starting block. AD Matthews was an instant Hero! He had got Marshall, Simmons and Bravo in one shot! Gayle began a tough uphill journey with unlikely probabilities. It seemed to be all over for the West Indian revival. Two nations with bad finance were fighting it out. A win was the only way out of deep financial water. Which one’s going to script their return to pink health?

Well there was no escape from the script that Matthews wrote. And slowly but surely West Indies succumbed. The Man of the Match was Dilshan. But my choice would have been Matthews. His one over destroyed the entire spirit of a Team!

This match was special for another reason. During Dilshan’s unbeaten knock, he became the first batsman to score more than 60% of a team’s total (for teams having played the entire innings) in T20 form of cricket. But there was more to come, Chris Gayle just in the second innings topped that and remaining unbeaten became the highest contributor to a team’s total.

By Vineet

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