A sublime 77 from Virat Kohli helped India set a 131 run target for Sri Lanka to chase down in the final of 2014 ICC World Twenty20 on a glittering Sunday evening here in Bangladesh. It was Sri Lanka who won the toss and put the Indians in to bat in what looked like a tricky surface in the Sher Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
The Indians got off to worst possible start when Angleo Matthews disturbed Ajinkya Rahane’s stumps when the batting side hardly had anything to boast in the score board. Rohit Sharma hit three exquisite boundaries and looked good out in the middle but the 26 year old soon held out to a good diving catch from Senanayake as he looked to take charge against the experienced Rangana Herath. Rohit and Kohli added a sumptuous 60 run partnership for the second wicket.
It was then the man in form, Virat Kohli who held fort out there in the middle but Sri Lanka would be kicking themselves as Lasith Malinga, of all people dropped a simple catch for the most crucial wicket of the battling Indian side.
Kohli made sure he took full advantage of the huge let off as he ripped apart the Islanders, with glorious ease and nonchalance which makes him the best batsman in the world at the moment. Working as a well oiled machine Kohli brought up yet another half century in 43 balls before going rampage on the bowlers especially Nuwan Kulasekara, garnering 16 runs from one of his overs.
The Islanders however restricted the Indian batting lineup with Yuvraj Singh, who inexplicably looked short on match practice and struggled to make a lasting impact on the match. The Punjab southpaw eventually got out, hitting a full toss straight to long-off for Thisarra Pererra to grab up a simple chance off Kulasekara.
As Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself up the order over Suresh Raina for the last two overs, the Indians were hit by a snail’s pace scoring at only over run a ball. India could only manage 11 runs of the final two overs.
Can India restrict Sri Lanka on this way below par score? Stay tuned for Sportzwiki’s full time match report.