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March 1, 2024
Sri Lanka’s 2014 T20 World Cup success another fulfilment in cricket’s most sought after fast and furious short format

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

Sri Lanka’s second major world cup success came in 2014 when the island nation emerged T20 world champions by defeating India by a handsome 6-wickets at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, some 18 years since winning the 1995-96 world cup. It was sweet revenge for the Lankans having lost the 2011 world cup to India by 6 wickets in a high scoring game – Sri Lanka 274/4 50 overs, India 277/6 48.2 overs – with the superstars of that side Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene touching a champaign note from that dark day at     when Sangakkara’s team was humiliated by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indians despite Jayawardene having anointed himself with a brilliant century 103 which in the end fell short of stopping their opponents who thrived on fighting knocks by Gautam Gambir 97 and Dhoni unbeaten on 93. That Jayawardene’s ton was illuminated in the classic of willow craft dexterity in bludgeoning a fierce Indian attack to three figures going asunder was certainly a bitter pill to swallow on a day Dhoni’s men reigned supreme. In that backdrop, the comeback of 2014 was indeed soul appeasing stuff.

The ultimate triumph where Sri Lanka became the fourth nation to win the T20 World Cup after India 2007, England 2009 and the West Indies 2010, was certainly a fitting trophy glitter in cricket in the shortest format that has descended to be today’s most looked to fast and furious hamburger cowboy cricket appeasing cricket fans looking for electrifying finishes.

Indeed, by and large, it was the high crowning culminating fulfilment in the careers of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene of the ultimate of the cup dream in a long run on which the duo was drawing near to closing on as two of the most illustrious greats in the country’s cricketing history. Skippered by Lasith Malinga, the slinger, who took over the reins from Dinesh Chandimal during the extravaganza following some early fallbacks, indeed, the cup hurrah was a long overdue success in world cricket’s showpiece glamour events that came almost two decades since Arjuna Ranatunga’s team performed the magical act to laying hands on cricket’s most decorated trophy glitter when they brought down the might of Australia. In between that period Sri Lanka had come very close to a major trophy success on several occasions, but falling at the finals.

If Jayawardene was Sri Lanka’s hero in a lost cause of yet undeniable greatness by the mannerism of that century three years before, holding forth since at Mirpur was his comrade in the game Kumar Sangakkara who batted Sri Lanka to cup glory stroking an unbeaten 52 off 35 balls containing 6 boundaries and a six in a score of 134 for 4 off 17.5 overs in overhauling India’s 130 for 4 off 20 in what personally was a truly great compensating act for that loss at Mumbai when he wore the big mantle. There too his contribution was a measurable 48, second highest after Jayawardene.


India 120/4 (20 Overs) RR: 6.50

(Virat Kohli 77 58 5 4, Rohit Sharma 29, Yuvraj Singh 11, Rangana Herath 1/23, Angelo Mathews 1/25, Nuwan Kulasekera 1/29)

Sri Lanka 134/4 (17.5 Overs) RR: 7.51

(Kumar Sangakkara n.o. 52, 35 6 1, Mahela Jayawardene 24 4, Thisara Perera n.o. 23 14 0 3, Tillakaratne Dilshan 18 16 4, Mohit Sharma 1/18, Suresh Raina 1/24, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/29, Amit Mishra 1/32)

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