MIRPUR – West Indies captain Darren Sammy never got a chance to perform his batting heroics again as the defending champions made a watery exit from the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh yesterday.
Replying to Sri Lanka’s 160-6, the West Indies were 80-4 in 13.5 overs when heavy rain and hail brought a premature end to their semi-final against Sri Lanka, who secured a place in the final for the third time on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Even though the storm passed, there wasn’t enough time to sop up the large puddles in the field and under the D/L calculations, the Windies were 27 runs short.
Sri Lanka, who lost to Pakistan in the 2009 final and to the West Indies in 2012, gave themselves a third shot at the title with a dominant and spirited team effort under Lasith Malinga, who captained after Dinesh Chandimal pulled out.
Malinga was also in the midst of the action with 2-5 in two overs as he dismissed openers Chris Gayle (3) and Dwayne Smith (17) in the fifth over. Gayle who faced 13 balls, was bowled off an inside edge after shaping to hit a boundary, while Smith, who struck a four and a six off 14 balls, was bowled by a slower ball.
Dwayne Bravo offered resistance with three fours and a six in 30 off 19 balls but his dismissal just before the stoppage diminished West Indies’ chances, already slim because of a slow scoring rate. With Marlon Samuels struggling on 18 not out off 29 balls, the Windies’ biggest remaining hope was Sammy. He had just walked into bat, with them still needing 81 to win off 37 balls and didn’t get to face a ball.
“Bravo got out at a critical moment but we thought we still had a chance,” Sammy said. “We’ve batted ourselves out of such situations in the past and there was no panic in the dressing room. It would have been a difficult job but anything was possible.”
Sammy said he was disappointed at the way the match ended.
“Maybe the gods wanted Mahela [Jayawardene] and [Kumar] Sangakkara to play another T20 game,” Sammy said about the two Sri Lanka stars who have announced they will not play T20 internationals after this tournament.
Earlier, Lahiru Thirimanne (44) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (39) helped Sri Lanka recover from a mini collapse, when three wickets fell in the space of eight runs. From 49-3 in the seventh over, Dilshan and Thirimanne added 42 runs.
All-rounder Angelo Mathews provided a late burst for Sri Lanka to put up a fighting score after electing to bat. Mathews smashed 40 off 23 balls with three fours and two sixes to rejuvenate the side.
Mathews, who pounded slow-medium left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie for two fours and a six in one over, was out off the last ball of the innings as Bravo pulled off a superb catch at deep mid-wicket, diving forward acrobatically.