Who said cricket was a predictable game? Well, it’s official. The WI have spoilt the SL party.
Everyone was expecting a Gaylestorm at the Premadasa, but cricket is a funny game; it gently reminds you that however great a player is, it’s always a team effort that wins the game.
I think the Sri Lankans should be terribly disappointed with themselves for the way they played. They literally threw the game away. This occasion makes it their fourth appearance in a grand final in the past five years and their woes continue; this time in front of a packed home crowd.
As long as Jayawardene was out there in the middle; the target seemed very achievable. However, things started to go awfully wrong for them when the skipper realised that they were behind the required target as per the D/L method and the slight drizzle only re-enforced the need for them to get a move on and step on the accelerator. But little did I know that stepping on the accelerator meant playing poor shots and pathetic co-ordination with the running between wickets. Well, the pressure got to them and it was quite evident with the way they were batting out in the middle, in other words, SL switched to “suicide mode”. They simply choked.
All said and done, you can’t take away any credit from the WI; they put up a brave show. They may have had everything going against them in the beginning with the SL bowlers, (especially the mystery spinners) displaying great skill but Marlon Samuel’s powerful knock and Darren Sammy‘s last minute heroics really got the WI to a formidable total; a total worth defending. Also Sunil Narine‘s brilliance pulled them right back into the game just when the WI thought it was slipping out of their hands and once they got that break, there was no stopping them.
After the tournament, Mahela Jayawardene stepped down as captain of SL for the T20 format. What lies ahead for SL is a big concern. While their performance has been very consistent in the past 5 years; they really need to get one thing right: stick to one captain.
For WI cricket, this World Cup victory is just the right antidote. And what we are witnessing is the resurgence of WI cricket.
They came. They played. They conquered. Gangnam Style!