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Mahela Jayawardene discloses why Sri Lanka promoted Thisara Perera in the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup final

Thisara Perera scored the winning runs for Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup final.
Thisara Perera scored the winning runs for Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup final.
ANALYST
Modified 07 Apr 2021
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On this day seven years ago, Mahela Jayawardene won his only ICC T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. The former Sri Lanka captain looked back at the clash against India in a special video for the ICC.

Mahela Jayawardene recalled how skipper Lasith Malinga and the rest of the team management agreed to send Thisara Perera ahead of the in-form Angelo Matthews in the final. Sri Lanka were 78/4 in 12.3 overs, with 53 runs needed in the remaining 7.3 overs.

The chase could have been trickier had Thisara Perera not smashed three maximums in his 14-ball knock of 23*.

"Angelo Mathews had scored runs against West Indies, but in that scenario, we knew that we just had to bat through to get that 120. But we wanted to make it easier by throwing in Thisara and asking him to maybe go and score some quick 15-20 runs so that the chase becomes easier. And if he gets out, we had Angelo to fall back to, who could handle that. So, that was the thinking behind it," explained Mahela Jayawardene.

Mahela Jayawardene, TM Dilshan, and Kumar Sangakkara took Sri Lanka's score past 50. However, the Indian spinners turned the game in their team's favor by picking up some quick wickets.

In the dying moments of the game, Sangakkara held one end while Thisara Perera delivered the knockout punch as Sri Lanka captured their first ICC T20 World Cup.

I have never seen two bowlers execute that well in a World Cup final: Mahela Jayawardene on Malinga-Kulasekara duo

Lasith Malinga captained Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014 final.
Lasith Malinga captained Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014 final.
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Thisara Perera played an excellent cameo in the final match. However, Sri Lanka would not have restricted India to a total of 130 runs had Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara not bowled well in the death overs.

A well-set Virat Kohli was out in the middle with the dangerous Yuvraj Singh when Malinga came in to bowl the 18th over. Malinga and Kulasekara conceded only 15 runs in the last three overs to restrict India to 130/4 in 20 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene heaped praise on the two bowlers for delivering the goods when it mattered the most.

"I have never ever seen two bowlers executing that well in a World Cup final. We had a plan and they executed perfectly to a very strong Indian batting lineup," said Mahela Jayawardene.
Published 07 Apr 2021, 00:16 IST
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