Jayawardene: An amazing feeling

By being able to defend 139 for four, Sri Lanka made their fourth World final in five years.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene led from the front in the semi-final against Pakistan. (Reuters)


Colombo: It would have been a surprise had a most unpredictable team produced stunning back-to-back performances. That way, then, Pakistan didn’t disappoint in the World Twenty20 semi-final against Sri Lanka.

After a stellar show versus Australia on Tuesday, Pakistan failed to chase down 140 (at best a competitive target), on Thursday.

That Mohammed Hafeez lost the toss appeared to affect the team far more than it should have.

By being able to defend 139 for four, Sri Lanka made their fourth World final in five years, an absolutely remarkable feat.

ALSO READ:


“It’s an amazing feeling... One is lucky to play in one World final, but Sunday will be my fourth (two World Cups and as many World Twenty20 finals)... We’re a proud cricketing nation,” said captain and MoM Mahela Jayawardene.

For tactical reasons, Jayawardene was initially in two minds over captaining, something he didn’t do in the last Super Eight game, but decided that he needed to confront the challenge head-on.

“The thought of possibly having to miss the final (if Sri Lanka were again slow with the over-rate) did cross my mind before the match, but a semi-final was too big a game not to lead in,” Jayawardene explained.

While Jayawardene didn’t have tough questions to face, counterpart Hafeez was bombarded with missiles during his interaction with the media.

Clearly, there’s an anti-Shahid Afridi lobby in Pakistan, for Hafeez was pilloried for defending the out-of-form former captain.

Afridi totalled a shocking 30 only and took a mere four wickets in the tournament. Hafeez, however, kept saying that he’d been working “very hard” and was a “match-winner.”

One needn’t be surprised if Afridi, who has completed 16 years at the international level, quits all formats in the near future.

Like India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who termed his team’s performance as “brilliant,” Hafeez felt that his men played “great cricket,” except in the semi-final.

India, of course, exited in the Super Eights.

“I’m proud of what the team did... We played positively and reaching the semi-final is creditable... We should have chased 140, but regularly lost wickets in the middle-order..."

“In T20, the pressure can get to you and, while batting, you need to think out of the box,” Hafeez said.

For good measure, Hafeez added that no one player can be blamed for a defeat, nor be praised for a win.

In adding to the bowling, Pakistan dropped all-rounder Abdul Razzaq for Sohail Tanvir. The latter went wicketless, but forced Sri Lanka to alter their strategy somewhat.

Sri Lanka fielded 34-year-old left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. It turned out to be a hugely successful move.

Later, Hafeez told The Telegraph: “I know there’s criticism, but I’ll stay tough (mentally).”

Sri Lanka, as Jayawardene would say, “handled the tough situations better than the opposition.”

The hosts’ win seemed to bring all of Colombo out on the streets, with cars and autos flying the national flag and hooting down the main thoroughfares.

What’s going to happen on Sunday night?

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

T20 test for Che Pujara

T20 test for Che Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the manner-less format. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Lankan veterans grateful for 'unwavering' fans

Lankan veterans grateful for 'unwavering' fans

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Kemar Roach escapes car crash

Kemar Roach escapes car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »