India v/s Sri Lanka
Tri Nation Series, West Indies
Head to head: 4753
India: 2910 Sri Lanka: 1768
A series that started to promisingly for cricketing fans- with West Indies beating both the Asian teams in their first 2 games- has now culminated into that recurring nightmare you keep having before falling off your bed in cold sweat.
Folks, India has made the final again. Folks, Sri Lanka has made the final again.
Is there possibly a way both can make the final and not face eachother in the final? There has to be- or is there a rule that can override the confounding D&L rule that made this final possible AGAIN?
On a minefield of a pitch, India faced Sri Lanka- knowing that they HAD to win at any cost. A win would take them through to the final where they would face the same team- unless they managed to beat Sri Lanka by a gazillion runs, in which case West Indies would face India.
They beat Sri Lanka by a gazillion runs minus a few- and eliminated West Indies in the process, despite the Indian batsmen starting their innings like they were determined to find a way to avoid Sri Lanka in the final…even if that meant going home. Rohit tried his best to grind things to a halt while the others displayed considerably lesser patience and decided to cool their heels in the dressing room waiting to return home early as the winners of the final Champions Trophy. It looked like they were trying their best to lose when…
And D&L came into play, cutting short their innings at 29 overs- where Rohit and Raina were struggling to get the over rate above 4 an over. This presented Sri Lanka a target where they needed to achieve almost 7 an over in a 26 over game…assuming that India would have made 169 if it was a 26 over game. Little did Mr. Duckworth or Mrs. Lewis know, but India wouldn’t have been close to even 116 had they gone in with the desire to smash every ball out of the park.
Sri Lanka, who were desperate to face any other team but India in a knockout game, duly obliged by batting themselves out of the match in the first 10 overs. The look of horror on the faces of Caribbean fans was really nothing compared to the look of horrorX10 on the faces of innumerable Asian fans back at home- who were fresh off the heels of an exciting World Cup qualifier series where Ireland finished with a tie against Netherlands. Last heard, these fans are contemplating swimming between their countries in order to find a deep part of the ocean that does not have a TV that shows another India v/s Sri Lanka Final.
In all seriousness, Sri Lanka haven’t won a final in a million years- falling to Australia (07), Pakistan (09) and India (11) in three consecutive ICC finals, as well as a semifinal loss to India in last month’s Champions Trophy. They annihilated India in their first group game here, unfortunately extinguishing all their brilliance in one giant 180 run win against a disinterested bored Indian team.
Frankly, not many care about another final between the two teams in a neutral country that had no business of not playing the final themselves after topping the table for most part of the group stage. How West Indies crashed out will remain a mystery- this after Sri Lanka and India exchanged crushing defeats with one another. India somehow got two bonus-points wins and managed to top the table after losing their first 2 games (out of 4)!
Sri Lanka, for a break in continuity. And so that the choker tag remains fairly and squarely with only one team.