ICC World T20 2014 Final Schedule: Timings, Venue, Dates and What to Expect in a Repeat of 2011 Final
By Deepak Vikraman | April 5, 2014 3:20 PM EST
Most of the sixes have been hit, the bulk of the runs have been scored, plenty of wickets have been taken and even more catches have been dropped - in the end stands two familiar foes looking to lift that wonderful ICC World T20 trophy.
India vs Sri Lanka is one of the most often-played contests in world cricket, especially in the limited-overs game, and the two will recreate their rivalry another time come Sunday in Dhaka.
The last time the two teams met in a major final, of course, India produced their greatest moment in recent history - winning the World Cup in front of their own fans to give Sachin Tendulkar the one trophy he coveted the most.
That was not the first or the last time that Sri Lanka, who beat the West Indies in the semifinals, have been bridesmaids in a major tournament, with the Islanders also failing on a couple of occasions in the World T20 final as well.
Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan in the 2009 final in Lord's, before going down in their own backyard to the West Indies in 2012. This final will not just be about finally going that extra yard and completing the job, it will also be about giving a perfect send-off to two of their greatest players.
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will retire from T20Is after this ICC World T20 2014, and nothing will please Sri Lanka more than to see the two legends bid goodbye with the trophy in their hands.
India will, of course, think otherwise, and having won every single game in this tournament so far, rather comfortably, they will go into the final as the favourites.
The bowling, apart from R Ashwin, did not quite click in the semifinal against South Africa on Friday, but it mattered little as the batsmen, led by the unstoppable Virat Kohli, made the 173-run target look as easy as an apple pie.
Kohli later called his unbeaten 44-ball 72 his best T20 innings, and rightly too, considering the magnitude of the game, and the fact that he played just three dot balls in his entire knock, a stunning statistic.
"Depending on the importance of the match, yes, you can say it is my best T20 innings," Kohli said after the big win over the Proteas on Friday. "But I have struck the ball better in T20s in other games.
"I have also timed the ball better than I did today and have managed to score five or six boundaries very fast. Today it was difficult as I had to work hard for the knock. But as per the importance of the game, this knock tops it.
"I wanted to play an important knock when the team had entered the semis. I was in good form, so I though it is better that I stay till the end. In T20, it is very important that a batsman stays till the end. It's not like there was no pressure. It wasn't easy.
"Pressure was there. But it is important that you don't show it to the opponents. They are a world-class attack and the slightest mistake against them can cost you. I just wanted to stay calm and was keen to back myself."
Both teams have strengths in their bowling and batting, with Sri Lanka perhaps a little stronger in the bowling department, while India are most potent while batting.
Sri Lanka are at their best defending a total, while India, as they showed against South Africa, are smooth as silk when it comes to the chase.
So, it really is anybody's game, as it pretty much always is in the T20 format.
Schedule: Final (to be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka):
Sunday: India vs Sri Lanka (7pm local time, 6.30 pm IST).
Note: The Women's final between England and Australia will precede the men's final, with the match scheduled to start at 2.30 pm local time, 2 pm IST.
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