12:00 AM, April 04, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Reverse swing

Reverse swing

Wasim Akram

It was a bitter end to the first semifinal. All of us were thinking of a sensational finish but the West Indies were left to rue their luck. They must have been singing a sad song, "Rain, rain go away, brave Windies want to play."
But when it did, the puddles of water made no chance of a resumption.
Congrats to Sri Lanka. The way they have been playing this year is phenomenal. They won the Asia Cup after playing brilliant cricket. They are playing some very good cricket in this World Twenty20 and they deserved to be in the final.
Sri Lanka dug themselves out of the hole after they lost three wickets in the space of 15 odd balls. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara went cheaply but there were Thirimanne, Dilshan and Mathews who ensured their team reach a challenging total. It is always nice to see Mathews bat like this. He is an intelligent cricketer who plays sensibly. He has a wise head on his broad shoulders and the coolness with which he batted was superb. He used the final overs to perfection and his 40 odd runs made the total from paltry to challenging. I think young players, from Pakistan and Bangladesh, must learn from Mathews. Cricket is a game of nerves and if you control those wayward nerves you are a hero.
Then the West Indies struggled. Gayle has not been a force in this tournament. He hurt his ankle once again and was seen limping off the field in Sri Lankan innings. That hampered his feet movement when he batted and although Dwayne Bravo tried to lift the tempo it was not as big as the West Indies had liked. As they also lost three wickets they were in a process of building without realising that there was a forecast of rain. It came at a time when they were short on Duckworth-Lewis method.
I will give full marks to Sri Lanka. They have played systematic cricket, game with plans. They always stick to it and do the basics right. I am sure they will be the team to beat in the final.

The writer is a former Pakistan cricket captain and one of the finest swing bowlers and currently a TV commentator and presenter


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