Sri Lanka’s prayers were answered, says Sammy

MIRPUR, Bangladesh: Divine intervention may have been partially responsible for Sri Lanka’s World Twenty20 semi-final victory on Thursday, according to West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

Chasing 161 for victory, holders West Indies were 80 for four in the 14th over when a hailstorm lashed the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The rain eventually relented but no further play was possible with the outfield saturated, leaving Sri Lanka the winners by 27 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Sri Lanka will now make their fifth final appearance in a global competition, having been beaten in the title showdown of the 50-over World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and at the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012.

Sammy felt that batting greats Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who are playing in their final Twenty20 tournament, were perhaps destined to taste World Cup glory at last.

“We know God normally answers our prayers but today I guess two gentlemen who have played for Sri Lanka, given a lot not only to Sri Lanka cricket but cricket as a whole, I guess the Almighty wants them to leave on a high,” Sammy told reporters.

“They have one more game to try and win a World Cup. Probably that’s the reason why God put His hand up in this match.”

The pair had forgettable personal outings though. Jayawardene was run out before facing a ball while Sangakkara continued his woeful form in the competition, falling for one after giving leg-spinner Samuel Badree a soft return catch.

Sammy said West Indies were capable of chasing down their victory target if the full 20 overs had been possible.

“Just when Dwayne Bravo (30) looked like picking it up, like he did in the last game, he got out but I still believe we could get 12 runs an over for the last six,” the captain explained.
“We have been doing that in this tournament.”