Sri Lanka advanced to the World Twenty20 final after bad weather literally poured cold water on the West Indies’ title defense in a rain-ruined contest on Thursday.
Chasing 161 for victory against the side they beat in the 2012 final, the West Indies were 80-4 in 13.5 overs when the teams were forced off by a hailstorm and a wet outfield subsequently prevented any further play in the semi-final.
“[It is] disappointing to come out of a tournament like this,” captain Darren Sammy told reporters. “We had a good run, but I’m sad that we got knocked out by the Duckworth-Lewis system.”
Sri Lanka are to face the winners of yesterday’s game between India and South Africa in tomorrow’s title showdown and will want to improve on their poor finals record.
Over the past seven years Sri Lanka have lost in the finals of the one-day World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012.
Earlier, cameos from Lahiru Thirimanne (44), Angelo Mathews (40) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (39) led them to 160-6 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
After opting to bat first, Lasith Malinga’s team cruised to 40-0 inside four overs, before Kusal Perera (26) dragged a Krishmar Santokie delivery onto his stumps to trigger a collapse to 49-3.
Mahela Jayawardene was run out without facing a ball, and former captain Kumar Sangakkara fell for one to continue his woeful form in his last Twenty20 international competition.
Dilshan added 42 with Thirimanne to steady the innings before the opener was run out.
Thirimanne fell in the 17th over after a 35-delivery knock that included two sixes and three fours.
Man of the match Mathews hit two sixes and three fours in his brisk 23-ball knock to take Sri Lanka past 150.
“[It] would have been great if we’d played the 20 overs. It would have been a good, close game, but thanks to the weather we are in the final,” Mathews said. “We deserve to be in the final. We have played some good cricket.”
The West Indies did not get the flying start to their reply that was expected from their openers.
Chris Gayle, whose approach of biding his time before exploding later has not really worked in this tournament, was removed for three.
Leading the side in place of regular Twenty20 skipper Dinesh Chandimal, fast bowler Malinga removed the dangerous Gayle with the first ball of his second over and fellow opener Dwayne Smith for 17 with the fifth delivery.
The West Indies also lost Lendl Simmons for four before Dwayne Bravo (30) shared a 43-run stand for the fourth wicket with Marlon Samuels (18 not out).
Paceman Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed Bravo in the 14th over and then the weather intervened.
“It was like people were pelting stones at us,” Sammy said of the hailstorm. “I have never seen something like that before.”