April 4, 2014
Choice of game
This was my fifth day and seventh match at the Shere Bangla National Stadium; I had been planning to watch the first semi-final from even before the tournament started. Furthermore, Sri Lanka and West Indies have some my most favorite players. It was good way to lift my mood up after Bangladesh's disappointing exit.
I would like to say that I was neutral but I so clearly wasn't and after my 'chance' meeting with Kumar Sangakara, I didn't really have any other choice but support Sri Lanka. Plus, Sri Lanka have been playing in Bangladesh for two months or so, and I feel they have the opportunity this year to actually win the Cup. This being Sangakkara's and Mahela Jayawardene's last World T20, I genuinely believe Sri Lanka deserve to win.
Some would say Lahiru Thirimanne, some would even say it was Angelo Mathews, but I thought Lasith Malinga, the captain (even if only for the toss) was the key performer. Considering, at the end of the first over West Indies were 17 for 0, Sri Lanka were the side under pressure, but Malinga's double-wicket over put West Indies on the back foot and they weren't able to make much of a recovery after that. I don't believe West Indies would have been able to chase the total even if the hailstorm hadn't interrupted proceedings.
One thing I would change about the match
I was sitting right beside the Sri Lankan dug-out, we had a decent view of the Sri Lankan team particularly Malinga. That block of the Grand Stand is a very nice place to sit. However, there was a very, very annoying loudspeaker just in front of us. We actually thought we are going to become deaf tonight, it was that loud, particularly when the emcee was shouting in the middle of the overs, and it was unbearable. I would definitely want to change that. And it would have been better if the storm had waited till the end of the match.
The interplay I enjoyed
Sunil Narine is an excellent bowler. I enjoyed the contest between him and Thirimanne at the end of the fifteenth over. I believe the pressure created from this over made Thirimanne look for more boundaries during the next, ultimately resulting in his dismissal.
Shot of the day
The shot by Dwayne Smith in the very first over off Nuwan Kulasekara was for me the shot of the day. It looked spectacular from where I was sitting.
We are essentially not allowed to take anything into the stadiums these days. Stadium security has become just as bad as airport security checks, but my aunt managed to bring her binoculars which were very useful.
There were plenty of fans supporting both teams. I think if West Indies were playing against a non-Asian team they would have definitely been the favorites in the stadium. The stands weren't full from the beginning but the buzz built up gradually. The atmosphere was very pleasant (I left the stadium at the 10th over of the West Indian innings), although it wasn't on par with Bangladesh's games.
Test vs T20
Neither - I prefer ODIs. While I enjoy T20s, sometimes I just feel they aren't worth it. As for Tests, well they are definitely rewarding, but the opportunity cost in this day and age is a little too high.
Marks out of ten
I would give it a grand total of 8 out of 10. I wanted to give a much higher score, but if the hail storm hadn't interrupted, there may have been more fireworks from the Windies at the end. The storm wasn't as sudden as it may have seemed on TV. Ever since the toss, when the wind blew dust in my eyes I knew rain was always on the cards. And when it rained, it pelted.
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