Windies firepower gives them the edge
Sri Lanka and West Indies won three matches and lost one each in the group stages of the World Twenty20, and their overall batting and bowling stats are fairly similar. West Indies have the marginally better batting numbers, with a slightly higher scoring rate and average, while Sri Lanka have a marginally better bowling average. Both teams have taken exactly 31 wickets, which shows there's little to separate the two teams.
Both teams have had one match in which they leaked more than 170 runs - West Indies conceded 178 against Australia (but still managed to win) while Sri Lanka went for 190 against England. Both have also had a couple of excellent bowling performances: Sri Lanka shot out Netherlands for 39 and New Zealand for 60, while West Indies bowled out Bangladesh for 98 and Pakistan for 82.
In terms of scoring patterns, though, there is some difference. West Indies have relied heavily on boundaries: they've struck almost twice as many sixes as Sri Lanka, and have scored almost 66% of their runs in fours and sixes. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have played about 15% fewer dot balls than West Indies.
|Runs scored||Average||Run rate||Wkts taken||Average||Econ rate|
|Team||1s/ 2s/ 3s||Dot-ball %||4s/ 6s||Boundary %|
|Sri Lanka||134/ 36/ 0||40.26||49/ 14||57.61|
|West Indies||136/ 32/ 1||47.29||57/ 27||65.77|
The bowling comparison
Spin has played a prominent role in the campaigns of both teams so far. West Indies have had Samuel Badree at the start of the innings, and Sunil Narine through the middle and end overs, while Sachitra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis were Sri Lanka's spin options through much of the tournament, before Rangana Herath made his tournament debut against New Zealand and completely blew them away with figures of 5 for 3.
Overall, West Indies have been more reliant on their spinners: they've bowled more overs than the seamers, and have accounted for 19 of their 31 wickets. Badree is the third-highest wicket-taker of the tournament, while Narine's economy rate of 4.50 is second only Bhuvneshwar Kumar's, among bowlers who have bowled at least 10 overs in the tournament. And then there has been Krishmar Santokie, the unsung hero for West Indies: no one's talked much about him, but he has taken six wickets at an average of 13.83 and an economy rate of 5.59. (Click here for West Indies' batting and bowling averages in the tournament.)
For Sri Lanka, Nuwan Kulasekara has been superb, taking six wickets at 11.67 and an economy rate of 5.83, but Lasith Malinga has had a relatively quiet tournament, taking three wickets in 12 overs. (Click here for Sri Lanka's batting and bowling averages in the tournament.)
|Overs||Wkts||Average||Econ rate||Overs||Wkts||Average||Econ rate|
In terms of their bowling performances in different stages of an innings, both Sri Lanka and West Indies have been superb during the Powerplay overs, taking plenty of wickets and restricting the runs. Both teams have taken 11 wickets in the first six overs - the most by any team in the tournament - though Sri Lanka have a slightly better economy rate. There's little to choose between their stats in the middle overs too, but in the last five, West Indies have a better economy rate. Sri Lanka have conceded 9.55 per over in the last five, thanks to their games against England and South Africa, when they went for 48 off 26 balls and 45 off 30 in the last five overs.
|First 6 overs||6.1 to 15 overs||Last 5 overs|
|Average||Econ rate||Average||Econ rate||Average||Econ rate|
West Indies' last five overs blitz
As mentioned earlier, West Indies have been strong boundary hitters in the tournament, and they've been especially destructive in the last five overs of their innings. Their run rate in the last five is 12.55, a period during which they've scored 247 runs in 118 balls. Darren Sammy alone has caused immeasurable damage to the opposition bowling figures during this period, scoring 99 off 39 balls during this period, at a staggering run rate of 15.23 per over. Dwayne Bravo hasn't done badly either, scoring 54 from 24. Sri Lanka's run rate of 9.83 in the last five isn't too bad (141 runs from 86 balls), but this is clearly a period that has belonged to West Indies.
Sri Lanka's strength has been more in the middle overs, when they've scored at a brisk pace without losing too many wickets. Mahela Jayawardene has been at the forefront in this aspect, scoring 74 off 50 balls during this period (run rate 8.88) and getting out just once.
|First 6 overs||6.1 to 15 overs||Last 5 overs|
|Team||Average||Run rate||Average||Run rate||Average||Run rate|
The Mirpur factor
West Indies also have the advantage of having played all their matches in Mirpur - which is the venue for the semi-final - while Sri Lanka have played in Chittagong. However, conditions in Mirpur have favoured spin more than in Chittagong, which should suit Sri Lanka as well: spinners have bowled twice as many overs in Mirpur compared to Chittagong in the main stage of the tournament, and achieved better economy rates. (Click here for the stats of spinners at the two venues, and here for the pace bowlers' numbers.)
The head-to-head history
Sri Lanka and West Indies have played five Twenty20 internationals so far, all of them in the World Twenty20. While Sri Lanka won the first four, West Indies beat them in the big game, the final of the 2012 edition, by 36 runs. Four of the five matches between them have been won by the team batting first.
In matches between these two teams, Jayawardene has been the top batsman, scoring 202 runs at a strike rate of 133.77; Tillakaratne Dilshan isn't far behind in terms of aggregate, scoring 187 at a strike rate touching 160. West Indies' batsmen have been relatively quiet, with Chris Gayle scoring only 73 in four innings.
Among the bowlers, Mendis has stunning stats: in 20 overs he has figures of 13 for 82, an average of 6.30 and an economy rate of 4.10. Malinga, though, has leaked almost 9.50 runs per over against West Indies. Narine has played only two games against Sri Lanka, but has been his usual self, taking 3 for 32 from 7.4 overs.
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter