The ICC T20 world cup 2009 has come to an end. The trophy continues to remain in the sub-continent. The winner is a country in turmoil, a team with no likely home turf advantage in the horizon, a team with an eccentric captain who does not see himself as a good one at it and one who thinks this version of the game is for entertainment purposes only. Pakistan have done remarkably well to defeat a Sri Lankan side that did not lose a game in this tournament till today. It is remarkable that Pakistan have been in two of the two finals played in this version so far. So much for consistency while every other team has had varying fortunes. Pakistan deservedly won the game on a day when their form was impeccable.
Sri Lanka may have faltered at the toss, I feel. On a Lords wicket that seems to encourage pace atleast early on, they may have considered putting Pakistan on first up. Pakistan seemed to bowl with a plan which worked. Sri Lanka weak middle order was exposed early on and required Sangakkara to play a wonderful innings to get the team to a reasonable total. Kamran Akmal at the top played very much the role that Gambhir had played in the 2007 world cup. He was consistent and got the team off to a good start and Afridi’s promotion to No.3 once again worked. The Malik/Afridi partnership was a sensible one and Sri Lanka’s darts had little effect on them. The match itself lacked flair and excitement that one has come to expect of this version especially when played in the sub-continent. Maybe the location and the audience had an effect. You can’t get the aristocracy, tradition, and “stiff upper lip” out of Lords no matter how well you fill up the stadium with a noisy sub-continent lot. Some of it must rub off on the game in the middle.
T20s can take a break for a while and we shall return to normal cricket soon with the WI/India one day series starting in a few days time. I hear good things about the new “Bravo” in the WI team and look forward to a rearranged Indian team taking on a rejuvenated WI side.