Daijiworld Media Network
Colombo, Oct 7 : Hello and welcome everyone to the big finale. Expect a full crowd today as the hosts, Sri Lanka, search for glory on home turf. West Indies will be looking to spoil the party as Chris Gayle has already said. Both teams have a good mixture of all-rounders and explosive batsmen capable of turning the game on its head. The pitch will be the cynosure of all eyes before the start. Will it aid the home team? If yes, how will Gayle and co tackle it. The toss and more coming up in just a bit so stay tuned.
West Indies have won the toss and elected to bat
Mahela: 'We would have liked to bat first too but maybe it is a good toss to lose in the big game. Akila is in for Rangana Herath. It was a tough call. We are very excited.'
Sammy: 'We are going to bat first. We bat well and it gives us a good chance here. It is similar to the one we played against Australia. We are playing the same team. It is Dwayne Bravo's birthday today and I would like to wish him now. Hopefully we come out on top.'
West Indies (Playing XI): Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy(c), Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Mahela Jayawardene(c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Akila Dananjaya Perera, Lasith Malinga
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For the World T20 2012, it is finally 'D' Day. One team will be crowned the champions, while the other will have to make do with a small runner's up medal and a hurt ego. Sri Lanka couldn't have asked for a better scenario, they have a chance of clinching glory in front of their home crowd, however, that depends on whether they thrive under pressure or crumble.
West Indies have momentum behind them and enter this contest on the back of some thrilling performances. One thing the men from the caribbean have done well, is put in a good all-round performance and that is something they will yearn for in the final. There will be some pressure on Darren Sammy and his men since this side doesn't have much experience in the current scenario. After all, it has been six years since the West Indies made it to a final of an ICC event, the last occasion being in the ICC Champions trophy 2006.
Sri Lanka on the other hand will be desperate to capitalize on this final. The hosts remained unbeaten in the 2009 T20 WC 2012, however, faltered in the final and lost to Pakistan. This tournament's story has been quite similar for the Lankans, with plenty of victories and just the one loss to South Africa in the group stage. Mahela Jayawardene and his men will certainly not want to let history repeat itself and will know that they will not get a better opportunity than this.
West Indies: Chris Gayle has already made it clear that his side is favourite to win the World Cup, and he probably has every right to do so after the way he has wielded the willow in this tournament. Apart from Gayle at the top, this batting line up has the capability of sending a shiver down the spine of any bowler. With big hitting batsmen of the likes of Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, this line up promises to put in a venomous performance.
The bowling too boasts of tremendous balance and better still, it is perfect for the conditions in Sri Lanka. Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Marlon Samuels add immense value to the spin department, however, this spin attack will be put to the test when they take on Sri Lanka, a side quite capable of handling top quality spin. Ravi Rampaul will lead the pace attack and Sammy could be tempted to bring in Fidel Edwards to test the hosts. Apart from that there is plenty of variety in the attack in the form of Pollard and Bravo, who are known for their ability to vary the pace.
Sri Lanka: Mahela and his men will be extremely pleased with how they have fared in this tournament. The batting has clicked until now, however, as was evident in the game against Pakistan, this line up is heavily dependent on the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and the captain. Despite that though, Sri Lanka does have a few all rounders who can turn it up on the big day, Angelo Mathews and Jeevan Mendis to name a few.
Bowling has been the key for the hosts in this tournament. The line up is a real threat with spinners of the quality of Ajantha Mendis, Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath. Dananjaya was left out in the game against Pakistan, however, he could come in for Herath in the final. That move should be handy against left hander Gayle. Just like their opponents, Sri Lanka too have some variety in their attack in the form of Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and the accurate Lasith Malinga.
Final Word: With both sides so evenly matched, the game will probably be decided by which side bats better. Going by the current batting form, West Indies might just clinch this one.
Chris Gayle: 'World Cup is definitely ours, sorry Sri Lanka, but I think it is our World Cup. The support will be more for West Indies on Sunday. We love Sri Lanka, but sorry, it is going to be West Indies all the way. The final will be a good final but we will be on top, definitely.'
Mahela Jayawardene:'Gayle is just another player in a very good West Indies side. But we plan and analyse for a team, not individuals'
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