India Vs Sri Lanka World Cup 2011 Final ICC World Cup 2011 Final: India Will Seek To Avenge 1996 Defeat To Sri Lanka

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ICC World Cup 2011 Final: India Will Seek To Avenge 1996 Defeat To Sri Lanka

With India and Sri Lanka set to meet in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, the mega event will conclude with a game that carries a lot of emotional baggage for the hosts.

India will be looking to banish the ghosts of 1996 by becoming the only team to win the title on home soil. That year too, India met Sri Lanka, but in the semi-finals. Also, they had beaten Pakistan in the previous game and expectations were running high when they faced Arjuna Ranatunga’s men in Kolkata.

Ranatunga won the toss and elected to bat; Sri Lanka had earlier defeated India in the league game, but four balls after the first over from Javagal Srinath, the result seemed to matter little as Sri Lanka were reduced to 1/2. Kaluwitharana went first, was caught by Manjrekar on the second ball, while Sri Lanka’s World Cup hero Sanath Jayasuriya perished two balls later, off Prasad at the fence for a shot that would have given him six runs in a smaller area.

There was a brief recovery with Gurusinya and De Silva building a partnership that ended when Gurusinya was caught by Kumble off Srinath for one and Sri Lanka were reduced to 35/3 much to the delight of the partisan crowd. Interestingly, Gurusinha scored just 1 run from 16 balls and the bulk of the runs came from Aravinda De Silva, who was in his element that day. Silva was joined by Mahanama and together they added another 50 runs before De Silva departed, Kumble scoring 66 at 85/4. The Sri Lankan star swung the momentum in favor of the visitors when Mahanama and his captain Ranatunga combined on a platform built by De Silva. Sri Lanka eventually finished with 251/8, which seemed to be within the reach of the Tendulkar-led Indian batsmen, although such a target looked unlikely when Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the first over.

India lost Sidhu early and the partnership between Tendulkar and Manjrekar was 98/1 when Jayasuriya, making up for his batting failure, caught Tendulkar with slow left-arm spin. Tendulkar, who scored 65 and added two wickets and a catch during the innings in Sri Lanka, was a strong contender for man of the match and the platform he built with Manjrekar proved very strong with batsmen of Azhar’s calibre. , Kambli and Jadeja follow. Instead, chaos ensued as India slumped to 120/8 as the wicket fell apart and began to favor spin. Jayasuriya finished with 3/12 and one wicket each went to Murali, De Silva and Dharmasena.

At that moment, the Kolkata crowd gave vent to their emotions, setting fire to the stands and pelting the Sri Lankan fielder with a freak missile. After a stoppage in play, match referee Clive Lloyd decided it was not possible to continue and awarded it to Sri Lanka, a fair result in the circumstances, although 10-run unbeaten Vinod Kambli seemed to disagree and was reduced to tears when was forced to depart, with 132 runs needed from 15.5 overs with 2 wickets in hand.

It was not a glorious finish to what was otherwise a brilliant tournament for India and this time India will be looking to make amends in Mumbai on April 2.

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