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'The Almighty wants Sangakkara, Mahela to win a World Cup'

Last updated on: April 04, 2014 15:18 IST

'The Almighty wants Sangakkara, Mahela to win a World Cup'

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Even the gods want Sri Lanka to win the Twenty20 World Cup!

Those are the words of West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who was graceful in defeat as Sri Lanka won the first semi-final of the World T20 via the Duckworth-Lewis method after thundershowers stopped proceedings in the 14th over of the second innings on Thursday night.

The affable Sammy explained: "May be God wants Sri Lankan legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara to get a chance to savour the taste of winning a World Championship trophy in their swansong T20 international event.

"Today, there were two gentlemen [Sangakkara and Jayawardene] who gave a lot not only to Sri Lankan cricket but to cricket as a whole. May be the Almighty wants them to win a World Cup and leave on a high. That's why He put his hand in this so that they get another match."

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Image: Groundstaff pull the covers on as a hailstorm approaches during the first sem-final between Sri Lanka and West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla in Mirpur, Bangladesh
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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'We will obviously come back stronger in 2016'

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Batting first, Sri Lanka put up an impressive 160 for 6, riding on important contributions from Angelo Mathews (40) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45).

In reply, the West Indies were 80 for four in 13.5 overs when heavy rain, accompanied by hailstones, forced play to be abandoned.

The Duckworth-Lewis par score when play was halted was 107, and the West Indies were well short of the target, struggling at 80 for four in 13.5 overs.

"We will obviously come back stronger in 2016 and have another shot at the Cup. Sri Lanka have played better cricket and have deservingly reached the final," a disappointed Sammy said.

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Image: Groundstaff stuggle to cover the field as heavy rain and hailstones lash the ground
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'I am just gutted that we won't be playing the World Cup final'

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Asked who will win the World Cup, the sadness became more evident.

"It doesn't matter to me now. I am just gutted that we won't be playing the World Cup final. But it will be an exciting event and I would wish all three teams luck," Sammy said.

He added that he had never ever seen such a hailstorm in his life.

"I was quite intrigued when it started. I thought people were pelting stones. Never seen something like this in my life," Sammy said, with a smile.

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Image: West Indies captain Darren Sammy (second left) and teammates look dejected after losing the semi-final match against Sri Lanka
Photographs: Getty Images
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'When you lose, people point out at lot of things'

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Asked about the number of dot balls (27) played between Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, he replied, "I am not going to answer that."

After a few moments when the same question was repeated by another scribe, he did admit that rotating the strike and Marlon Samuels's poor form in the tournament was a factor.

"When you lose a game of cricket, people point out at lot of things. I know it is not an ideal situation but we have somehow developed a strategy where we can score around 12 runs per over in last six overs. We have good boundary hitters, but we do need to improve in rotating the strike. Marlon, obviously, is not in good touch, but he is one of our better batsmen."

In the final two overs of the Sri Lankan innings, Sammy conceded that Dwayne Bravo's side strain was a reason for not giving him a bowl at the death.

"[Krishmar] Santokie and [Andre] Russell have done well for us at the death. But today they were off-colour, and it can happen."

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Image: Dwayne Bravo hits one out of the park
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'We did not play for the rain'

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Sri Lanka's hero of the day, Angelo Mathews, felt that it does not matter who will be their opponent in the final.

"In any case, we need to beat them to win the Cup.

"Actually, we did not play for the rain. We only came to know at the innings break that there is a possibility of rain. We would have ideally liked to play the full 20 overs and won rather than by D/L method."


Image: Angelo Mathews hits a six
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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