|Lost, but not
Thawfeeq reporting from Mumbai
MUMBAI, Saturday - Sri Lanka once again had to be
content with the title of bridesmaid after finishing
second to India in the Cricket World Cup final
played to a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on
They were runner-up to Australia at the 2007 World
Cup in 2007.
For Kumar Sangakkara and his boys it was a big
disappointment not to have the silver ware in their
possession after months and months of practice and
Sri Lanka was one of the favourites to lift the
World Cup and quite rightly they reached the final
keeping faith with their ranking, but in a final
only one team can win and on this occasion it
happened to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India who
emerged triumphant by six wickets after nearly seven
hours of intense cricket.
The final between two giants of Asian cricket lived
up to its hype and provided the capacity 32,000
spectators value for money.
Although finishing on the losing side, Sri Lanka
can well be proud of their performance. Former
captain Mahela Jayawardene scored a glorious century
full of silken strokes around the wicket to give Sri
Lanka a total they could defend. When Lasith Malinga
sent back India’s two experienced openers Virender
Sehwag and local boy Sachin Tendulkar cheaply Sri
Lanka were sensing victory at that stage. But today
was not to be Sri Lanka’s day. The dropped catch off
Gautam Gambhir proved to be crucial miss for it
enabled India to bounce back into the game and turn
it around in their favour.
“Our fielding was poor. We could have stopped the
singles and doubles, but hard luck we lost. That’s
cricket, that’s the nature of the game, you can’t
predict it. Missing the catch eventually resulted in
losing the cup,” said Anupa Maththemagoda a
businessman, who watched the final on a giant screen
in Colombo with his wife and two daughters.
The whole nation was glued to the television
watching the Lions battle it out with India for the
most prestigious Cup in cricket.
For Sangakkara and Co the defeat would have been
hard to swallow for this was the final chance for
most of the team members to lay their hands on a
World Cup before they retire.
Muthiah Muralitharan who bowed out of one-day
cricket after the final failed to produce his usual
magic and that alone proved that luck was not with
The presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his
entourage at the final proved an inspiration to the
team to raise their game but although Sri Lanka
tried valiantly, today was not to be their day. As
Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara put it across rather
gingerly, ‘The better side won.”