India’s campaign has ended once again at the Super Eights stage. It was always going to be an uphill task for them against Sri Lanka, especially after losing the previous two matches. Pakistan did raise their game to get through to the semifinals, but for India, it was the same story once again. The Lankan looked as if they knew exactly what to do in a crunch situation, while for India even the experienced ones faltered.
Sri Lanka has invariably produced a player who makes a mark in the tournament, and though the man in form, Mahela Jayawardene, was consumed early, Sri Lanka found in Angelo Mathews a player who will be a big cricketer sooner rather than later. Mathews first came into prominence in the last World T20 and since then it has been an upward curve for him.
He is a fast learner and you can be sure that if he reaches 98 again in a Test, he won’t try for an impossible second run to get to a century but will probably hit the ball out of the ground. His was an innings that took the game away. England have been the surprise team. Not many gave them a chance to get through to the semis and here they are in with a chance to win the big prize. They have lots of options and are not a one-man team, as they showed by winning in such fine fashion despite Pietersen’s absence.
There is also the bowling attack, which looks nicely varied and the fielding is sharp. They were up against New Zealand, which seems to play above themselves in ICC events, but who were not given a chance to establish themselves in the match. Sri Lanka may well recall Ajantha Mendis for the next game because he brings the mystery element to the game. If one looks at the previous editions, the runners-up of the first event, Pakistan, went on to win the second and Lanka, who were runners-up at the second event, may well go on to win the third event.