On This Day: Sri Lanka finally beat India in an ICC event, ends Yuvraj Singh’s career in World T20 2014

Sri Lanka defeated India in the final of the 2014 ICC World T20 in Mirpur and India’s loss is best remembered for the way how Yuvraj Singh’s international career ended.

Sri Lanka players celebrate as Virat Kohli looks on. (Image credit: Twitter)

April 2, 2011. MS Dhoni’s six off Nuwan Kulasekara helped India win the title after 28 years and break millions of Sri Lankan hearts. In June 2013, India outclassed Sri Lanka in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy in Cardiff. Three years ever since that final at the Wankhede, Sri Lanka witnessed plenty of heartbreaks. In between 2011 and 2013, they had the ultimate tragedy of losing a home final. The 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka was tipped to be a carnival for the hosts. Instead, they lost to a West Indies side that wanted to prove everyone wrong. That loss seemed to have deflated Sri Lanka totally. 

However, in the year 2014, Sri Lanka was building tremendous momentum. They had toured Bangladesh for three ODIs and they secured a 3-0 whitewash. After that, there was the Asia Cup tournament. Sri Lanka showed tremendous guts to beat a powerful India side to enter the final. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan and won the Asia Cup. Having knowledge of the conditions, Sri Lanka were confident heading into the World T20.

In the two warm-up games, Sri Lanka beat India but lost to the West Indies. The losses did not deter them and they entered into the main tournament looking to shatter all the heartbreak.

Success in the main tournament

Sri Lanka started their campaign with a tense five-run win against South Africa thanks to Kusal Perera’s 61. However, a powerful ton by Alex Hales in the next match saw England chasing down 190. In the match against New Zealand, Sri Lanka defended 120 with Rangana Herath taking an incredible 5/3.

Sri Lanka finally took their revenge against the West Indies in the semifinal by beating them by 27 runs. In the final, they squared off against India. The loss of 2011 and 2013 was still fresh. They wanted revenge. They wanted it badly.

Overcoming the odds

In the final, Sri Lanka chose to bowl in a match that was delayed slightly due to rain. They had to overcome the brilliance of Virat Kohli. In 2012, Kohli had smashed Sri Lanka in Hobart during his knock of 133 off 86 balls. Kohli was in fine form yet again. In the 14th over, he hit a fifty off just 43 balls. At 93/2, the stage was set for a grand total.

However, Yuvraj Singh arrived and he struggled from the first delivery itself. In the 15th over, just two runs came and Yuvraj was on six off 11 balls. Kohli blasted a six and two fours in the 16th over bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara but Yuvraj struggled. In the 17th and 18th overs, only four runs. Yuvraj fell for 11 off 21 balls in the 19th over and Sri Lanka put on a clinical exhibition. In the last four overs, only 19 runs were scored and India ended on 130/4.

Kumar Sangakkara hit a brilliant fifty and Thisara Perera smashed 23 off 14 balls as Sri Lanka won the World T20 for the first time. This made Sri Lanka the third team after India and the West Indies to win all three major ICC tournaments. The match, though, would be remembered for the end of Yuvraj’s international career. Although he made a comeback in 2017, he was never the same again. The World T20 loss hurt Yuvraj and for some time, fans had a field day on social media mocking his knock.

Sportslumo Desk

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