Can Sri Lanka end final hoodoo against favourites India?
Odds-on favourites and 2007 champions India (4/6) face Asian rivals Sri Lanka (6/5) – twice runners-up – in the World Twenty20 final in Bangladesh, which promises to be a fantastic spectacle.
Sri Lanka, coached by Englishman Paul Farbrace, knocked out the holders West Indies in the semi-finals in a Duckworth-Lewis aided victory. They managed 160-6 off their 20 overs, with Lahiru Thiramanne top scoring (44 off 35 balls) and he can be backed at 6/1 to do so again.
The Windies, however, could only hit a total of 80-4 off their first 13.5 overs, before heavy rain ended the contest, and thus meaning Sri Lanka took revenge on their final loss to the Caribbean side at the last tournament.
Sri Lanka will certainly be hoping this will be a case of being third-time lucky, having also been losing finalists to Pakistan in 2009 in this competition. Their only loss in this World Twenty20 so far was to England.
India, however, current holders of both the World Cup and Champions Trophy (both 50 over competitions), are vying to become the first nation to hold all three limited-overs cricket trophies at once.
On the subject of achieving that feat, their captain Singh Dhoni said: “The only important thing now is to do well in the final. We should not think about anything else. It’s more important to win the World Cup for your country than think about stats.
“That [treble achievement] will be very good for the side, but that’s something we can always think about after we’ve done well in the final.”
India have won all of their matches in this year’s World Twenty20 up to this point, and it is understandable why Coral price them as favourites.
They possess tournament high-scorer Virat Kohli – who whacked 72 not out against semi-final opponents South Africa – and he has odds of 2/1 to hit the most runs for his side again.