Dilshan, Mendis' failure cost Sri Lanka dearly

Dilshan and Mendis' failure in the final against Pakistan had jolted Sri Lanka's hope of lifting the World T20 title.

Updated: June 22, 2009 09:13 IST
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London:Sri Lanka's two top performers --Tillakaratne Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis' failure in the all-important final against Pakistan had jolted the island nation's hope of lifting its first ever World Twenty20 at Lord's.

Dilshan and Mendis cut a sorry figure as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets to win the World Twenty20 on Sunday.

Sri Lanka's batting mainstay Dilshan lasted mere five balls and in-form Mendis went for over 34 runs in his four overs against the fired up Pakistanis, who seemed to have done their home work well for the duo.

Dilshan was in terrific form in the tournament and so far had either come inside the line or made room to thrash or scoop the ball for most of his runs.

But Pakistan decision to ask Dilshan a few searching questions in the final with bouncers worked wonders as the right-hander failed to free his hands or swing his bat in an arc and ultimately fell cheaply trying for a pull to short fine leg.

To the much disappointment of the Sri Lankans, the Mendis charm too appeared to have outlived its course in the summit clash.

As Pakistani openers took roots at the crease, Mendis was pressed into attack in the sixth over, only to see a belligerent Kamran Akmal smote him for a six. Brought again in the ninth over, it was other opener Shahzaib Hasan's turn to feast on him with two drives in the deep for fours with mystery spinner conceding 21 runs in his first two overs.

It was a key moment as Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara had to look for an alternative to his deadliest weapon, but unfortunately he didn't find any.

Sangakkara, later in the press conference, admitted that Younus Khan's men had worked out Mendis well.

"They have played him often. It worked in their favour," stated Sangakkara.

As a matter of fact, earlier this year Younus slammed a triple century against the Lankans in a Test match at Karachi in which Mendis registered woeful figures of one for 157 runs from his 59 overs.

However, irrespective of the failure in the final, Dilshan finished the tournament with an impressive 317 runs, which includes three half centuries, 46 fours at an average of 52.83. Mendis too had a great tournament pocketing 12 wickets at an average of 11.91 runs.

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