Saturday, June 20, 2009

The World Twenty20 Final: The Consistents vs The Unpredictables

My semi final preview titled "Consistency vs Unpredictability" led SP to comment that the perfect final would be Sri Lanka vs Pakistan as that would pit the the role models of consistency against the unpredictables.

Come tomorrow, that is exactly what it will be at Lord's.

Here's a look at the final of the World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan

Billing: From the Nightmares of Lahore to the Dreams of London.

Pre-Tournament Calls: No one really expected either team to get this far; I had labeled one of them as the Dark Horses and the other as the favorites.

The Past: They have clashed four times before in T20 internationals, with each team winning two apiece. This will be Pakistan's second attempt at a World T20 title. The last time each team reached a World Cup final, both lost.

The Now: Sri Lanka have reached the final on an unbeaten run and are on a 6-match winning streak, second only to South Africa's 7, which was halted by Pakistan. Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in their Super 8 clash, but beat the best side of the tournament in their semi final.

Key Players: The leading run scorer is from Sri Lanka - Dilshan. The 5th highest run scorer is the Pakistan captain. Top 5 wicket takers are from Sri Lanka and Pakistan - Mendis, Malinga, Gul, and Ajmal on 12 each, followed by Afridi with 10.

Strengths: The above shows that both teams have relied on their bowlers much more than their batsmen. Undoubtedly a pacer and two spinners from each team hold the key.

Weaknesses: Sri Lanka's batting has relied heavily on the top 4, looking very thin after that. Pakistan's batting has failed to inspire on more than one occasion.

Meaning of Victory: Pakistan to do what they failed to a decade ago at Lord's and two years ago at Johannesburg. Sri Lanka to top off an unbeaten campaign becoming the first team to win a World T20 title without losing a game.

Q's Call: The team that bats first will win. I don't think either team has the batting to chase down a total, while both have the bowling to defend any kind of score. Where have you heard that one before?

Irrespective of who wins, cricket has already won the game, something that has been captured beautifully by SledgeHammer here.

It all gets underway tomorrow; Sri Lanka are unbeaten, while Pakistan have come out on top each of the four times that they have been in a do-or-die situation during the World Twenty20.

Will the consistents trump the flair, or will the unpredictables rise to the occasion once more?

Make your pitch on this post...



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16 Pitched:

  1. Aashrey said...
     

    Going to be one fabulous match. I can't wait. I just hope some Lankans get some tickets as well, because from what I can see it seems to be an almost sell-out Pakistani crowd.

  2. maza786 said...
     

    Inshallah we can !

  3. maza786 said...
     

    I'm going to the match Q. Probably the biggest encounter in a decade for Pakistani side !

  4. maza786 said...
     

    Shall be an electrifying atmosphere !

  5. Naked Cricket said...
     

    How long since it rained?

  6. شعیب صفدر said...
     

    انشاءاللہ Pakistan will win!

  7. Wasim said...
     

    Whenever I watch a big final with friends we lose, I have invited quite a few friends at my house we are going to watch it in my home theatre, hopefully this time it will be different.

    Win or lose it doesn't matter, the best thing is that Pakistan team is playing like a unit and putting up good fight.

    If we got their openers early then we can win the match.

  8. 12th Man said...
     

    The number of victories in this tournament shouldn't count in the finals. South Africa were unbeaten before they went down to Pakistan. Sri Lanka did not face South Africa and India in the preliminary/knock-out rounds. So they've had a easy run to the finals. Pakistan has a chance, and it is the unpredictability that you have mentioned that makes them dangerous.

    Also, I am sure Misbah would think twice before attempting any fancy shot this time.

  9. donthaveaclue said...
     

    Q, let's face it, all that analysis aside, what you're really hoping for is for mendis to maybe slam his "carrom" finger in the door of the team bus :)

    A wishlist for the final from us 'neutral' observers..

    http://outsideedge.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/the-perfect-final/

  10. Q said...
     

    Ash,

    Should be a fab game.. some of my friends have flown in for the game from Dubai.. I envy them.. can't wait for it now..

  11. Q said...
     

    Maza,

    If u r talking abt a decade, then the biggest encounter was in 1999, the WC final against Aus.. even 2007 against India :-)

  12. Q said...
     

    NC,

    Long enough and hope it remains that way.

  13. Q said...
     

    Shoaib,

    Welcome to Well Pitched.

    Inshallah.

  14. Q said...
     

    Wasim,

    Same here and that's what I wrote on the semi finals day, but the trend changed thankfully.

  15. Q said...
     

    12th Man,

    Besides Misbah, I also wish Dilshan doesn't attempt any fancy stuff ;-)

  16. Q said...
     

    Don,

    When I do an analysis like this, its usually with a neutral mindset, despite Pakistan's involvement in the game - when I write my "I want Pakistan to win posts", there are of a different flavor ;-)

    As for Mendis, he hasn't troubled Pakistan in the past.. I hope same is the case today.

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