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Perennial bridesmaids Sri Lanka to suffer final heartache again

| 06.04.2014

In limited overs cricket there couldn’t be two sides with more differing fortunes than India and Sri Lanka and the two meet in the final of the World T20 with the roles unlikely to reverse.

India are the 8/13 favourites to win the game, with Sri Lanka given a 5/4 chance of giving Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara a trophy in their final T20I appearances.

The underdogs for this showpiece match have a mental block when it comes to jumping the final hurdle, and with India now well versed in getting themselves over the line, the two legends of Sri Lankan cricket are set to end on a disappointing note.

MS Dhoni’s side, should they claim victory here, will hold all three ICC tournament titles having claimed the Champions Trophy in England in 2013 and the World Cup on home soil in 2011.

In polar opposite fashion, Sri Lanka just cannot find a way to get their hands on any silverware. They have finished as the runners up in every version of the World Cup, be it 50 overs or 20, since 2007 bar one and now must try to reverse the trend against a side with an ice-cool mentality.

Dhoni personifies that temperament, but in Virat Kohli he has one of the game’s most destructive and in-form batsmen at his disposal.

His scores in the tournament so far are impressive. He’s yet to register a total under 20 and has scored three fifties in five knocks.

The 6/1 on him being the game’s man of the match is a fantastic price and makes him the market leader, although the 5/6 on him scoring over 25.5 runs in the game is an equally tantalising proposition.

As much as Jayawardene and Sangakkara would dearly love a golden signoff, neither has really fired in the tournament (the former’s 89 against England aside) and with so much of Sri Lanka’s hopes resting on their batting, it will be a case of broken hearts for them once again.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.