The anticipation that subcontinent teams will dominate the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 has turned into reality. India and Sri Lanka will contest the final, and it promises to be a battle that may well go down to the wire.
On form, two best-performing teams have qualified for the summit clash. India are the only unbeaten side and Sri Lanka have lost just once. Those numbers leave no room for any debate, and this India-Sri Lanka clash will not invite the "not again" cries, because this one has a World Cup on the line.
There'll be lot at stake in the 40-hour slugfest on Sunday. It will be the last time the Sri Lankan talismans will make a T20I appearance. They announced their retirement from the format pre-tournament. The Lankans failed to give a fitting farewell to Muttiah Muralitharan, when they lost the 2011 World Cup final. But the team would not want to repeat that ignominy once again.
It will be the third time - after 2009 and 2012 - that Sri Lanka will be playing a World Twenty20 final. So 'third-time lucky' is a cliche that perfectly fits here. And the Lankans will hope that it holds true.
MS Dhoni will also be on the cusp of another historical moment. A third World title awaits him as skipper, something no captain has achieved so far. Clive Lloyd and Ricky Pointing led West Indies and Australia, respectively, to two ODI titles. On Sunday, Dhoni can become the only captain to do it thrice, having won the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup.
To gauge the performance metre, here's how the two teams made it to the final:
vs Sri Lanka: lost by 5 runs
vs England: won by 20 runs
Super10 Results (Group 2):
vs Pakistan: won by 7 wickets
vs West Indies: won by 7 wickets
vs Bangladesh: won by 8 wickets
vs Australia: won by 73 runs
vs South Africa: won by 6 wickets
vs India: won by 5 runs
vs West Indies: lost by 33 runs
Super10 Results (Group 1):
vs South Africa: won by 5 runs
vs Netherlands: won by 9 runs
vs England: lost by 6 wickets
vs New Zealand: won by 59 runs
vs West Indies: won by 27 runs (D/L)
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