In the first semi-final of ICC World Twenty20 2014 on Thursday (April 3), Sri Lanka will look to put the World T20 2012 final loss behind it and look for revenge, while, West Indies will get on the field to defend its title. Here’s a look at the key facts, approaching milestones and key battles before this crucial clash:
These teams have met five times in T20Is. Sri Lanka has won four matches to West Indies’ one, which came in the most recent meeting – the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 final.
In fact all five of these clashes have come in ICC World Twenty20 tournaments – three group matches, a semi-final and a final.
Mahela Jayawardena and Tillakaratne Dilshan have both hit two half centuries in those five matches – they average 67.3 and 62.3 respectively against West Indies.
Four of the five best T20I economy rates amongst players from Test-playing nations since the last ICC World Twenty20 are held by players likely to feature in this match - Sachithra Senanayake, Samuel Badree, Krishmar Santokie and Sunil Narine.
Rangana Herath’s figures of 5-3 from 3.3 overs against New Zealand means the three best T20I bowling figures are held by Sri Lankans.
West Indies’ 84-run win against Pakistan was its largest run-margin victory in T20Is.
In the Super 10 stage Sri Lanka inflicted two of the three lowest T20I innings totals – Netherlands’ 39 all out and New Zealand’s 60 all out.
Of players to face at least 30 balls in the tournament, Dwayne Smith has the highest play and miss percentage (27%).
Of players to face at least 30 balls in the tournament, only Glenn Maxwell (84%) has scored a higher percentage of runs in boundaries than Darren Sammy (77%).
Of players to face at least 30 balls in the tournament, Thisara Perera has played the highest percentage of attacking shots (87%).
Mahela Jayawardena needs eight runs to become the first player to score 1,000 runs in ICC World Twenty20 matches.
Jayawardena needs 31 runs to become the second player after Brendon McCullum to hit 1,500 T20I runs.
Lasith Malinga needs one wicket to go clear of Saeed Ajmal as the outright leading wicket-taker in ICC World Twenty20 matches. Both have 36 wickets, one more than Ajantha Mendis.
Sri Lanka v West Indies – Nuwan Kulasekara v Darren Sammy
In a match of mystery spinners and big-game batsmen, the crucial battle could be between these orthodox seam bowlers, albeit with one posing more threat with bat than ball. Nuwan Kulasekara has shown the value of traditional new ball bowling, nipping the ball around with slip fielders in place.
He moves the ball both ways at a lively pace and has a crucial role to play against Chris Gayle, whom he has dismissed twice in 19 balls in previous T20I meetings. Kulasekara has an economy rate of 5.83 in the tournament.
Darren Sammy, West Indies’ leading T20I wicket-taker, has had a greater impact with his batting than bowling in this tournament. His 101 runs have come a strike rate of 224.4, the highest of anyone facing at least 10 balls. His cameos against Australia and Pakistan proved match-winning, which more than made up for his lack of bowling – he has bowled three overs in the tournament, at a cost of 31 runs.