MIRPUR: The first semi-final of 2014 World T20 will be played between Sri Lanka and West Indies at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on April 3 (Thursday).
The two teams will contest each other after the final of 2012 World T20, which was played at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on October 7, 2012. West Indies had emerged as the World Champions.
But 18 months on, both teams have developed formulae with which to knead the talent at their disposal. West Indies have embraced conservatism with the bat, allowing Dwayne Smith to play as he wishes in the Powerplay, but generally seeking keep wickets in hand to unleash at the back end. While with the ball, Samuel Badree and Krishmar Santokie have been as penetrative as they have been economical.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have had among the most entertaining trips to the semi-final and one man who can put Sri Lanka in the final through strategy alone, it has to be the team's best ever tactician, Mahela Jayawardene, who is the top scorer in World T20s with 992 runs.
Jayawardene is followed by West Indian Chris Gayle at second with 804, but has a slightly better average and strike rate.
As far as World T20s semifinals are concern, West Indies have reached in semi-finals thrice and Sri Lanka, four. The last time they met at this stage, in 2009, where Sri Lanka won.
The toss can be considered as an important factor as pitches have become notoriously difficult to score on at this end of the tournament, particularly for teams batting second.
Furthermore, Dew is less of a concern in Mirpur than it was in Chittagong.