Continuing our tournament reviews, here is an assessment of how losing finalists Sri Lanka did.
Brilliant top-order batting and an array of bowling options that always threatened meant few were surprised by their run to the final. Had Muttiah Muralitharan been fully fit, they may have won. Still they have much to be proud of, led by an opening pair that twice added more than 200. Kumar Sangakkara was exceptional as skipper, Lasith Malinga always exhilarating to watch.
Though several excelled, it’s hard to look past Tillakaratne Dilshan. His explosive batting earned 500 runs – more than anyone else in this World Cup – while he also chipped in with eight wickets with his canny off-spin.
Hard to pick one, but Chamara Silva was never fluent with the bat, and was dropped for the final.
Several spinners will aim to be the ‘new Murali’, with Ajantha Mendis, omitted for the final, perhaps the most promising. With Dilshan, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena all at least 33, new batsmen are probably an even bigger priority. They are also looking for a new coach.