Except it wasn't to be. Ryder was introduced to the attack and promptly broke the miserly spell. A few shots by Samaraweera followed by Matthews taking apart Southee, and Sri Lanka had won the match handsomely. Fireworks engulfed the stadium, and soon there were victory laps, mostly in honor of the Lankan icon Muttiah Muralidharan.
Sri Lanka gets to meet the winners of the epic India-Pakistan match, which if media reports are to believed, is the biggest thing in the history of mankind, if not the Universe. Politicians have already started monopolizing space in the public, with token patriotism on the tongue of all. Unluckily, as I write this article. the weather is playing truant out there. There is nothing like nature getting on the nerves of sports fans.
But spare a thought for the New Zealand team. The Kiwis go back home, proud of yet another campaign of semi-glory. It was a day when the Kiwis almost took flight. Except they just couldn't stay in the air long enough to reach the end. Southee ends the tournament as the second-best bowler of the tournament. And many of their players have given us great moments to remember, from Taylor's brutal rampage to Ryder's sublime catch. And this is the last we shall see of Vettori, the ODI captain. What a fine captain he was - celebral and often capable of keeping an unpredictable team afloat by his spin and late-order batting displays.
Tomorrow we move on to Mohali for what might be a rained out match.