Subcontinent dominates World Cup

NEW DELHI, April 1, 2011 (AFP) – A first all-Asian final in the World Cup’s 36-year history between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday underlines that familiarity breeds success. Never before have the subcontinental teams dominated the showpiece one-day event, as India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan all made it to the semi-finals for the first time together by capitalising on the conditions.

India and Sri Lanka played most of their matches at home and won six of their eight games. Pakistan, who face more or less similar conditions at home, also flourished before losing to India in the semi-final.

Adjustment was the key to success on low, slow tracks in the subcontinent and the south Asian sides showed they were quicker to adapt than their opponents.

Five of the six top run-getters before the final are from Sri Lanka and India, with Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan leading the list with 467 runs from eight matches.

He is followed by India’s Sachin Tendulkar (464), compatriots Kumar Sangakkara (417) and Upul Tharanga (393), and India’s Virender Sehwag (380).

Four of the seven top bowlers are from the subcontinent, headed by Pakistan skipper and leg-s