West Indies Beat Sri Lanka To Win ICC WT20
West Indies 137-6 (Samuels 78) beat
Sri Lanka 101 (Narine 3-9) by 36 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2012 Final, Colombo
The West Indies ended a long wait for a trophy by beating Sri Lanka by 36 runs in a remarkable final of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Colombo.
Batting first, they limped to 32 for two in 10 overs but an innings of 78 from Marlon Samuels helped them reach 137 for six. Despite making it to 48 for one, Sri Lanka were then bowled out for 101 in reply.
In a most bizarre yet joyous-to-watch turnaround, they left a packed R. Premadasa Stadium in disbelief.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, West Indies were in all sorts of trouble early on. Sri Lanka were impeccable in line and length, showing tremendous discipline against Chris Gayle and company and keeping them silent, so much so that the batsmen had no plan B as they were waiting for full deliveries to score off.
The first five overs yielded only 12 runs and the wicket of Johnson Charles (0). In the sixth over, Ajantha Mendis got the big fish, Gayle out LBW for three runs. He consumed sixteen balls and scored at a strike-rate of 18.75.
Dwayne Bravo then joined Marlon Samuels and they went about re-building the innings, albeit at a very slow pace. Only 32 runs came off the first ten overs and their partnership - 59 runs off 49 balls - lasted until the 14th over, when Bravo was wrongly adjudged out LBW, again to Mendis. He scored 19 runs off 19 balls, hitting one six, but his main job was to stay put at one end.
At the other end, Samuels took an immense gamble, hitting out after the 12th over and miraculously it paid off. He took apart Lasith Malinga with fine ease, hitting three sixes off him in the 13th over. He hit three other sixes, two of them against Malinga again, so six sixes in all as he propelled the innings forward.
Samuels top scored by a mile with 78 runs off 56 balls, also including three fours. He was sixth out in the 18th over, to Akhila Dananjaya, and by then the score had reached 108 for six. Skipper Darren Sammy’s quickfire 26 off 15 balls (three fours) then took them to a defendable total of 137 for six in their allotted 20 overs.
For Sri Lanka, Mendis took four for 12 in his four overs, while Ajantha Mathews (1-11) and Dhananjaya (1-16) were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier in the day, Australia Women had scored 140 on the same pitch and England Women team lost by only four runs. The pitch was slow but not too tough to bat on, and so, everyone thought that this was going to be an easy chase for the hosts as a target of 138 was at least 20 short of a par score.
However, the Sri Lankans made a horrible start when Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled for a duck by Ravi Rampaul. Their most experienced batsmen Kumar Sangakkara (22) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene then added 48 runs for the second wicket.
Samuel Badree was successful in etching out Sangakkara’s wicket as Kieron Pollard held on to a low catch in the deep. The score at that time read 48 for two in the 10th over and the asking run-rate was climbing up. More importantly though, it had started drizzling very lightly, enough however to cause panic among their ranks as Sri Lanka were behind on Duckworth-Lewis.
Jayawardene was out for 33 off 36 balls (two fours) trying to accelerate and restore parity with the D/L sheets and that ordered a collapse. From 60 for four in the 13th over, they collapsed to 69 for seven in the 15th over as the crowd was silenced into stupor.
Nuwan Kulasekara quickly hit 26 runs off 13 balls (three fours and one six) to raise hopes towards the end, but the West Indies' slow bowlers had it covered. The hosts were bowled out in the 19th over for 101, losing out on yet another ICC event - their fourth final in a row.
Sunil Narine (3-9) was the chief wrecker of the Lankan innings, while Sammy also chipped in (2-6). Along with them, Badree (1-24), Rampaul (1-31) and man-of-the-match Samuels (1-15) made sure that the party will go long into the night, Gangnam-style.
Samuels was named as the man of the match and Australia's Shane Watson the man of the series.
The West Indies last won a tournament in 2002, beating England in the final of the Champions Trophy and they last won the 50-over World Cup in 1979.
They had never previously made it further than the semi-finals of the World T20.
© Cricket World 2012
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