Source: Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite scripted an exhilarating win for West Indies in the World T20 finals on Sunday that won them their second World T20 title. The West Indies had also won the T20 title in 2012, which makes them the first team to win the cup twice. Carlos Brathwaite turned out to be the hero of the game as he chased down an improbable 19 runs from 6 balls by hitting four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes’ last over to bring his team home with 2 balls to spare.
The win marked a historic moment for West Indian Cricket since their Women’s team also won the World T20 tournament. Earlier this year, their Under-19 team also won the World Cup. The Windies now hold three ICC trophies for this year.
Earlier that evening, Darren Sammy continued his streak of good luck by winning his sixth consecutive toss in the series and chose to bowl first at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Frontline spinner Samuel Badree opened the bowling and started troubling power batsman Jason Roy right from the very first ball. The second ball did it. Roy went for his shot but missed the ball completely and it rattled his leg stump.
England lost two more wickets and their score read 23 for 3 at one point. Joe Root continued his good form and scored another fifty in a valuable partnership with Jos Buttler. But they both could not finish the innings because of some excellent West Indies bowling. England ended up scoring 155 for the loss of nine wickets. Though this was the highest score in a World T20 final, it was still below par and looked gettable for the West Indies.
The West Indies had lost early wickets and had to push hard to chase down the highest total in a T20 final. With match-winner Gayle gone early and Simmons out for a duck, the Indies were in a precarious position. Jordan bowled a fantastic 19th over where both the batsmen were stifled for runs. Man of the match Marlon Samuels played the role of an anchor with his blistering 85 of 66 balls.
With 19 required off the final over and the set batsman Marlon Samuels at the non-striker’s end, England seemed to be on top. Instead of taking a single and pushing the responsibility of scoring those runs towards Samuels, Brathwaite decided to be the hero and plummeted Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to win the game.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy signed off with an emotional speech about the lack of support from their Cricketing board. They were written off even before the tournament began and sometimes what a team need is a strong desire to prove itself. And that is exactly what the West Indies team did. They played their hearts out. They played with wit, vigour, and great energy. They simply love the shortest format of the game and surmounted all odds to come out on top. The beats of Dwayne Bravo’s ‘Champion’ will be reverberating throughout the Caribbean. And the players as well people will be dancing that signature step.