WI lift World T20 Trophy
WEST INDIES won their first global trophy in eight years after clinching the ICC World Twenty20 with a clinical victory over Sri Lanka by 36 runs on Sunday.
The title, West Indies’ first on the world stage since their capture of the 2004 Champions Trophy, sparked massive celebrations among teammates and officials at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and among millions watching on television sets across the Caribbean.
After a slow start in which they crawled to 14 for two from the first six overs, West Indies’ total of 137 for six was ignited by a sparkling 78 off 56 balls by in-form Marlon Samuels that earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
It was always going to be a fighting total on a pitch that was difficult for strokeplay and the West Indies’ bowlers admirably stuck to their task against a line-up heavily dependent on captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
After pacer Ravi Rampaul removed Tillakaratne Dilshan with the first ball of the second over, Jayawardence (33) and Sangakkarra (22) added 42 for the second wicket to leave the match in the balance at 48 for one in the tenth over.
West Indies, however, pulled things back through off-spinners Sunil Narine (3.4-0-9-3) and Samuels (4-0-15-1) and the effort of captain Darren Sammy, who snared two wickets for six runs from two overs also played a vital role.
Additionally, high-class fielding was responsible for two run outs and a few catches in the deep helped in limiting the hosts to 101 in 18.4 overs.
Sammy, who had earlier contributed to boosting West Indies’ total with an unbeaten 26 off 15 balls at the death, dedicated the triumph to the fans.
“For the last two years, we’ve shown the never-say-die attitude, but we haven’t had the results,” Sammy said.
“There’s a special gentleman in the stand called Peter Matthews. He’s supported us through rain and sun, he’s the happiest man right now. Thank you to everyone who supported us.
“The tournament is for the fans. The love we felt from the Sri Lankan people is tremendous and we want to thank them for that.”
West Indies’ victory prompted their now popular Gangnam dance the trophy presentation was highlighted by an explosion of fireworks against a background of colourful confetti. (HG)
Full story to appear later.