World T20 2016 Final Review: West Indies pulls off an astonishing victory
Published - Apr 3, 2016 6:24 pm | Updated - Apr 3, 2016 6:24 pm
The grand finale of the World T20 2016 between West Indies and England turned out to be an intense thriller. The Calypso Kings emulated their Women’s counterparts and clinched the World T20 after beating England by 4 wickets in a mind-boggling chase riding on the back of Marlon Samuels heroic knock. This contest will certainly go down as one the most epic T20 matches.
For West Indies, the scenes which unfolded at the Eden Gardens were quite identical to the last final they played at Colombo in 2012. On both occasions, Marlon Samuels fought a lone battle in the middle as rest of the batting order crumbled on the important night. Both the innings saved the team from a possible embarrassment and resulted in glory. This inning has to be his best T20 innings.
It was a very evenly fought game between both the teams. The momentum kept swinging and until Carlos Braithwaite cracked four back to back gigantic sixes in the last over to help his team script a sensational win.
Darren Sammy won the toss for the 10 successive time and opted to bowl first. Leg-spinner Samuel Badree opened the bowling and gave the perfect start to the West Indians. The nippy leggie uprooted dangerman Jason Roy leg before of the second delivery of the match.
Andre Russell, in the following over, landed the second blow to the Englishmen after Alex Hales flicked a half-tracker straight to Badree at short leg. The explosive pair of Alex Hales and Jason Roy, which decimated New Zealand in the semis, were rendered ineffective.
Badree added more trouble as he came back a couple of overs later and foxed Eoin Morgan to edge the ball to Chris Gayle standing at the 1st slip. The leggie finished with a wicket maiden to his name as England were left tottering at 23/2 after 5 overs. There was a sense of nervousness on the faces of the small number of English fans sitting in the crowd.
Sammy did not feel the need to conserve his best spinner and used him unchanged for his full quota. Badree ended with 2/16.
England was under pressure and needed to target someone. Jos Buttler and Joe Root chose left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn to boost the run scoring. Benn was introduced in the 4th over in which the tall spinner got smashed for three boundaries by Root. He returned in the 9th over and wasn’t spared as Buttler went after him and hit 10 runs off it including a flat powerful six over extra cover.
England were placed decently on 67/3 at the halfway stage. There was some respite for the Brits but none for Benn as the assault continued on him. The left-arm spinner, who was into his 3rd over was welcomed with two sixes in opposite direction by Buttler. The English wicketkeeper deposited the first ball for a towering six at long on while the 2nd ball was lofted over with ease over the long-off region consecutive maximums.
However, all-rounder Carlos Braithwaite slammed brakes on Buttler’s onslaught after he unpacked him in the 12th over. This was a big breakthrough considering the firepower which the Englishman possessed.
But, England still had Root to bank upon. The Yorkshireman reached his fifty in just 33 balls, the joint fastest in the World T20 and looked comfortable.
They saw big slump at an unnecessary time. The 14th over by Dwayne Bravo brought back to back wickets. The first one to go was Stokes who was induced to play a false stroke off a slower ball and was caught by Simmons at point. His slower ball claimed another victim as he got Moeen Ali to nick one behind to the wicketkeeper. Bravo broke into his famous Champion dance as helpless Root watched from the non-strikers end.
Braithwaite chipped in with another big wicket after he managed to get better of Root in the next over. England slumped from 103/4 to 111/7 within a blink of the eye.
But, some crunch hits from David Willey (21 from 14 balls) brought some vital runs. Chris Jordan (12 from 13 balls) also did his best to contribute as England, eventually, reached a decent 155/9 after 20 overs.
The pressure was on the Englishmen to calm their nerves after struggling in the first innings. Following an excellent first over by David Willey, Eoin Morgan introduced Joe Root for the second over. The moved brought unexpected result as the part-timer stunned everyone with two important wickets. Openers Jonathan Charles and Chris Gayle fell in the space of 3 balls as West Indies got off to an ominous start.
Willey, in his next over, made the whole team go haywire in celebrations after he dismissed semi-final hero Lendl Simmons leg before for a duck. But, after the initial setbacks began the resurrection work.
Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo put together a vital 75 runs stand for the 4th wicket. The English bowlers, however, did not let the match slip away that easily. They kept Bravo under pressure. He did not have any champion moment with the bat and played a slow 27-ball 25 runs innings before departing in the 14th over.
Samuels kept counterattacking sensationally, smashing 18 runs in the next over by Plunkett. But England again hit back and gained an upper hand after David Willey landed a double blow, dismissing both Andre Russell and Darren Sammy in the following over. Willey broke into the Champion dance as the English hopes rose.
West Indies needed 45 from the last four overs. But, they did not lose hope. Samuel continued his assault. All-rounder Braithwaite also got into action. Eventually, it all boiled down to 19 runs from last six balls with Braithwaite on strike. There was nervousness in the West Indies dugout but little did they know what was about to happen. The giant Barbadian clobbered Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to wrap off the tense chase in West Indies’ favor.
England: 155/9 in 20 overs (Joe Root 54; Carlos Braithwaite 3/23)
West Indies: 161/6 in 19.4 overs (Marlon Samuels 85; David Willey 3/20)
Man of the Match: Marlon Samuels
Man of the Series: Virat Kohli