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WI lifts T20 cup for second time with big hitting’s

  • In Sports
  • 00:00, 4 Apr
  • By Wire Service

Kolkata: What a coincidence. It was the third day in April and West Indies has been named champions three times already this year. They had won the Under 19 world cup earlier. But it was at the Eden Gardens here that they created history. During the morning hours the West Indies Women’s won their World T20 match against Australia and in the evening their male counterpart led by Darren Sammy lifted the World T20 championship cup. Sammy’s men have become the first team to have lifted the cup for the second time having won in 2012 against the Sri Lankans. Today they have given the Caribbean region a hat-trick of triumphs in 2016. What a year for West Indies.

Those are the facts. The how is all the more extraordinary. Set 156 to beat England and win the championship, West Indies found themselves needing 19 off the last over, to be bowled by Ben Stokes. Marlon Samuels, who had steered the chase, was on 85. But he was at the wrong end. This was all down to Carlos Brathwaite, the all-rounder who emerged on the Test tour of Australia just a few months ago.

Six. Six. Six. Six. Job done in the first four balls of the 19th over and West Indies had raised the Cup with two balls to spare. The first one was a poor ball from Stokes, down leg, clubbed over deep backward square. Then a length ball slammed down the ground over long-on. Then over long-off. One run needed. Push a single? Why bother when you have the power, like Brathwaite, to crunch another six over the leg side. The West Indies players streamed onto the field in jubilation. They had not only done it. They had done it in style.

Earlier Joe Root top-scored for England with 54 off 36 balls as England set West Indies 156 to win, and then took the wickets of Johnson Charles and danger man Chris Gayle in the second over of the West Indies reply. David Willey also put in an impressive all-round effort, hitting 21 off 14 balls - with two sixes - before taking 3-20 with the ball as England seemingly seemed set to win.

But Samuels and Brathwaite took the game to a final over, and despite a lofty 19 runs needed, Brathwaite blasted Stokes for four sixes to break English hearts and spark West Indian celebrations.

With the curtains not fallen on the T20 world cup in which India was tipped to be the favorites but they failed at semifinal stage where the West Indians had spoilt the home team’s celebrations. Earlier it was England who had beaten New Zealand to take on the might hitters of West Indies in the finals. Ironically both India and New Zealand had both lost by seven wickets in their semifinal encounters.

Earlier during the championship. Some of the other top teams like Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had been defeated to deprive them of any chances. It was Pakistan who was also beaten by India in 10 of their 11 encounters in various world cup encounters.

India’s top-order batsman Virat Kohli was named as the men’s player of the tournament at the conclusion of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 at Eden Gardens here. As Virat was not in town his trophy and award was accepted by Sourav Ganguly. This is the second successive time Kohli has won the award, after he was also named as the player of the 2014 tournament in Bangladesh following his 319 runs which helped India reach the final. Kohli was the unanimous choice of a select group of former cricket stars and highly respected commentators following his sensational form in tournament, which helped India reach the semi-finals.

Reacting to the announcement, Kohli said: “Although I’m disappointed that we were not able to make it through to the final and win the ICC World Twenty20 title on home soil, I'm proud to be named player of the tournament.

Meanwhile facing criticism for Pakistan’s dismal show in the ICC World T20, Shahid Afridi on Sunday stepped down as captain of the T20 team but will continue to play in the shortest format of the game. The Afridi-led Pakistan failed make it to the semifinals of the World Twenty20 in India, where his comments about receiving more love in India also drew the ire of former players.