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West Indies lifts World T20 crown
COLOMBO—Marlon Samuels produced a brilliant allround performance to guide West Indies to a 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 cricket final yesterday. Samuels hit six sixes and three fours in his 78 off 56 balls to lift West Indies to 137-6 after they were reduced to 87-5. Samuels then bowled a tidy four-over spell of 1-15 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 101 in 18.4 overs.
Offspinner Sunil Narine grabbed three wickets for nine runs from 3.4 overs and captain Darren Sammy picked up two wickets for six runs in two overs with Sri Lanka losing their way through the innings to the despair of 35,000 home fans at R Premadasa Stadium.
Ajantha Mendis took four wickets for 12 runs for Sri Lanka and finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 15 but still ended up on the losing side as West Indies won their first major title since clinching the Champions Trophy in 2004. “This moment we’re going to live forever,” Sammy said.
“The mission was to win the Twenty20 World Cup and the belief when we left the Caribbean has pulled us through. Today we were down and out but our never say die attitude came out.” Sri Lanka slipped up in their run chase when seamer Ravi Rampaul had Tillakaratne Dilshan clean bowled off his first delivery in the second over.
The experienced batting pair of Jayawardene (33) and Kumar Sangakkara (22) found it difficult to pace their innings on a slow wicket as Sammy applied pressure through a four-pronged spin attack. With the required run rate steadily increasing, Sangakkara tried to up the scoring but holed out in the deep in the tenth over and Angelo Mathews (1) followed him in the next over when he, too, tried an extravagant scoop and was bowled by Sammy.
West Indies turned the match with four wickets in the space of nine runs to reduce the home team from 60 for three wickets to 69 for seven. The slide began with Jayawardene, who was twice dropped on two and 27, but offered a tame catch to Sammy at point while Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera were run out while attempting needless runs.
Sammy then had Lahiru Thirimanne (4) caught in the deep before Nuwan Kulasekara (26 off 13 balls) hit back briefly by smashing Rampaul for three fours and a six in one over until he fell to Narine. Earlier, Samuels ensured West Indies had at least a modest total to defend with some powerful hitting after Sammy won the toss and elected to bat.
Mendis shut out West Indies’ hopes of putting up a big total when he had dangerman Chris Gayle trapped leg before wicket for just three after the lefthander struggled for 16 balls to get going. The spinner polished off the top order with the wickets of Dwayne Bravo (19), Kieron Pollard (2) and Andre Russell (0).
But Samuels hit five of his sixes off expensive fast bowler Lasith Malinga (0-54 in four overs) before he was dismissed in the 17th over. Seamers Mathews (1-11) and Kulasekara (0-22) bowled superbly upfront and never allowed Gayle to let loose. Mathews bowled a wicket-maiden first over when he had Johnson Charles caught at mid-off and Gayle was well tied down by Kulasekara at the other end before Mendis removed the dangerman.
Samuels also got a life on 20 when Kulasekara was unable to hold a difficult catch but Sri Lanka fielded well and conceded only one boundary in the first 11 overs. Samuels finally gave West Indies some hope in the 13th over by hoisting Malinga for three big sixes in one over and hitting two more off the paceman’s fourth over.
Samuels added 59 runs for the third wicket with Dwayne Bravo off 49 balls before Mendis had three wickets in four balls, as West Indies stumbled on 87 for five. Captain Sammy lifted the scoring by remaining unbeaten on 26 off 15 balls, scoring 15 in the last over off Kulasekara.
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