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Rediff.com  » Cricket » How 'Champions' West Indies created history at Eden

How 'Champions' West Indies created history at Eden

April 03, 2016 23:43 IST

IMAGE: The West Indies players celebrate with the trophy after winning the World T20 title, in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

West Indies created history by becoming the first nation to win the ICC World T20 twice with a dramatic four-wicket victory against England riding on Carlos Brathwaite's magical finish at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Sunday.

- Scorecard

Chasing a tricky target of 156, it was Marlon Samuels, who did an encore of the 2012 final which Darren Sammy's men had won, hitting a magnificent 85 not out off 66 balls with nine boundaries and two huge sixes.

However it was the unheralded giant Brathwaite, who showed why he commanded such a record price in the Indian Premier League auctions from Delhi Daredvils scoring 34 off only 10 balls as he hit the four most important maximums of his short cricketing career. He hit pacer Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over of the innings to leave England stunned.

IMAGE: Carlos Brathwaite celebrates with his West Indies team mates after winning the World T20 final against England, in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

With 19 runs needed off the final over, Brathwaite hit the first ball behind square for a six and the next was hit over long-on for a six and the third over long-off to basically bring down the equation 1 off 3 balls before finishing off with another maximum over midwicket.

The entire stadium save a few English fans erupted in joy as the West Indies team members rushed to the field to congratulate the heroes.

It was one of the most beautiful sights as the women's team also joined their men as the danced to the now popular Bravo rap of 'Champion' in unison. They took a lap of Honour from an Eden Gardens that gave them a standing ovation.

The West Indies despite all their problems with their Cricket Board have completed a grand treble -- winning the Under-19 World Cup, and conquering the women's and men's World title at the ICC World T20 championships.

This was also the first time that a target in excess of 150 was chased in a World T20 final.

IMAGE: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World T20 final against England, in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

The pitch had good pace and bounce but it also had some  purchase for the spinners as leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who claimed one for 23 in four overs, was fantastic as he did not give a single
boundary in the first three overs.

While he had a good time with the ball, Dwayne Bravo (25) struggled to get going in the middle overs save the six off Rashid before being out playing a horrible shot. The partnership for the fourth wicket was of 75 runs but West Indies were still in trouble at 86 for four.

The turning point was the 15th over bowled by the normally disciplined Liam Plunkett which yielded 18 runs as Samuels finally gave the charge hitting him for two sixes off full length deliveries apart from a boundary as West Indies for the first time raised visions of victory.

IMAGE: Carlos Brathwaite (right) celebrates with Marlon Samuels after taking West Indies to victory in the World T20 final against England, in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

However, he lost the dangerous Andre Russell (1) in the next over when Stokes took his third catch and Willey got his second wicket. It became 107 for six as Darren Sammy's (2) horrible tournament came to an end with an atrocious shot.

But Brathwaite let Samuels set the stage for him before he finished the final leg of the chase with utter disdain leaving the Englishmen horrified, with four back to back sixes.

Earlier, West Indies bowlers effected a middle-order collapse to restrict England to a decent 155 for nine despite Joe Root's splendid half-century after Sammy won the toss.

It was leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who inflicted the initial damage as he claimed two for 16 in four overs with the new ball while Dwayne Bravo (3-37) and Carlos Brathwaite (3-23) kept chipping  away at the wickets while triggering a collapse during the back-10. The last five overs produced a meagre 40 runs.

Just when Root (54 in 36 balls) along with Jos Buttler (36), looked set for an imposing total, Bravo and Brathwaite wreaked havoc.

England were cruising 84 for 3 in 11.1 overs with Root and Buttler having added 61 runs already but were soon reduced to 111 for 7, losing four wickets for 27 runs within next the three overs.

IMAGE: Ben Stokes reacts after being hits for a six in the final over by Carlos Brathwaite of West Indies. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Before the collapse occured, the boundaries were flowing at that time when Brathwaite dismissed Buttler. The batsman tried to pull the bowler only to be caught by Bravo at deep midwicket.

Ben Stokes (13) and Root, who had hit seven crisp boundaries had added 26 runs together when Bravo bowled a sharp boouncer to get rid of the former.

Moeen Ali (0), who has perennial problem with short ball tried to tuck one fired in his rib cage to Denesh Ramdin but was caught down the leg side.

Root, who was getting edgy then played an uncharacteristic lap shot to be caught at short fine-leg as England never recovered from the blows.

England though benifitted from David Willey's cameo of 14-ball 21 which helped them get past the 150-run mark.

Already charged up after their women's team's win, the West Indies set the ball rolling as Badree bowled a perfect top spinner that breached Jason Roy's defences in the very first over.

There was more in store for the rampaging Windies when  Russell's sloppy bowling waiting to be dispatched by Alex Hales (1) found Badree at short fine leg.

West Indies had their gameplan straight against the spin-wary Englishmen by sticking to Badree up front and the leg-spinner bowled a rare wicket maiden in his third over, getting the key wicket of captain Eoin Morgan.

Continuing his lean patch with the bat, the English skipper was deceived by a googly and England were staring at doom at 23 for three in the fifth over.

IMAGE: The West Indies players celebrate after winning the World T20 title, in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Desperately needing a partnership, England found Butler to repair the damage with Root.

On a track that looked batting friendly with little in it for the spinners, the duo cleverly rotated the strikes with the odd four or six in between to step up their run-rate.

Buttler was not there to be bogged down by the Windies and exploded against Benn in the 11th over with two clean hits soaring into the crowd. But just as England looked to roll on there was another breakthrough for the Windies in the form of the big-hitting Buttler who was caught at deep midwicket.

For England's bowling unit, the hero certainly would left-arm seamer David Willey, who had phenomenal figures of three for 20 in four overs with an astounding 13 dot balls as he increased pressure on the Caribbean batsmen before Stokes frittered it away.

Eoin Morgan took a calculative risk introducing part-time off-spinner Root in the second over and it turned out to be a masterstroke. Root snuffed out Chris Gayle (4) and Johnson Charles (0), both trying to hit a six and caught by Ben Stokes in the deep.

From five for two it became 11 for three as last game's 'Man of The Match' Lendl Simmons (0) was caught plumb in-front by Willey.

In the final over of the Powerplay, Marlon Samuels (27) spanked three boundaries off Chris Jordan to take the score to 37. He had a close shave when he edged one off Liam Plunkett to Buttler which Rod Tucker had given out. But replays showed that the England wicketkeeper did not take the catch cleanly and the batsman got a reprieve.

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