Darren Sammy’s West Indies crowned World Twenty20 champions

COLOMBO, Oct 7: Darren Sammy’s West Indies were crowned the new World Twenty20 champions on Sunday after a 36-run victory over hosts Sri Lanka in a dramatic final in Colombo on Sunday.

The West Indies, restricted to 137-6 after electing to bat, hit back to bowl Sri Lanka out for 101 and silence a sell-out crowd of 35,000 at the Premadasa stadium that included President Mahinda Rajapakse.

It was the first world title for the West Indies since the 50-over World Cup triumph under Clive Lloyd in 1979, and handed Sri Lanka their fourth defeat in a major final since 2007.

Spinner Sunil Narine grabbed three wickets for nine runs and Sammy took two as the hosts, who had excelled in the field in the first session, undid the good work with irresponsible batting in the second.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene survived two dropped catches to top-score with 33, while tailender Nuwan Kulasekara hit 26 off 13 balls, including three fours and a six in the 16th over of seamer Ravi Rampaul.

Sri Lanka’s unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis had taken four wickets for 12 runs as the West Indies collapsed once Chris Gayle was removed in the sixth over for only three runs.

Marlon Samuels was the only batsman to defy the spot-on Sri Lankan bowling, making 78 off 56 balls with the help of six sixes and three boundaries.

His brilliant strokeplay helped the West Indies add 105 runs in the last 10 overs after they were reduced to 32-2 from the first 10.

Sri Lanka lost opener Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over before Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara added 42 for the second wicket.

The hosts were cruising at 48-1 in the 10th over when the West Indies bounced back by claiming four wickets for 13 runs.

Sangakkara holed out in the deep off Samuel Badree for 22, Angelo Mathews was bowled by Darren Sammy, Jayawardene was caught off a reverse sweep and Jeevan Mendis ran himself out.

Sri Lanka had taken an early grip on the match by keeping the West Indies down to 14-2 in the first six powerplay overs after Johnson Charles had been dismissed off the fifth ball of the match.

The West Indies had to wait till the 19th delivery to score their first run with the bat and Gayle needed nine balls to get off the mark.

The left-hander struggled for 16 deliveries to make three before he was trapped leg-before by Mendis in the sixth over.

It was not till the 12th over that the West Indies, who had pummelled Australia in the semi-finals, showed the first signs of aggression as Dwayne Bravo pulled 19-year-old spinner Akila Dananjaya for a six over mid-wicket.

Samuels responded by smashing three sixes in the next over of sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga, two of them in succession over mid-wicket and extra-cover.

Bravo helped Samuels add 59 runs for the third wicket when he was given out leg-before by Australian umpire Simon Taufel, even though replays showed the ball go off the bat on to the pad.

The 17th over, bowled by Malinga, produced 19 runs as Samuels smashed a boundary and two consecutive sixes to leave the frontline bowler with unflattering figures of 0-54 from his four overs.

Sri Lanka have now lost two successive 50-over World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011 and two World Twenty20 finals in 2009 and 2012.

‘This title will revive West Indies’

West Indies captain Darren Sammy hailed Sunday’s World Twenty20 triumph, their first world title in 33 years, as the start of a new golden chapter for Caribbean cricket.

“This is just the start, we will go far,” Sammy said, after the 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in a dramatic final in Colombo. “This is the start of something special for the West Indies team and the fans back home.”

“I will always cherish this moment. The team has been through a lot in the past few years, but there was belief amongst us that we could win the World T20.

“Today we were down and out, but our never-say-die attitude came out. We expected Sri Lanka to come hard at us and they did, but we never gave up and that helped us win.”

Sammy said people back home will celebrate the win wildly because they had craved for years for a success like this.

“From Jamaica to Guyana the party must have started,” he said. “And I tell you we know how to party. I am sure they will need a lot of bartenders out there tonight.”

Sammy showered praise on middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels, who engineered the victory with a superb 78 off 56 balls that included six sixes and three boundaries.

“He has been brilliant in this tournament and lived up to our expectations,” said Sammy of Samuels, who served a two-year-ban from 2008 to 2010 for alleged links with bookmakers.

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