West Indies crowned World Twenty20 champions
A spirited West Indies lifted their maiden World Twenty20 trophy with a brilliant 36-run win over hosts Sri Lanka in the final at the Premedasa Stadium here Sunday.
West Indies bowled out Sri Lanka for 101 runs with eight balls to spare to lift a World Cup trophy after 33 years and an International Cricket Council (ICC) trophy after a gap of eight years.
West Indies' last win in an ICC tournament was in the Champions Trophy in 2004 and their last world title was the 50-over World Cup in 1979.
On Sunday, much was expected from Chris Gayle, who has been in a terrific form in the tournament, to break West Indies' long wait for a world title. But Gayle (3) disappointed by departing early as the West Indies made a slow start after skipper Darren Sammy opted to bat.
However, it was a brilliant 56-ball 78 by Marlon Samuels that took the Caribbean side to a modest 137 for six in 20 overs. Samuels was also adjudged as Man of the Match.
Sri Lanka made a poor start and despite valuable efforts from skipper Mahela Jayawardene (33) and Kumar Sangakkara (22) they suffered a middle-order collapse before being bundled out for 101 runs with eight balls to spare.
For Sri Lanka it was their fourth loss in the final of a major tournament. Jayawardene and Sangakkara have been part of all the four losses, 2007 World Cup, 2009 and 2012 World T20 and 2011 World Cup.
Spinner Sunil Narine was the pick of the Caribbean bowlers picking three for nine and skipper Darren Sammy got two for six.
Chasing 138, the hosts lost Tillekaratne Dilshan in the second over after he was squared up by a brilliant delivery from Ravi Rampaul (1/31) as the off-stump went cartwheeling towards the skipper.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara tried to resurrect the innings with their 42-run stand for the second wicket. But after Samuel Badree struck to remove Sangakkara with Kieron Pollard taking a low catch in the deep, Sri Lanka suffered a massive collapse.
From 48 for two, Sri Lanka lost the remaining eight wickets for just 52 runs. Nuwan Kulasekara came up with a cameo of 13-ball 26 but it came too late.
Earlier, West Indies made a poor and a slow start with both Johnson Charles and Gayle (3) back in the pavilion inside six overs for just 14 runs on board.
But Samuels stayed on and took his time before launching him into the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Samuels smashed six sixes and three fours in his 56-ball innings.
Samuels and Dwayne Bravo (14) were involved in a 59-run stand for the third wicket that helped the West Indies recover from a poor start.
Having scored just 32 runs in the first 10 overs, West Indies managed 106 in the last 10 thanks to the late charge by Sammy, who remained unbeaten on 26 from 15 balls.
Samuel's six of the five sixes came off speedster Lasith Malinga, who conceded 54 runs off his four overs. Ajantha Mendis returned figures of four for 12.