West Indies captures Twenty20 World Cup crown
Colombo, Sri Lanka (4E Sports) – West Indies recovered from a poor batting performance to beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs to romp away with the Twenty20 World Cup title Sunday at the packed R Premadasa Stadium.
Marlon Samuels scored 78 on 56 balls, smashing three boundaries and six sixes to destroy the confidence of Sri Lanka strike bowler Lasith Malinga and lead West Indies to its first title since winning the 2004 Champions Trophy.
“He (Samuels) has been wonderful since he came back. I hope he keeps doing the good work in the coming days. The two years he missed, two years of international runs. He’s scored so much since he’s been back,” West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said.
Sammy said the title will usher a new beginning for West Indies cricket. “I can’t say we are back but this is a step in the right direction,” Sammy said.
Samuels’ outstanding play rejuvenated West Indies, which looked headed for collapse after losing Chris Gayle (3) and Johnson Charles (0).
“Marlon batted very well, it was outstanding batting in a pressure situation,” said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who was not new to defeat as he played in each of the team’s finals losses in 2007 and 2011 World Cup and in the T20 final loss to Pakistan in 2009.
“He played some really good shots. It was one of those days when the momentum shifted and it was pretty tough to get back in it again,” he lamented.
Jayawardene (33) and Kumar Sangakkara (22) got the Sri Lankans going after after the early loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan (0) but they slumped from 48-1 to just 69-7 in the space of five overs.
Samuel Badree (1-24), Darren Sammy (2-6) and Sunil Narine (3-9) all picked up wickets during Sri Lanka’s collapse before Jeevan Mendis (3) and Thisara Perera (3) ran out of space in five deliveries.
“Thank you to everyone who supported us. The tournament is for the fans. The Caribbean people wanted this. This moment we’re going to live forever. We went through a lot in the last two years,” Sammy said.