West Indies won what was a difficult match to predict to capture the T20 world title against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
It was a match which saw wickets tumble early on as West Indies won the toss and chose to bat. Angelo Matthews bowled superbly to restrict the batting side in the opening periods. Jonathon Charles went early on for a duck after five balls and the explosive Chris Gayle went not long after, scoring three from sixteen deliveries. West Indies opening batsmen struggled to deal with the unpredictability of Ajantha Mendis, who finished the match taking four wickets with the loss of just twelve runs.
At a pivotal moment when wickets were falling and the West Indies were moving at a slow run rate, Marlon Samuels came in to produce a fine innings. Smashing six sixes and three fours, Samuels finished on 78 before being caught by Jeevan Mendis. Dwayne Bravo chipped in with nineteen runs in as many balls and Darren Sammy hit twenty-six not out from fifteen balls but ultimately it was Samuels’ display which rescued what was set to be an extremely low total. Sri Lankan captain, Mahela Jayawardene would have been disappointed to see his side concede one hundred and five runs from the final ten overs when it looked like they would be chasing a low score.
West Indies finished on 137-6, a competitive total but one which seemed achievable for Sri Lanka. The home favourites got off to a bad start as the talented Dilshan went for nothing after just three balls. Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, and Sangakkara appeared to be steadying the ship until the latter was caught from the bowling of Samuel Badree and went for twenty-two. The next four Sri Lankan batsmen only managed eleven runs between them as both Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera were run out – Sammy taking the other two wickets.
After the Sri Lankan captain went, West Indies made short work of the following batsmen with Sunil Narine finishing with three wickets. Only Kulasekara offered any form of resistance managing to score twenty-six from thirteen deliveries. What first seemed to be well within Sri Lanka’s reach, looked more and more unlikely and it was all over when Dwayne Bravo caught Malinga in the deep from the bowling of Narine. West Indies had won by thirty-six runs and the atmosphere in the stadium was subdued as the home crowd were left waiting for a first Sri Lankan tournament win since the World Cup in 1996 – this was their fourth defeat in as many finals since then.
Marlon Samuels was the man the West Indies have to thank as they secured what seemed early on to be an unlikely victory. Since then Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has announced his resignation as captain of the T20 side. Shane Watson’s impressive tournament for Australia saw him rewarded as being named Player of the Tournament.