West Indies crowned T20 World Cup 2016 champions

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West Indies crowned T20 World Cup 2016 champions
The winnings men's and women's West Indies cricket teams with their World T20 trophies.

It has been a remarkable journey for West Indies as they now hold a treble, the Under-19 World Cup, the women’s World Twenty20 and the men’s World Twenty20, all at the same time.

If cricket needed a soundtrack, this was the one. Dwayne ‘DJ’ Bravo’s song reflects the West Indies’ passion. There can be no better men who play the sport with passion than the West Indies. They play it for the pure joy of playing it. And that best describes their philosophy they take to the sport, and what makes it the beauty of the sport.

These were absolutely incredible, incredible scenes at the majestic Eden Gardens, tough to perhaps, sum up in words. After the West Indies women had wrapped their first ever World Twenty20 earlier in the day, the men joined them on the night to pull off a heist to lay their hands on a second World Twenty20 title.

As all the glitter fell on them after captain Darren Sammy had laid his hands on the trophy, they were joined by the women’s team as the danced to the tune of ‘Champion.’ Even the Emirates Airline hostesses were bitten by the bug and joined them in the jig.

It has been a remarkable journey for West Indies as they now hold a treble, the Under-19 World Cup, the women’s World Twenty20 and the men’s World Twenty20, all at the same time.

But that treble almost didn’t look possible after West Indies’ innings had mirrored that of England.  They spluttered after Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo had all gone, leaving them in disarray. Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo did the repair work as they England held all the aces. The duo had put on 75 from 69 balls but they were still far from it.

The equation had come to 38 required from the last three overs and Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite were running the singles and doubles hard after England were cutting it off on the field. Brathwaite then comes up with a sneaky shot for a crucial boundary as the West Indies reach 129 for six in 18 overs.

It was 27 needed from 12 balls now and bracing up for a fight to the finish.

Then, 19 runs and six balls stood between England’s and West Indies’ paths to glory. And Brathwaite turned out to be the unlikeliest of heroes by smoking four consecutive sixes off Stokes to cap an incredible night.

Stokes was distraught and so was the rest of the team, but one can take nothing away from England for having come this far after where they were during the 50-over World Cup.

Earlier, they didn’t look like they would go the distance but England just about managed to get out of a really deep hole to post what was to be a decent total.

At the Eden Gardens which was packed to the rafters and like it always does, irrespective of who is playing, West Indies captain Darren Sammy had won the toss and told his opposite number Eoin Morgan to take first strike, especially with the dew factor coming into the picture later on.

And Sammy’s men responded by pushing England’s backs to the wall after opener Jason Roy had gone for nought off the second ball of the match after which Hales joined his partner back in the dug-out. England were reduced to eight for two, when captain Eoin Morgan joined Joe Root out in the middle.

England’s two experienced men weathered the storm just a little bit before Morgan went, leaving England at 23 for three. It looked a sorry state for England but Jos Buttler and Joe Root embarked on a damage limitation exercise.

England thought they were more or less out of it but Buttler’s dismissal meant they were four down for 84. He had crafted a fine 36 from 22 balls and had looked good for more.

Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali couldn’t do much as West Indies held all the aces. As everything kept falling apart around him, Root brought out another crucial innings from out of the bag. His 54 was England’s centre piece after they were down in the dumps.

A minor resistance by the England tail meant they reached 155 for nine in their knock.

 

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