World Twenty20: Calypso in Colombo as Marlon Samuels stuns Sri Lanka to seal trophy for West Indies

 

R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

It might be pushing it a bit to suggest that West Indies erased 10 years of pain in a single match last night.

But their extraordinary victory in the World Twenty20 final, propelled by an equally extraordinary innings from Marlon Samuels, will reignite passion in the Caribbean where supporters had become wearily accustomed to failure, mediocrity, internal bickering and everything that cricket there is supposed not to be about. The game had become a kind of anti-calypso.

The defeat of Sri Lanka by 36 runs was a spectacular piece of party pooping, not least because the host nation were already hanging out the bunting and arranging the drinks a quarter of the way through the match. At last, they were destined to win one of the game's majors after three losing finals in five years.

After 10 overs, having chosen to bat first, West Indies had prodded and hobbled their way to 32 for 2. Their batting until that point had been an embarrassment, almost as if they were trying to save a Test match on the last afternoon of the fifth day.

There seemed no way they could post a total that was either challenging or acceptable. And then along came Samuels.

He had reached 20 from 32 balls after coming in to face the sixth ball of the first over. This was, on reflection, a prime example of surveying the scene. Having surveyed, boy, did he like what he saw. His next 58 runs took 24 balls, his last 52 a mere 19.

There were six sixes, over cover, long on and mid-wicket, the last of which went for 108 metres about 10 times quicker than Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, cricket-crazy both, can travel the distance.

By that time, Samuels had nothing to lose. Somebody had to go for broke, but what style and panache he displayed. His hitting is somehow purer than that of Chris Gayle, his slightly more illustrious colleague.

"This is a victory for the entire Caribbean," said Samuels. "I decided I had to go when I did because there was no point in waiting any longer."

But it was a victory for Samuels too. A promising but unfulfilled career seemed to be down the pan when he was banned for two years for associating with bookmakers.

He came back determined to atone and a hugely successful Test series in England earlier this year was the first sign that he meant business. Now this incredible innnings.

Gayle was one of the early failures last night, setting out his stall as he had in the semi-final, and preparing to cash in later. It looked an unwise policy when he was beaten by a straight one from Ajantha Mendis and lbw for three from 16 precious balls.

Mendis posed difficulties throughout and conceded only 12 runs from his four overs. But this was offset by Lasath Malinga, whose yorkers were summarily despatched by Samuels.

He was out at the start of the 18th over to the teenage spinner Akila Dananjaya when Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, stepped briskly to the mark as reminder that he is more than the non-playing captain he is sometimes portrayed as.

But a total of 137 still looked vulnerable even on a pitch which had already had 60 overs bowled on it, with the women's final having been played earlier in the day. There was no rush and Sri Lanka knew it.

The loss of Tillekeratne Dilshan in the first over merely brought together Mahele Jayawardene, their captain, with Kumar Sangakkara, their vice-captain, Sri Lankan giants. Like Samuels they too observed the scene but the pitch had slowed considerably and West Indies had enough slow men in their arsenal to make it count.

The leg-spinner Samuel Badree removed Sangakkara, caught on the leg- side boundary, and Jayawardene having already been dropped twice reverse-swept the brilliant Sunil Narine to point. Narine took three wickets for nine runs in 3.4 overs on a pitch that he loved.

Sammy said: "This is for the people of the Caribbean. We have been showing signs for two years without winning much but we came here with real hope. We've got some experienced Twenty20 players and that showed. This is a moment to cherish forever."

Jayawardene resigned the Twenty20 Sri Lanka captaincy immediately after the match. But he was as magnanimous as ever in defeat.

"It hurts to lose another final," he said. "But West Indies were better than us today. We had a good start but then Marlon took a gamble and it came off. I am so sorry for our fans but West Indies deserved to win."

What this will mean for West Indies cricket going forward is difficult to judge. But it was a triumph against the odds by cricketers who dug deep to achieve it. Cricket in the Caribbean might just be back.

WEST INDIES 137-6 SRI LANKA 101

West Indies win by 36 runs

Colombo scoreboard

(One Day): West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs

West Indies won toss

WEST INDIES

J Charles c Kulasekara b Mathews 0

5 balls

C H Gayle lbw b B A W Mendis 3

16 balls

M N Samuels c B M A J Mendis b M K P A D Perera 78

56 balls 6 sixes 3 fours

D J Bravo lbw b B A W Mendis 19

19 balls 1 six

K A Pollard c M K P A D Perera b B A W Mendis 2

4 balls

A D Russell lbw b B A W Mendis 0

1 balls

*D J G Sammy not out 26

15 balls 3 fours

†D Ramdin not out 4

4 balls

Extras (lb2 w3) 5

Total (for 6, 20 overs) 137

Fall: 1-0, 2-14, 3-73, 4-87, 5-87, 6-108.

Did Not Bat: S P Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree.

Bowling: A D Mathews 4-1-11-1, K M D N Kulasekara 3-0-22-0, S L Malinga 4-0-54-0, B A W Mendis 4-0-12-4, M K P A D Perera 3-0-16-1, B M A J Mendis 2-0-20-0.

SRI LANKA

*D P M D Jayawardene c Sammy b Narine 33

36 balls 2 fours

T M Dilshan b Rampaul 0

3 balls

†K C Sangakkara c Pollard b Badree 22

26 balls 2 fours

A D Mathews b Sammy 1

5 balls

B M A J Mendis run out 3

3 balls

N L T C Perera run out 3

5 balls

H D R L Thirimanne c Charles b Sammy 4

7 balls

K M D N Kulasekara c Badree b Narine 26

13 balls 1 six 3 fours

S L Malinga c Bravo b Narine 5

13 balls

B A W Mendis c Bravo b Samuels 1

2 balls

M K P A D Perera not out 0

0 balls

Extras (lb2 nb1) 3

Total (18.4 overs) 101

Fall: 1-6, 2-48, 3-51, 4-60, 5-61, 6-64, 7-69, 8-96, 9-100.

Bowling: S Badree 4-0-24-1, R Rampaul 3-0-31-1, M N Samuels 4-0-15-1, C H Gayle 2-0-14-0, S P Narine 3.4-0-9-3, D J G Sammy 2-0-6-2.

Umpires: Aleem Dar and S J A Taufel.

Facts in figures

4: Sri Lanka's fourth loss in the last five years in limited overs final

1979: The last time West Indies won a world title, the one-day World Cup

36: The winning margin was the second largest of any T20 final or semi

6: The number of sixes hit by Marlon Samuels in his innings of 78 off 56 balls yesterday

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible