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 win by 36 runs

Colombo scoreboard

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

West Indies won toss


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.


*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

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'