Tuesday 26 September 2017

Samuels delivers glory to Windies

Derek Pringle

What a turn-up, though Sri Lanka's supporters will have found a more potent expression to describe the performance after the West Indies beat their team at its own game in Colombo to become World T20 Champions.

Chasing 138, after West Indies had played one of the more schizophrenic T20 innings of the tournament, Sri Lanka could not find a solution to their opponent's spinners.

Keeping batsmen quiet by keeping them guessing which way the ball will go is Sri Lanka's modus operandi, but in Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree, West Indies possessed their own sorcerers after Marlon Samuels' remarkable knock of 78 had given them a total to bowl at.

On a bare pitch, Narine took 3-9 and Badree 1-24. Rarely can Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have looked so constrained by spin.

Few gave West Indies a chance unless Chris Gayle fired, which he didn't, making a very slow three before falling lbw to Ajantha Mendis. Maybe Sri Lanka just don't cope with big finals -- this was the fourth they have lost consecutively.

Major

It was the West Indies' first major trophy since the 1979 World Cup.

"It feels really, really good and we're definitely going to cherish this moment," said skipper Darren Sammy. "We're going to live it every day of our lives. This is for the Caribbean people. They've craving success for a long time, so they'll party from Jamaica down to Guyana and we know how to party so they'll need a lot of bar tenders.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully this will be the start of something good for the West Indies team."

Samuels was the key figure -- his was an innings of two halves, one slow one frantic. But if he and Dwayne Bravo were over-fastidious in rebuilding the innings, Samuels certainly made up for it later on with a slew of sixes.

His team were 32-2 after 10 overs, and looking frozen in the headlights, but Samuels bided his time before getting stuck into Lasith Malinga, who got his length horribly wrong as he was struck for three sixes in one over, and two in another.

Samuels' mauling of Malinga gave West Indies belief that something odd might happen. And with Narine, Badree and Samuels the bowler threatening, it did. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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