Silence and celebration at the Premadasa
The red herring
Sri Lanka's figures read 3-1-2-1 after three overs of the final. Only one of the two runs had come off the bat, and it was not Chris Gayle's; he had faced seven deliveries for no runs. Had the scoreboard not been there to scream the truth, no one would have believed it was actually happening.
Marlon Samuels might as well have been batting at a different venue than the Premadasa, considering he swung six sixes compared to the one the rest of the team managed. The first one was almost as unbelievable as West Indies' score at the start. A ball after Lasith Malinga had nearly got through Dwayne Bravo's defence with a sharp yorker, Samuels made room outside leg stump to a full delivery and sent it rocketing high over deep midwicket.
First ball of his spell, and the seventh ball of Sri Lanka's chase, Ravi Rampaul ripped one into Tillakaratne Dilshan just short of a length. Even as Dilshan shaped up to defend, the ball changed direction alarmingly, and straightened away from the bat to uproot the off stump. Rampaul moved his finger to his lips, as the crowd promptly fell silent.
The unlucky moment
The reverse-strokes, reverse-sweeps, reverse-paddles, reverse-pulls, had worked wonderfully for Mahela Jayawardene during the semi-final against Pakistan as he expertly sized up what would suit the difficult pitch. In the final, his attempted reverse-pull off Sunil Narine only lobbed up to backward point.
The short-lived resistance
For one over, Nuwan Kulasekara gave the packed Premadasa hope and its voice back. With 66 needed off five overs and three wickets remaining, the crowd had fallen silent. He slogged Rampaul twice over midwicket, cut him behind point and for good measure, thick-edged him past a diving third man. Twenty-two runs came off the over, and Premadasa believed once again, if only for one over.
When Samuels dismissed Ajantha Mendis, the ninth Sri Lanka wicket to fall, some West Indies fielders rushed to him, and started brushing him all over his body. It appeared as if they were trying to dust Samuels' clothes. The scene continued for several seconds before they broke away laughing.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo