Carlos Brathwaite helps West Indies claim World T20 crown
An impressive all-round display from Carlos Brathwaite helped West Indies lift their second World Twenty20 title, after they beat England by four wickets, with two balls to spare, at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
West Indies captain, Darren Sammy, won the toss and put the opposition in to bat first. His opening bowlers - Samuel Badree and Andre Russell - dismissed England's inform openers in the first three overs. By the fifth over, England had lost their captain Eoin Morgan as well and they were struggling at 23 for three. Joe Root and Jos Buttler dropped anchor and began rebuilding the England innings. The duo added 61 for the fourth wicket in 6.4 overs.
Brathwaite, in the 12th over, dismissed the dangerous Buttler, as England looked to raise the tempo of their innings. Three-overs later, Brathwaite struck again and dismissed Root, who gloved a premeditated scoop shot to short fine leg.
England was in disarray - in the 15th over - as they lost three wickets in a span of five balls. Brathwaite had claimed three wickets and conceded just 23 in his four-over spell. The middle-order collapse restricted them to just 155 on a batsmen-friendly track.
Like England, West Indies too was off to a horror start with the bat and lost three wickets - including Chris Gayle and semi-final hero Lendl Simmons - in the first three overs. The early collapse forced Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo to adopt a cautious approach, as they looked to rebuild a tattered West Indies innings.
The duo scored at just 6.52 runs an over during the 11.3 overs they were together. But their 75-run stand for the fourth wicket laid the platform for a late onslaught. When Bravo departed in the 14th over, West Indies required 70 runs from 36 balls.
Samuels tore into Liam Plunkett and smashed him for two sixes and a four in the 15th. But, just when West Indies looked to switch gears, they lost Russell and Sammy in the 16th. The double-blow left West Indies with 45 runs to get from 24 balls.
Samuels and Brathwaite managed just three boundaries in the 17th, 18th and 19th over. The cautious approach, left their side with 19 runs to get from the last over, which was bowled by Ben Stokes. Brathwaite tore into Stokes and clubbed him for four-consecutive sixes to seal the deal. 24 runs scored in the last over, is the most scored by any team in the last over to win a T20I.
"Want to give God thanks, that was an amazing knock from Marlon," Braithwaite, the Star of the match, said. "He took responsibility and played a fantastic knock. Can't really express how much of a top knock that was. The U-19s did it, the girls did it, and now us."
With the win, West Indies becomes the first team to win the cup for the second time. In 2012, they beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs. Sammy lauded his players for proving their critics wrong. "We have a few match winners, nobody give us a chance, every game somebody stepped up - good to see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup. Shows the T20 depth we have in the Caribbean, hopefully we will continue to improve," he said.