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The tournament was a huge success, following the Caribbean's 50-over fiasco World Cup in March and April. It had everything required for top quality entertainment, including the world's best players and packed out stadiums. The tournament got underway with a stunning display of power hitting from Chris Gayle against South Africa. He clouted 117 off 57 balls, including 10 sixes. Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini- nobody was spared. If this wasn't enough, Yuvraj Singh achieved cricketing nirvana by hitting England's Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over, during a barnstorming and unlikely 12-ball fifty. It wasn't entirely all batsmen-led action however, as Brett Lee claimed the first hat-trick in Twenty20 internationals, for Australia against Bangladesh. The breathless tournament culminated in a final that thrilled from start to finish, as India and Pakistan - who else? - battled it out for the trophy. The match went down to a final-over thriller, with Pakistan needing six from the last four balls. But India eventually triumphed as Misbah-ul-Haq's attempted scoop landed in the hands of Sreesanth at short fine-leg.
It was a competition full of surprise victories, as favourites fell at the hands of underdogs. The hosts, England, set the ball rolling in the first match of the tournament as they were embarrassed by Netherlands in a final-ball thriller. Australia were dominated by West Indies, largely thanks to a thunderous innings by Chris Gayle, as he hit 88 off 50 balls, including some of the largest sixes seen in England. Australia were then defeated by Sri Lanka, who bowled tightly and batted with dominance, including quick-fire half centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
South Africa hadn't lost a group stage match going in to the semi-finals against Pakistan, but Shahid Afridi produced a match winning performance with both bat and ball. He blasted his way to 51 and bagged two wickets for 16 runs to secure victory. The final at Lord's was a repeat of a group stage match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan; the latter lost the previous encounter. Pakistan managed to remove Dilshan, the Player of the Series, without scoring, which had a big impact on the Sri Lanka innings. Sangakkara put up a fight scoring an unbeaten 64, but a target of 138 wasn't going to be easy to defend. Afridi proved this to be correct, hitting an unbeaten 54, which helped Pakistan win the trophy with 8 balls to spare.
This was a momentous win for Pakistan, with their country at war and surrounded by political turmoil. They were written off with any chance of winning before the tournament began, and celebrations erupted in the streets of Islamabad; an area that would otherwise be riddled with trouble.
Never let it be said the ICC is in thrall to commercial pressures, but ludicrously the Caribbean hosted the third World Twenty20 a little over eight months after the previous tournament. That is came immediately after the bloated IPL meant audiences were close to Twenty20 saturation. Fortunately, the cricket was generally of a high standard even if the crowds, as with the World Cup three years earlier, were largely disappointing, the 9.30am starts, arranged for the Indian TV market, a big turn off. However, many of the logistical blunders which marred 2007 had been addressed.
England proved the surprise package, winning their first major limited-overs trophy with a comprehensive victory over Australia in the final. The Australians had provided amazing fireworks in the semi-final when Pakistan appeared on course for a second final only for Michael Hussey to smash 26 from five deliveries (in a 24-ball 60 not out) to win the game with a ball to spare.
The significant strugglers were India and South Africa; one disturbed by the short ball, the other unable to pace a run chase. To the frustration of the commercial gurus in the game, India's elimination before the semi-finals again meant lost revenue. The two Associates - Ireland and Afghanistan - far from disgraced themselves.
The tournament heralded West Indies' resurgence in the global game as they danced their way to a first World title since 1979. Amid the Gangnam and Gayle force, the most abiding image of the event was the Caribbean boys dusting away at Marlon Samuels to enhance the lustre of one of the best T20 performances - 78 off 56 to revive his side and 1 for 15 to seal victory in the final.
It wasn't a faultless campaign, but they avenged their group losses to Australia and Sri Lanka in the knockouts. As evidence of West Indies' stock of multiple match-winners, Sunil Narine had nine wickets at an economy under six and Chris Gayle and Samuels were among the top-five run-getters.
Sri Lanka's consolation came in the form of Ajantha Mendis, who took 15 wickets (the most in a World T20) including 6 for 8 against Zimbabwe (the best figures in T20Is) and Mahela Jayawardene, who amassed 243 runs including the most fours by any batsman during the tournament. Jayawardene relinquished captaincy after failing in the last hurdle.
Former champions India endured a frustrating time as their campaign was tripped up by their only loss - a Shane Watson-inspired beating at the hands of Australia. New Zealand fared worse in their search for luck, kicked out after being on the wrong end of Gayle and Lasith Malinga in two one-over eliminators. West Indies had had a cushion of 14 runs but Ross Taylor took them to within one run of victory and Tim Southee almost defended eight in the final over against Sri Lanka.
Brendon McCullum became the only man to score two international T20 hundreds and Gayle became one of three players to bat through the first innings of a T20 twice.
A few players felt Sri Lanka's triumph was destiny after Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene marked the event as their T20I swansong, and it was hard to argue against when they handed India their only defeat in the tournament to earn Sri Lanka's first world title in 18 years.
The Associates bolstered their reputations, and the new format's, with Hong Kong and Nepal upsetting Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the preliminary round. The coup de grace was Netherlands blazing into the main draw by chasing 190 in 13.5 overs against Ireland, and making the most of the opportunity by stunning a sullen England, who were already out of the running. A helpful consolation for the Dutch after being skittled for 39 all out, the lowest T20I score against Sri Lanka.
The blueprint of T20 spin bowling was rewritten by Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir and R Ashwin who braved tossing the balls up consistently, even in the death. Rangana Herath took it to the next level in his first appearance when he broke New Zealand with a spell of 3.3-2-3-5 as Sri Lanka defended 119 and won handsomely in a virtual quarter-final.
Bangladesh's first opportunity to host and participate in a world event was marred by their team losing all four of their main draw matches. Chittagong suffered multiple floodlight failure and a freak hail storm in Dhaka knocked the holders West Indies out during the semi-final.
Australia's rampant success in the Ashes at home and then in South Africa came to a grinding halt in the group stage as the pre-tournament favourites struggled to utilise and combat spin. Virat Kohli was the batsman of the tournament and a masterclass in the semi-final prolonged South Africa's 16-year wait for ICC silverware.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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