Before he was the man whose name you remembered, before he made history for West Indies, he was the batsman you didn't want on strike. Carlos Brathwaite was on 10 off six deliveries, but Marlon Samuels was playing the once-in-a-career T20 innings he had already played once before. It was Samuels' coiled viper stance you wanted facing the first ball of the last over, not this tall, gangly, loaded spring.

Eden Gardens has bellowed, risen in unison, clutched its head in frustration, covered its eyes in fear, blurted out invective, kicked the bucket seat in front of it, jostled for celebration space, Mexican-waved, shot up its fireworks, but West Indies need 19 from one over now, and the air has become taut.

Into the tense quiet bounds Ben Stokes, 17 off two overs so far, all tattooed intent. Stokes has a field fit for an off-stump yorker, or a slower ball, but his first delivery is neither. It is too short. It careens down the leg side. Brathwaite has been told by Samuels to "swing for the hills", and so he does. The ball sails over long leg. Eden Gardens' silence is briefly broken, with 13 needed off five now; there is a rising thrill in the stands.

Stokes' second ball is better, fuller and straighter, but Brathwaite's swing is faster, truer, and greater. He folds in his stance, makes a fulcrum out of his wrists and hoists the ball - its curve framed Kolkata's skyscrapers, a wave of noise rising up to meet it on its long, quickening descent.

It is perhaps because the third was the best of Stokes' deliveries that he dropped to his haunches just as it was hit. The batsman has miscued it off the toe of the bat, and possibly hit it in a direction he did not intend. But as if by the will of Eden Gardens - far from silent now - the ball vaults the parting fence and hits the stand beyond long-off.

You only need to hear the sound off the bat off that last ball. Stokes is distraught. West Indies invade the field. Eden Gardens was prodded three times towards this catharsis, and when it finally comes now, the stadium erupts on a monumental scale.

Key moment

Each of Stokes' deliveries in that final over was marginally short of yorker-length, but perhaps he erred there because he had already seen what Brathwaite could do to balls that were too full: on the fourth ball of his innings, Brathwaite had moved across his stumps to David Willey, and scooped him over the shoulder for four.

The numbers

340 Brathwaite's strike rate was the highest by any batsman in the match.

5 This was only Brathwaite's fifth T20I innings. His previous scores had been 1, 1, 10 not out, and 13.

156 The target West Indies reached was the highest successful chase in a World T20 final.

What they said

"I knew if I got it past the field, we were world champions. I watched the ball again, and made good contact. Even though the last ball went for six, until the guys told me four sixes is amazing [I didn't know where the ball had ended up]." - Carlos Brathwaite on the tournament-winning shot

"Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite! Remember the name! History for the West Indies." - Ian Bishop exults on commentary at the winning moment

The closest contenders

Virat Kohli, 82 not out v Australia, World T20, Mohali
Kohli's nerveless, astutely judged chase steered India into the semi-finals of the World T20.

Marlon Samuels, 85 not out v England, World T20 final, Kolkata
Samuels set the foundation for West Indies' second World T20 title, steadying the ship after they sank to 11 for 3.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando