Dancing Windies win thrilling WT20 final


The West Indies pulled off an astonishing comeback in Colombo on Sunday after a poor batting effort to beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs and take the World Twenty20 trophy back home to the Caribbean, dancing all the way.

The West Indies pulled off an astonishing comeback in Colombo on Sunday after a poor batting effort to beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs and take the World Twenty20 trophy back home to the Caribbean, dancing all the way.

The hosts needed to score a relatively low 138 to win after Marlon Samuels was the only thing standing in their way of a demolition earlier in the day, but the Windies bowlers, Sunil Narine in particular, pulled out all the stops to dismiss them for 101 with eight balls to spare.

Narine took three wickets for nine runs, including skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who top-scored with 33 but was unable to propel his side to their first major trophy in decades. Nuwan Kulasekara gave the crowd a thrill near the end with a cameo of 26, but the men in maroon never looked like losing it.

The first six overs of the Windies innings saw only 14 runs scored as the Sri Lankan bowlers strangled the life out of the scoring. Johnson Charles was out in the first over, and Chris Gayle could only score three runs off 16 balls, and at one stage it looked unlikely that they'd get to 100.

Ajantha Mendis was the star of the Lankan bowlers, taking four wickets for 12 runs in his four overs, including Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. Samuels was the lone resister, and with the score on 90, the all-rounder had 60 of those runs.

Lasith Malinga was the only bowler to be taken apart, and Jayawardene would rue his decision to put the paceman against Samuels. Malinga went for a massive 54 runs for no wickets in his overs, with Samuels smashing five sixes off him in two overs.

Akila Dananjaya, in the side in place of Rangana Herath, was the one to get rid of the danger man, caught by Jeevan Mendis on the ropes for 78, and Darren Sammy had to play a captain's knock at the death to score 26 off 15 balls and make the score defendable.

Sri Lanka's chase got off to a deplorable start, with Ravi Rampaul sending Tillakaratne Dilshan's off stump cartwheeling back for a duck in the second over. Jayawardene got a lucky break in the third over, when he was dropped by Dwayne Bravo in the deep, though it was a tough chance.

The introduction of Narine and Samuel Badree drastically dropped the scoring rate, and the frustration built enough for Kumar Sangakkara to play a silly shot in the 10th over, skying Badree to Kieron Pollard at long on for 22.

Angelo Mathews then came in and scored one whole run before trying to sweep Sammy, but found his bails dislodged. This left the home side on 51 for three and the run rate climbing to 9.32. The Windies were ahead on Duckworth-Lewis at this point, with rain threatening.

Jayawardene's knock came to an inglorious end, trying to reverse sweep off Narine and popping it to Sammy at point, his score on 33 and the Lankans on 60 for four. The next ball saw Jeevan Mendis run out for three, and the crowd went silent.

Things went from horrible to downright abject soon after, when Denesh Ramdin scored a direct hit to get rid of Thisara Perera for three, the score on 64 for four.

Kulasekara came in and smashed Rampaul around for 22 runs in one over, and the tide seemed to be thrillingly turning, but Narine was brought back and got rid of the impostor, leaving the Lankans on 96 for eight.

The ninth wicket fell with the score on 100, and fittingly it was Samuels who took it. Ajantha Mendis tried to hit him for six but could only reach Bravo on the boundary. Huge celebrations followed, with the entire Windies team 'dusting' Samuels off.

It was all done with 18.4 overs bowled, when Narine induced the final wicket as Malinga was caught by Bravo in the deep. This cued scenes of joyful dancing by the Windies, who had adopted their signature moves the whole tournament, and even the home fans where moved to cheering.

West Indies: Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Akila Dananjaya, Ajantha Mendis