Marlon Samuels scored a vital half-century before Carlos Brathwaite smashed four consecutive sixes as West Indies clinched a thrilling, last-over four-wicket win over England in the ICC World Twenty20 final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Indies, chasing England’s 155 for nine, reached 161 for six with two balls of their innings remaining as Samuels top-scored with 85 not out off 66 balls with nine fours and two sixes while the unheralded Brathwaite smashed his way to 34 not out off just 10 balls with a four and four sixes as West Indies became the first team to win the World T20 competition more than once.
The West Indies had looked dead and buried as they began the last over needing 19 runs to win.
But the powerfully-built Brathwaite made a mockery of the total needed as he smashed four consecutive sixes off the bowling of seamer Ben Stokes to clinch the win.
“We have a pastor in the team in Andre Fletcher, we keep on praying,” West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said after becoming the first captain to lead a team to a second World T20 title.
“Good to see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup. Shows the Twenty20 depth we have in the Caribbean. Hopefully we will continue to improve.”
Brathwaite turned in a fine all-round performance as he also captured 3-23 with the ball during England’s innings which was held together by an impressive knock from Joe Root of 54 off 36 balls with seven fours.
The fact that West Indies managed victory was something of a minor miracle after they had slumped to 11 for three before Samuels and Dwayne Bravo (25) combined for a fourth-wicket partnership of 75 runs before Bravo was dismissed by legspinner Adil Rashid.
The Windies then collapsed again as they lost three wickets for 21 runs.
But Samuels and Brathwaite kept their cool in their devastating seventh-wicket stand of 54.
Left-arm swing bowler David Willey was the stand-out performer with the ball for England as he ended with 3-20.
Brathwaite had earlier been aided in his efforts with the ball by seamer Bravo, who picked up 3-37.
Legspinner Samuel Badree was impressive with the new ball as he captured 2-16 off his four overs, including a wicket maiden, while paceman Andre Russell was economical as he ended with 1-21 from his four overs.
Root was a class apart from his teammates and he shared in a 61-run fourth-wicket partnership with Jos Buttler (36).
The partnership rescued England after they had slumped to 23 for three with Jason Roy (0), Alex Hales (1) and Eoin Morgan (5) all dismissed cheaply after the Windies had won the toss and elected to field first.
Root and Buttler took the score to 84 before Buttler hoisted a Brathwaite delivery to Bravo at deep mid-wicket.
England then suffered their second collapse as they lost three wickets for the addition of one run with Stokes (13) and Moeen Ali (0) departing before Root ramped a Brathwaite delivery to Sulieman Benn at short fine leg.
England’s innings stuttered along despite a vital knock from Willey who bashed his way to 21 off 14 balls before becoming Brathwaite’s third victim.
“We didn’t have enough runs on the board. It was a really good batting surface, maybe 180-90 was par,” England’s disappointed skipper Morgan said, though he was happy with his team’s aggressive displays throughout the tournament.
“We showed an immense amount of character in the tournament, not quite done enough to win it. I truly believe this is only the start of something special.”
The West Indies are also the under-19 World Champions while their ladies team are also World T20 champions after beating Australia in the day’s early game in Kolkata.
ENGLAND: JJ Roy, AD Hales, JE Root, EJG Morgan (capt), JC Buttler (wk), BA Stokes, MM Ali, CJ Jordan, DJ Willey, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett
WEST INDIES: J Charles, CH Gayle, MN Samuels, LMP Simmons, AD Russell, D Ramdin (wk), DJ Bravo, DJG Sammy (capt), CR Brathwaite, S Badree, SJ Benn