This is exactly why they play the matches. All signs pointed to host Sri Lanka walking over the West Indies in the T20 World Cup Championship, but nobody told the West Indies that they weren’t supposed to compete.
The West Indian bowlers were phenomenal. They held Sri Lanka batsmen to just 101 runs. The seemingly easy goal of 137 runs set by the West Indies held up, and the Sri Lankans were stunned in front of their home crowd.
Here are some of the key moments and performances from Sunday’s championship match.
The 31-year old was a beast at bat. He produced 78 runs on 56 balls faced. His runs total accounted for more than half of the West Indies offensive output. In a match that saw most of his teammates' bats go dead, Samuels carried the day.
It is simple: Without him, the West Indies would not have won this match.
As good as Samuels was in this match, the bowlers were the biggest reason the West Indies were victorious. The best of them was Narine. He gave up only nine runs, recorded 3.4 outs and achieved a superlative economy rating of 2.45.
You can’t ignore the performance of Darren Sammy and Samuels as a bowler, but Narine was especially effective in stomping out the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Of any of the Sri Lankans, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene had the most luck with the bat. He produced 33 runs on 36 balls, but his reverse sweeping infraction cost the Sri Lankans their last opportunity to close the gap.
This was the biggest turning point in the match
What This Result Means
Heartbreak in Sri Lanka
Jayawardene has taken the Sri Lankans to this point four times. It seemed that this time it would be his moment. They hadn’t lost a match in the tournament, and they were clearly feeding off the energy of the home crowd. In the end, it wasn’t enough.
His error with the match hanging in the balance only makes matters worse. Consolation prizes are difficult to accept for a team that has been this deep in the tournament so many times.
This one will sting for a while.
Representing West Indian Cricket In Style
They danced and they celebrated, and they had earned the right to. Samuels produced a monumental performance against formidable Sri Lankan bowlers. In particular, he bested Lasith Malinga when matched against the renowned Sri Lankan bowler.
Samuels and the collective bowling performance gave the West Indies their first win in an international tournament since 2004. This one is huge because it came over such a strong team, and it happened in a situation that was virtually a road match.
The unexpected victory was thrilling, and it topped off a great tournament.
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