Colombo, Oct 7: It is time to welcome the Caribbean Kings, the new champions of ICC World Twenty20. What an effort it was from the West Indies as they brilliantly defended a modest total of 137 to hand Sri Lanka their fourth straight loss in World Cup finals. West Indies won the final by 36 runs as the hosts were bowled out for 101 in 18.4 overs at R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday night.
At half-time, Sri Lanka were definitely the favourites after an outstanding spell of bowling from Ajantha Mendis. But West Indies believed in themselves and their bowlers were even better than the hosts.
Sri Lanka totally messed up what should have been an easy chase. However, one cannot take the brilliance of West Indies away. To add to that Sri Lanka succumbed to pressure on the big day with unnecessary run outs.
As long as captain Mahela Jayawardene was in the middle, Sri Lanka had a chance. But he fell attempting a reverse sweep off Sunil Narine. Only three Sri Lankan batsmen managed to enter double figures. Overall it was a disappointing batting that let the Islanders down.
Narine was the star with figures of 3/9 in 3.4 overs while skipper Darren Sammy chipped in with 2/6 in two overs. Ravi Rampaul's brilliant delivery to knock back Tillakaratne's offstump signalled good things to come in the second over of the chase.
Marlon Samuels was Man-of-the-match while Australia's Shane Watson was chosen as Player-of-the-tournament.
West Indies Innings Report
Sri Lanka were just brilliant on the biggest night of the tournament. Ajantha Mendis led the hosts' brilliant bowling display with 4/12 as they restricted West Indies to 137/6 in 20 overs in the final.
It could have been worse than this if not for an outstanding innings from Marlon Samuels. The right-hander smashed 78 off 56 balls with six sixes and three boundaries. In the end, Darren Sammy's late burst of 26 not out in 15 balls lifted the team. Now they have a decent total to defend which at one stage was looking beyond their reach.
Angelo Mathews started the fine show for Sri Lanka. He dismissed Johnson Charles for a duck for a wicket maiden in the first over of the match. Chris Gayle was kept quiet and departed for just three runs off 16 balls. Then it was left to Samuels to counter-attack and he was severe on Lasith Malinga.
Samuels ransacked 39 runs from Malinga's 11 balls at a whopping strike rate of 354.54. He hit Malinga for five sixes and a boundary. Of those five, twice he scored two successive hits over the fence. Malinga had a forgettable night, with figures of 0/54 in four overs at an economy rate of 13.50.
From a dismal 32/2 in 10 overs, West Indies recovered to score 105 for four in the final 60 balls. Ajantha Mendis is now the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 15.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to bat first against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka brought in Akila Dananjaya in place of Rangana Herath while West Indies are unchanged from the previous game.
Both teams are looking to end a long drought of world titles. Sri Lanka's last major world trophy was in 1996. However they were joint winners with India in 2002 Champions Trophy. For West Indies, their last ICC title was in 2004, Champions Trophy.
These two teams had met in the Super Eights and that was won by Sri Lanka. Past results, history and crowd will have no effect today as it will be a fresh start with both outfits charged up for the final.
There are interesting mini-battles inside the big one. Gayle will be up against Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis. This looks a mouth-watering prospect. Sunil Narine will be bowling to some of the best batsmen who play spin very well.
Sri Lanka's path to final
Beat Pakistan by 16 runs
Group Stage (Group C)
Beat Zimbabwe by 82 runs
Lost to South Africa by 32 runs
Super Eight (Group 1, topped group with all-win record, 3 wins, 6 points)
Beat New Zealand in Super Over after match tied
Beat West Indies by 9 wickets
Beat England by 19 runs
West Indies' path to final
Beat Australia by 74 runs
Group Stage (Group B)
Lost to Australia by 17 runs (D/L method)
No result against Ireland (match abandoned due to rain)
Super Eight (Group 1, finished second with 4 points)
Beat England by 15 runs
Lost to Sri Lanka by nine wickets
Won Super Over against New Zealand after match was tied
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Lahiru Thirimanne.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels.
Umpires: Simon Taufel (Australia) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
Third umpire: Rod Tucker (Australia)
Fourth umpire: Ian Gould (England)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)
Match starts at 7.00 PM IST