Sunday 21 January 2018 / 09:52 AM

Windies win World T20 final in epic finish

West Indies have become the first team to claim two World T20 titles, pulling off an extraordinary four-wicket win over England in the Kolkata final thanks to a phenomenal last-over batting display by Carlos Brathwaite.

Chasing 156 for victory, the Windies needed 19 off the final over and Marlon Samuels was stranded at the non-striker’s end on 85 not out. But No.8 Brathwaite took on the hero’s role, smashing Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to clinch a euphoric win with two balls to spare.

England started disastrously after being sent in to bat, losing Jason Roy (0) and Alex Hales (1) inside the first two overs. Eion Morgan (5) also went cheaply, but Joe Root (54 off 36) and Jos Buttler (36 off 22) dug them out of a hole with a 61-run fourth-wicket stand.

David Willey’s 21 off 14 coming in at No.9 gave England a handy late push to finish on 9/155.

West Indies began their innings in similar fashion, on the rack at 3/11 in the third over after Root removed openers Johnson Charles (1) and Chris Gayle (4), and Willey trapped Lendl Simmons for a first-ball duck.

Samuels and Darren Bravo (25 off 27) righted the ship and ensured the match would go down to the wire. The Windies could only manage eight runs off the penultimate over, and England looked to be in the box-seat with new man Brathwaite at the crease to begin the 20th.

But in just his eighth T20I, Brathwaite became a national hero by clearing the fence with the first four balls of the hapless Stokes’ over.

The triumph capped an incredible turnaround for West Indies cricket, at rock bottom after their disastrous tour of Australia and ongoing off-field tumult. 

Although Brathwaite was the undoubted man of the moment, Samuels took man-of-the-match honours for his outstanding rescue-mission knock off 66 balls.

[YouTube – ICC]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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