COLOMBO, Oct 8: Darren Sammy´s West Indies were crowned the new World Twenty20 champions on Sunday after a 36-run victory over hosts Sri Lanka in a dramatic final in Colombo on Sunday.
The West Indies, restricted to 137-6 after electing to bat, hit back to bowl Sri Lanka out for 101 and silence a sell-out crowd of 35,000 at the Premadasa stadium that included President Mahinda Rajapakse.
It was the first world title for the West Indies since the 50-over World Cup triumph under Clive Lloyd in 1979, and handed Sri Lanka their fourth defeat in a major final since 2007.
Spinner Sunil Narine grabbed three wickets for nine runs and Sammy took two as the hosts, who had excelled in the field in the first session, undid the good work with irresponsible batting in the second.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene survived two dropped catches to top-score with 33, while tailender Nuwan Kulasekara hit 26 off 13 balls, including three fours and a six in the 16th over of seamer Ravi Rampaul.
West Indies´ players celebrate their win over Sri Lanka in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final match in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday. (AP)
Sri Lanka´s unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis had taken four wickets for 12 runs as the West Indies collapsed once Chris Gayle was removed in the sixth over for only three runs.
Marlon Samuels was the only batsman to defy the spot-on Sri Lankan bowling, making 78 off 56 balls with the help of six sixes and three boundaries.
His brilliant strokeplay helped the West Indies add 105 runs in the last 10 overs after they were reduced to 32-2 from the first 10.
Sri Lanka lost opener Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over before Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara added 42 for the second wicket.
The hosts were cruising at 48-1 in the 10th over when the West Indies bounced back by claiming four wickets for 13 runs.
Sangakkara holed out in the deep off Samuel Badree for 22, Angelo Mathews was bowled by Darren Sammy, Jayawardene was caught off a reverse sweep and Jeevan Mendis ran himself out.
Sri Lanka had taken an early grip on the match by keeping the West Indies down to 14-2 in the first six powerplay overs after Johnson Charles had been dismissed off the fifth ball of the match.
The West Indies had to wait till the 19th delivery to score their first run with the bat and Gayle needed nine balls to get off the mark.
The left-hander struggled for 16 deliveries to make three before he was trapped leg-before by Mendis in the sixth over.
It was not till the 12th over that the West Indies, who had pummelled Australia in the semi-finals, showed the first signs of aggression as Dwayne Bravo pulled 19-year-old spinner Akila Dananjaya for a six over mid-wicket.
West Indies´ team members celebrate winning the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final match defeating Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday. (AP)
Samuels responded by smashing three sixes in the next over of sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga, two of them in succession over mid-wicket and extra-cover.
Bravo helped Samuels add 59 runs for the third wicket when he was given out leg-before by Australian umpire Simon Taufel, even though replays showed the ball go off the bat on to the pad.
The 17th over, bowled by Malinga, produced 19 runs as Samuels smashed a boundary and two consecutive sixes to leave the frontline bowler with unflattering figures of 0-54 from his four overs.
Sri Lanka have now lost two successive 50-over World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011 and two World Twenty20 finals in 2009 and 2012.
West Indies´ captain Darren Sammy, center, greets Sri Lanka´s captain Mahela Jayawardena, left, and England´s women´s team captain Charlotte Edwards during a photo opportunity ahead of the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup finals in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday. (AP)
Mahela Jayawardene stepped down as Sri Lanka´s Twenty20 captain after losing the World Twenty20 final against West Indies by 36 runs on Sunday.
"I think we need a young leader," Jayawardene said. "It´s a great opportunity for somebody to start (captaining) in the T20 format."
Jayawardene said he had informed the selector about his decision before the tournament began last month and they were quite happy with the choice he had made.
However, Jayawardene said he would continue to lead the side in test matches and one-day internationals until the tour of Australia later this year, and if the new Twenty20 captain wanted him to compete as a player in that format he would continue.
"I haven´t stepped down from the other formats (test matches and ODIs), obviously I took over until December. ... I will assess what I want to do after that."
He led Sri Lanka in 19 Twenty20s, winning 12 and losing 6 with one tied match.
Sri Lanka was well placed to win a first major title in 16 years up until the 10th over as West Indies struggled at 32-2.
But Marlon Samuels smashed six sixes and three fours in his blistering knock of 78 off 56 balls to guide the West Indies to a competitive 137-6.
Jayawardene top scored with 33 in the unsuccessful run-chase to the much disappointment of 35,000 home fans at R Premadasa Stadium.
"It hurts a lot because you want to do something special, not just personally but for the public as well," Jayawardene said. "We´ve been playing some really good cricket, but unfortunately we haven´t been able to cross that (final) hurdle."
Sri Lanka lost just one game in the tournament before Sunday´s final — a rain-shortened seven-over-a-side group match against South Africa at Hambantota.
Jayawardene´s team was trying to become the first host nation to win the tournament, and looked to be on their way to an elusive title as they defeated defending champion England in Super Eights, won one-over eliminator against New Zealand and had an easy nine-wicket win over the West Indies.
Even against a dangerous Pakistan, Sri Lanka´s bowling attack looked far superior as they won the semifinal by 16 runs.
But when it really mattered, Jayawardene´s reliable pace bowler Lasith Malinga came under the hammer of Samuels in the final.
Malinga gave away precious 54 runs off his four overs with Samuels hitting the sling-arm fast bowler for five towering sixes.
"We did not bowl particularly well in that last six, seven overs," Jayawardene said. "We never looked having any momentum chasing down that run rate as well, credit to them, they played good cricket in the big final which we did not."
Since that famous victory in the 1996 World Cup final, Sri Lanka just once shared the Champions Trophy with India in 2002. They came close to winning the 50-over World Cup, but twice they stumbled in the final — in 2007 and in 2011.
Pakistan also made sure a major trophy eluded Jayawardene when it beat Sri Lanka in the 2009 World Twenty20 final at Lord´s.
"Every defeat has been different how we approached," a dejected looking Jayawardene said. "Couple of the finals obviously we did not start well .... and kept chasing the game."
Even on Sunday night, while chasing a trickier target on slow wicket, Sri Lanka lost its experienced opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over.
Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene tried to rebuild the innings, but their cautious approach kept the run-rate increasing which put the pressure on the home team.
"We wanted to attack obviously," Jayawardene said. "The first six overs were crucial for us ... but Dili got out off the first ball of the second over, that kept us back.
"They bowled very well, they took the pace of the ball...we never had momentum going in the chase, we lost wickets regularly so it was tough."