World T20 Team Review: West Indies

Despite turmoil before the tournament, Darren Sammy's side came through to become the first team to win the World T20 competition twice.

World T20 Team Review: West Indies
Darren Sammy lifts the World T20 trophy. (Photo: ESPN)

After arguments with the board and the notion of a tournament boycott being mentioned, the West Indies arrived in India and won the Super 10 group one, before beating the hosts in the semi-final and finishing the job in style with four consecutive sixes in the last over against England.

Results

The Windies were drawn to play England in their first game, before fixtures against Sri Lanka, South Africa and Afghanistan on their route to the semi-finals.

Chris Gayle led the way in the West Indies’ opener as he smashed a hundred off just 48 balls including 11 sixes as they chased down England’s 183 in just 18.1 overs, for the loss of four wickets.

From there they travelled to Bangalore to play Sri Lanka, where they restricted Angelo Matthews' side to just 122-9 thanks to 3-12 from Samuel Badree before Andre Fletcher smashed 84 to ensure another comfortable victory to put the West Indies in pole position for the semi-finals.

They then cemented their place in the last four with a narrow three-wicket win over South Africa, successfully chasing for the third consecutive game as Marlon Samuels top scored with 43.

The only blip in the Windies campaign came against minnows Afghanistan. Despite resting a number of players, Sammy’s men were only set 124 to win as Badree took another three wickets, but came up six runs short to finish with three wins from four in the group stage.

Badree was then the pick of the bowlers once again as he took 1-26 as the tournament hosts racked up 192-2 thanks to 89 not out from Virat Kohli and, despite a shaky start that saw Gayle make just five and Samuels eight, a fantastic 82 from late call up Lendl Simmons accompanied by 52 from Johnson Charles and a quick fire 43 off 20 from Andre Russell led the Windies to the final.

They chased for the sixth time in the tournament and did so successfully once again. Despite looking dead and buried with an over to go Carlos Brathwaite smashed four successive sixes off the bowling of Ben Stokes to win the game. Brathwaite also contributed 3-23 with the ball, however it was Samuels’ 85 off 66 that guided won the game for the Windies after finding themselves 11-3 in the third over.

Brathwaite celebrates after winning the World T20. (Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)
Brathwaite celebrates after winning the World T20. (Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

​Highs and lows

Low’s were few and far between for the West Indies, as even after their only loss of the tournament they celebrated and took selfies with the Afghan squad knowing they were already in the semi-finals.

The high for the Windies undoubtedly was winning the tournament, but proving that they can be a force without Gayle, who performed in just one game, must be pleasing.

The West Indies’ versatility was also on show during the tournament as Simmons was flown out to India just days before their semi-final before winning them the game, scoring a magnificent 82.

Last but not least, the Windies celebration dance was well and truly on show throughout the tournament, to the enjoyment of many members of the media and fans alike.

Star man

Despite all their power hitting from Gayle, Russell and Brathwaite, Samuel Badree finished the tournament with nine wickets with an economy of just 5.39 and an average of 13.77.

The spinner took the responsibility of opening the bowling on a number of occasions during the tournament, as well as taking three wickets on two occasions during the group stage and starring in the semi-final to leave a target for the West Indies hitters to chase.

What Next?

For the Windies, the next step has to be repairing the friction within West Indian cricket.

If they can win a tournament through all the off-field politics in the West Indian board, who knows how far this team could go?

The Windies will definitely be looking to use this tournament as a springboard to try and improve their one day and test cricket fortunes, where they lay ninth and eighth in the world rankings.

But after a clean sweep at the World T20 where the men, women and under 19s won the World Cup, it’s safe to say the West Indies are the nation to beat in the shortest format of the game and may be for some time to come.

In a sentence?

World T20 Champions, hitting four huge sixes in a row to seal it.