Samuels has restored faith in West Indies ambitions

West Indies finally came good after years of frustrating near misses – and it wasn’t even the world’s best batsman in the 20 over format who provided the victory against Sri Lanka.

West Indies recovered from an atrocious start to win the World Twenty20 on Sunday in Colombo.

The hosts were in control when the Caribbean side only managed 32 from the first 10 overs, with Chris Gayle crawling to three from 16 balls.

Gayle was a bit part player as Marlon Samuels took the deserved man of the match award with his 56-ball 78 that took West Indies to a modest score of 137-6.

They seemed to have a fighting chance when Sri Lanka stuttered initially and long before their final over, the game was effectively won, thanks to the heroic knock of Samuels who appeared to have batted on a different surface to everyone else.

The West Indies were underestimated for tactical nous and strategy by Sri Lanka who only really saw them as big hitters who often gave away their wickets cheaply going for 
the massive shots.

But this time Windies captain Darren Sammy played a shrewd tactical game, rotating his bowlers in short spells, preventing the Lankans from getting into a rhythm.

Windies fielding for once was tight and efficient and included two excellent run outs.

It bodes well for the future although the West Indies Cricket Board still continues to make gross administrative mistakes which hampers the players’s progress and maintains the chasm between the team and the executives.

Nevertheless, Cayman Islands technical director Theo Cuffy is happy for West Indies first major triumph in eight years. “This was a great win for my people and I’m really elated,” he said. “The pitch wasn’t ideal for 20/20 and it was getting slower as the game progressed, so 137 was like 180 on a decent wicket.

“The team has become a better unit. We love 20/20 and Samuels has matured into a good batsman. I’m really happy for the team and our people.

“We’ll take each series as it comes, but as for formats, Samuels did say that Test cricket is still the best.”

West Indies recovered from an atrocious start to win the World Twenty20 on Sunday in Colombo.

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