KOLKATA: Carlos Braithwaite hit 4 sixes in as many balls of the last over to help his side West Indies achieve a highly unlikely win over England with two balls to spare and lift second World Twenty20 title here on Sunday night.
Braithwaite, who also grabbed 3 wickets for 23, scored 34 crucial runs in 23 balls and remained unbeaten, hitting 4 sixes and a four.
Needing 19 off the last over sent down by Stokes, Brathwaite exhibited nerves of steel to complete the chase in stunning style and trigger wild celebrations amongst his jubilant team mates who invaded the Eden Gardens pitch.
“We have a pastor in the team in Andre Fletcher, we keep on praying,” West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said after becoming the first captain to lead a team to a second World T20 title.
“Good to see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup. Shows the Twenty20 depth we have in the Caribbean. Hopefully we will continue to improve.”
The 24 runs Brathwaite scored off Stokes was the highest in the final over of a Twenty20 International, bettering Australia´s mark of 23 against Pakistan in Gros Islet in 2010.
England´s death overs hero Stokes was left distraught after failing to contain Brathwaite, who had a memorable night having scored 34 with the bat after earlier claiming 3-23 with the ball to restrict England to a modest total.
Man-of-the-match Marlon Samuels was not out on 85 but it was Brathwaite´s blistering total off 10 balls that saw them home.
Put in to bat, England got off to a horrendous start before Joe Root hit a fluent 54 to help the 2010 champions post a competitive 155 for nine wickets.
“We didn´t have enough runs on the board. It was a really good batting surface, maybe 180-90 was par,” England´s disappointed skipper Eoin Morgan said, though he was happy with his team´s aggressive displays throughout the tournament.
“We showed an immense amount of character in the tournament, not quite done enough to win it. I truly believe this is only the start of something special.”
Root added 61 to the England total in partnership with Jos Buttler (36), who hit left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn for back-to-back sixes before holing out in the deep. Dwayne Bravo (3-37) struck twice in the 14th over and Root perished in the next trying to scoop a delivery from Brathwaite (3-23).
West Indies wobbled early in their chase after part-time spinner Root dismissed Johnson Charles and the dangerous Chris Gayle in his the first three balls to peg them back.
Samuels added 75 runs with Dwayne Bravo (25) to steady the ship before Brathwaite provided the remarkable late fireworks to secure an emotional victory.
The home crowd, whose team were knocked out by West Indies in the semi-final, gave a loud cheer when India´s Virat Kohli was named man-of-the-tournament for his prolific batting
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily