With 19 needed off the last over, Carlos Braithwaite thrilled the capacity crowd in Eden Gardens, Kolkata, by launching Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, into the stands for 4 successive sixes to conclude an astonishing victory.
England, who had beaten New Zealand in the semi-finals and, had already lost to the West Indies in the group stage via a brutal century from talisman batsman Chris Gayle, were put into bat in the final by a side thriving on confidence after beating the holders of the tournament India, in the other semi-final.
A good start, something that England had when they scored over 200 runs to defeat South Africa in a record chasing group match win, evaded them in the final. Surrey batsman, Jason Roy, who had been the star of the show in the victorious semi-final win, was out for a duck, to leg spinner Badree. He was soon followed by Nottinghamshire opener, Alex Hales, to leave England struggling.
Joe Root came in, like he had the whole tournament, and took the fight to the West Indies bowlers. His vital innings of 54 included a key partnership of 61 with Jos Buttler who hit 3 sixes in his 22 ball 36. Unfortunately, wickets fell at key moments during the innings as the West Indies bowling attack dragged them back. A late onslaught from David Willey got the total up to 155.
Any hopes the crowd had of seeing some Chris Gayle fireworks evaporated soon into the West Indies reply, which was all down to Root. The Yorkshireman was put into the attack straight away to bowl his spin – and the tactic soon paid off. In his first over he had Charles and then the dangerous Gayle to leave the West Indies reeling.
Like England, the West Indies needed a key partnership after being 11-3. It came between opener Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo. The pair put on 75 with the latter scoring 24, this coming after he had taken 3 wickets.
Leg spinner Rashid got Bravo and Willey accounted for the semi-final match winner Andre Russell and Darren Sammy, to give England one hand on the trophy.
The West Indies had other ideas. A frenetic partnership of 54, of which 34 came from Carlos Braithwaite’s bat and a match winning knock of 85 from Jamaican opener Marlon Samuels, sent the West Indies to the title with 2 balls remaining.
“I’m really happy for this win and it’s something we are going to cherish for a long time,” victorious captain Darren Sammy said afterwards.
“I’ve said before the tournament we have 15 match-winners. Nobody gave us a chance but every game somebody stepped up and took responsibility. To see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup, it’s just tremendous,” added Sammy, with his side becoming the first nation to win the T20 world cup twice after success in 2012.
England skipper, Eoin Morgan reflected after that the batting let his side down in the final.
“The bowlers will feel like they’ve let us down but certainly from my point of view, they’ve put us in a commanding position to win the World T20 and unfortunately we just didn’t do enough.”We let ourselves down with the bat on what was an exceptional batting surface,” said Morgan “I thought we probably fell about 40 short.”
It completed an amazing day for West Indies cricket. Before the men’s final, the West Indies women beat 3 times champions, Australia – who had defeated England in the semi-final – by 8 wickets.
“It shows the depth we have in the Caribbean in T20 cricket and hopefully with the right structure and development our cricket will continue to improve in one-day and Test cricket,” Sammy said.