COLOMBO, Sri Lanka:
Windies skipper Sammy dedicates World T20 triumph to fans
DARREN Sammy led the West Indies to an amazing capture of the ICC World T20 championship yesterday as they outplayed Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The captain turned in a good all-round performance with 26 not out and two wickets for six runs as West Indies won by 36 runs. The star of the show was Marlon Samuels, who played some breathtaking strokes in a face-saving 78 off 56 balls to haul the Windies out of deep trouble.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine was the best bowler with 3-9 - his third brilliant bowling performance in as many matches to follow-up the 3-20 against New Zealand in the Super Eights and 2-17 against Australia in Friday's epic semi-final.
Sammy and his team celebrated their triumph in grand style and won the hearts of many fans worldwide. After lifting the trophy, the captain dedicated the performance to the millions of West Indies supporters at home at all over the world.
"We will definitely cherish this moment. I will, for sure. We're going to relive it every day of our lives. This is the best moment for me in any cricket. This here (the trophy) is for the Caribbean people. West Indies fans all over the world have been craving success. I know they're partying from Jamaica down to Guyana, and we know how to party! I think they'll need a lot of bartenders," he said with a laugh.
"This is definitely a step forward. We believe we can win matches. We're not trying just to compete any more. We believe we can win against good opposition. We showed signs of that in the last year or so, but we were not winning. Hopefully, this can be the start of something good for the West Indies team and the people."
Sammy also spoke of the team's strong belief that they can overcome all hurdles.
"We have a strong belief in God. You know, He works in mysterious ways. He performs wonders. Like I kept saying in every press conference, there's a belief we have in the team. Yes, we expected them (Sri Lanka) to give us a good fight, and they did. Throughout the last year or so, we've been showing that never-say-die attitude, but we've not been winning games. In this tournament, we've won games. Every man believed that whoever was out there could do the job.
"Today, it was Marlon Samuels and (Dwayne) Bravo steadying the ship. In the end, every run counts. The bowling discipline was just brilliant and so was the fielding. I said we needed our A-plus game, this here is proof of it. While the match was unfolding, the coach was saying that if we made the score we got against them in Pallekele in the Super Eights (129-5) on this wicket, we'll win the match," Sammy said.
"The momentum we had from our batting carried through to our bowling. It was Dwayne Bravo's birthday, so in the huddle, I gave him the chance to say the last words before we went on the field. He said, 'Let's go out there and give it our all. If we do that and play how we can play, these runs are going to be a fighting total.' Ravi (Rampaul) started it off with his first ball and we never looked back from there."