Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 ICC World Twenty20 Championships: West Indies Win Major Global Title After 33 Years; Australia Lifts Women’s Crown

West Indies won the ICC World Twenty20 Championship defeating hosts Sri Lanka by 36 runs in a bowler-dominated final at the Premadasa Stadium on October 7. It was the first world title for the West Indies since the 50-over World Cup triumph under Clive Lloyd in 1979, and handed Sri Lanka their fourth defeat in a major final since 2007. West Indies Captain Darren Sammy becomes second West Indian captain to lift the World Cup after Lloyd.

West Indies have become the second team, after India, to win all three world tournaments conducted by the ICC – the World Cup (1975 and 1979), the Champions Trophy (2004) and the World Twenty20 (2012). They've also reached three other finals of ICC events. India won the World Cup in 2011, the World Twenty20 in 2007, and shared the Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002.

As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, this was their fourth successive defeat in the final of a world tournament, following on their defeats in the 2011 and 2007 50-over World Cups, and the 2009 World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka restricted West Indies to 137 for six wickets to boost their chances of winning their maiden World Twenty20 title but the dream did not materialize as they were shot out for 101 runs in 18.4 overs.

After Marlon Samuels’ brilliant knock of 78 off 56 balls steered West Indies to 137/6, an inspired Windies shot out the hosts for just 101 in 18.4 overs, clinching their first major world title after a gap of 33 years, having won the ODI World Cup in 1979. Sri Lankan Skipper Mahela Jayawardene quit as Sri Lanka’s T20 skipper immediately afterward.

Chasing a seemingly modest victory target, Sri Lanka were going steadily at 48 for one before their batting order caved in, partially because of their anxiousness to stay ahead of the par score in case of a rain interruption which seemed so imminent.

Jayawardene (33) and former captain Kumar Sangakkara (22) got the starts but could not carry on and only one more Sri Lankan — Nuwan Kulasekara (26) — managed double figure in an otherwise abject batting capitulation. Spinner Sunil Narine was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, claiming three for nine runs to cap his excellent run in the tournament.

West Indies Skipper Sammy won the toss but was left to rue his decision to bat first as the Sri Lankan bowlers stifled his batsmen, restricting a side teeming with big-hitters to 32 for two wickets in 10 overs. Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis had taken four wickets for 12 runs as the West Indies collapsed once Chris Gayle was removed in the sixth over for only three runs.

Marlon Samuels was the only batsman to defy the spot-on Sri Lankan bowling, making 78 off 56 balls with the help of six sixes and three boundaries. His brilliant stroke play helped the West Indies add 105 runs in the last 10 overs after they were reduced to 32-2 from the first 10.

In the first semifinal played on October 4, Sri Lanka produced a clinical bowling display to beat Pakistan by 16 runs and storm into the final. After managing a modest 139 for four on a slow Premadasa track, Sri Lankan duo of Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis stifled the Pakistan batsmen in the final overs to restrict them to 123 for seven. Pakistan needed 32 runs off last three overs which is considered to be quite achievable by Twenty20 standards but Mendis and Malinga held their nerves giving only five and four runs respectively of the 18th and 19th over.

The second semifinal, Chris Gayle smashed a blistering unbeaten 75 as West Indies stormed into their maiden T20 World Cup final with a crushing 74-run victory over a listless Australia on October 5. After West Indies won the toss and opted to bat, Gayle literally butchered the Australian bowlers with a 41-ball 75 as West Indies notched up 205 for four, which incidentally is the highest total of this edition.

India’s Bad Luck
Earlier on October 2, India failed to reach the World Twenty20 semifinals despite beating South Africa by one run in a gripping final Super Eight Group 2 match. South Africa were bowled out for 151 with one ball to be bowled as they tried to overhaul India's total of 152 for six. But the Indian total was not enough because in the 17th over South Africa passed the cut-off mark of 121 — India had to restrict South Africa below this score to pip Pakistan on the basis of the net run-rate and enter the semifinals.

India, thus, paid for the big defeat they suffered at the hands of Australia, which made their net run-rate plummet to perilously low levels. After India won the inaugural event in South Africa in 2007, they had failed to reach the Super Eight stage in 2009 and 2010.

Player of the Final
West Indies Marlon Samuels was named Player of the Final. Samuels' 78 is his highest score in Twenty20 internationals, and also the highest by any batsman in the final of a World Twenty20. The previous-highest was Gautam Gambhir's 75 in the 2007 final.

Player of the Championship
Australian all rounder Shane Watson has emerged as the Player of the Championship in a unanimous choice. The 31-year-old batted six innings in the tournament, scoring a total of 249 runs at an average of 49.80. He also took 11 wickets at an average of 16.00 and an economy-rate of 7.33 with his extremely useful medium pace bowling.
Watson got four consecutive Man of the Match awards during the tournament.


Australian women produced an impressive performance to edge out their English counterparts by four runs in an exciting final of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 at the Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka on October 7. Put into bat, Australia put up a competitive 142 for four in 20 overs with almost all the batswoman getting runs.

Jess Cameron with 45 was the top scorer but openers Meg Lanning (25), Alyssa Healey (26) and Lisa Sthalekar (23 not out) all chipped in with useful contributions.

In reply England could manage 138 for nine as Australian bowlers got wickets at regular intervals. Needing 16 of the last over, England managed only 11 runs off spinner Erin Osborne's over. England needed an over boundary of the last delivery but could manage a single as girls in canary yellow celebrated enthusiastically.

In a big ground like Premadasa (although boundaries were shortened), chasing a target of 143 is an uphill task in women's cricket. Although Skipper Charlotte Edwards showed positive intent but once she was dismissed for 28, the other batswomen could hardly make any impact.
Edwards was declared the Women’s Player of the Tournament.

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