COLOMBO – Skipper Darren Sammy believes his West Indies team will become a powerful force in international cricket after its remarkable 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final.
West Indies bowled out the highly-favoured Sri Lanka for a meager 101 in front of a stunned 35 000 crowd after Marlon Samuels’ blazing 78 off 56 balls had lifted Sammy’s team to 137-6.
“We’re not trying just to compete any more, we believe we can win against good opposition,” Sammy said.
“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.”
Samuels echoed his captain’s views and said the hard work paid off after Sri Lanka had twice beaten them – once in a warm-up match and then in the Super 8s round.
“It is hard to explain what this victory means to me and my team,” Samuels said.
“The West Indies are finally going well again. We have a great future.”
Sammy’s team peaked at the right time in the tournaments, capitalising when South Africa, Pakistan, Australia and England faltered late in the tournament.
The West Indies didn’t get an ideal start, either, after scraping through the preliminary group stage only due to a better net run-rate than Ireland.
But once the West Indians arrived in Pallekele from rainy Colombo, they shifted gears. Sammy’s team beat defending champion England and won a crucial last match against New Zealand in one-over eliminator in the Super 8s which was enough to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
By that time all the big hitters – Chris Gayle, Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo – had accumulated enough runs to be a threat to any team in the tournament.
Gayle’s memorable, unbeaten 75 off 41 balls against Australia in the semi-finals saw the West Indies racking up tournament’s highest score 205-4 before bowling out George Bailey’s team for 131.
Sri Lanka had all the necessary tools to counter the West Indies in the finale.-Sapa