Brathwaite blasts Windies to #WT20 title

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West Indies all-rounder Brathwaite blasted his team into the history books by hitting four sixes in a row off England counterpart Ben Stokes to clinch a four-wicket victory at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Brathwaite had joined No 3 batsman and Man-of-the-Match Marlon Samuels, who had been magnificent at the other end and was on 85 not out off 66 balls (9x4, 2x6), and the Windies needed 19 runs off the last six from Stokes.

While the strapping figure of Brathwaite had shown earlier in the tournament that he had the ability to clear the boundary, needing 19 off the last over was a tough task as he had faced just six deliveries for 10 runs up to that point.

But the 27-year-old was ready for the biggest moment of his career as the first ball from Stokes was on his pads, and Brathwaite whipped it over fine leg for a maximum.

Then the second was right in the slot and Brathwaite whacked it over wide long-on. Stokes was down on his haunches, not knowing where to bowl. He again went for the stumps, and Brathwaite sliced it straight over long-off for his third six in a row.

With just one needed off three balls, the tall Brathwaite wasn’t going to bottle it, and swung through the line to launch Stokes over midwicket.

The entire Windies squad, with captain Darren Sammy and coach Phil Simmons, ran on to the field to celebrate with their batting heroes Brathwaite and Samuels as they reached the 156-run target with two balls to spare.

The men from the Caribbean became the first team to win the World T20 for a second time following their triumph in 2012, while they emulated their women’s team, who had won their tournament at the same venue by beating Australia by eight wickets earlier on Sunday. In addition, the West Indies Under-19 side won their World Cup earlier this year.

Fast bowler Brathwaite broke the back of the England innings with the ball, getting rid of their three top scorers in Joe Root (54), Jos Buttler (36) and David Willey (21) as Eoin Morgan’s outfit were restricted to 155/9 in their 20 overs after Sammy won the toss and chose to field first. Dwayne Bravo (3/37) and Samuel Badree (2/16) were also outstanding with the ball.

Meanwhile, Indian superstar Virat Kohli was named the Player of the Tournament after scoring 273 runs in five matches, the most from the Super 10 stage onwards, which was effectively the top scorer as Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal totalled 295 in six games, but had played in the qualifiers as well.

Kohli received the same award in the previous tournament in 2014 in Bangladesh, which was won by Sri Lanka.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport

Original source: Brathwaite blasts Windies to #WT20 title

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