There was a party planned at home, the drinks and food had been procured, the playlists figured out, but on the way home West Indies saw a car coming. And apart from Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy, they froze in the headlights. So fickle is the format, though, that those two did enough between them to keep the game alive. Chris Gayle and friends might have destroyed a few attacks, but against a varied, skilful and unorthodox attack they just didn’t turn up, except for the two boys on the burning deck. Take out Samuels’ 78 off 56 and Sammy’s 26 off 15, and the rest of the side, extras included, scored 33 in 8.1 overs.
Darren Sammy and West Indies got their wish when the coin landed “heads”, and they decided to bat in the World Twenty20 final in Colombo. Not only did Sammy say it looked like a Trinidad pitch, but West Indies would have hated to chase after having batted first in every completed match they have played in this tournament.
West Indies retained the XI that smashed Australia in the semi-final, which means they kept faith in Johnson Charles, and that Chris Gayle was fit enough after his side strain.
Sri lanka made one change, though. Mahela Jaywardene said it was an incredibly difficult decision to leave out left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for the young “mystery” spinner Akila Dananjaya. Sri Lanka were playing their fourth world tournament final in five years, but were also looking for their first win.
West Indies 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Samuel Badree
Sri Lanka 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Jeevan Mendis, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Akila DananjayaComments: