Refreshingly Different


The city woke up early from last night's disappointment, to the usual hustle and bustle of Monday morning. No host nation had ever won the World T20, and Sri Lanka hadn't bucked the trend. But for the West Indies, it was one long, never-ending night. None of the present squad members were even born when WI last won a World Cup in 1979, and they were only too eager to savour their success in a Caribbean-style party.

This world T20 was important to the West Indies for a lot of reasons — for their youth to still 'rally round the West Indies', to bring money back into the game and most importantly to redeem their lost prestige.

Darren Sammy's men had started as pre-tournament favourites, however, and not too many would have been surprised when they booked their place in the final alongside the hosts. In that regard, Sri Lanka 2012 failed to live up to its billing as one of the most open World T20s in the tournament's short history.

But this edition will always be remembered for providing a fair contest between bat and ball, with the bowlers calling the shots for a change. The final on Sunday night was a great example of this.

Ajantha Mendis's spell made it look simple for Sri Lanka before Marlon Samuels came up with a whirlwind 78 from 56 balls, but the bowlers caught up soon to restrict WI to just 137. And then it was the turn of the West Indies to deliver with the ball, triggering a dramatic collapse after the hosts had looked in control.

Out of the 27 games and 26 outcomes, bowlers claimed 11 Man of the Match awards. This included every kind — fast bowlers, mystery spinners, left-arm and right-arm, leg and off breaks — and quite a few of the awards went to batsmen who, like Mahela Jayawardene in the first semifinal, guided their team through difficult situations, against top-class bowling.

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