It was fun, crazy and lots of celebrations as soon as Bravo caught the last man. West Indies captured their moment of glory after more than 3 decades. Probably, the nation of islands needed this cup, and probably the world of cricket needed this cup to go to the West Indies. With this win, so many kids will take on the bats and balls in their backyard and start playing cricket, so many investors will be waiting to invest in the team, so many businesses will try to partner the West Indies team now. In all, cricket needed to see rise of a new nation as the world champion.
Cricket has been played at the highest level by practically 8 teams, and from the last decade or two, only 6 teams with West Indies and New Zealand lost in the fog. It was a must for West Indies to win this cup to re-establish the cricket in the country that was slightly in jeopardy after seeing so many disappointments for a long time. World cricket needs more competitive teams, not just 8, but at least 14-16 to make it really a global game. West Indies may have taken the first step not only for their country, but probably for the whole world.
Their chase of the World Cup dream started on a terrible note, with the scorecard reading 2 for 1 after first 3 overs, with only 1 run out of 2 being scored from the bat, and for more surprises, it wasn’t from Gayle’s bat. Then, the ‘big fish’ Gayle also got out in the first 6 overs with scorecard reading 14 for 2. This time, they had a very slow start and didn’t have Gayle to convert it in a good finish at the end. After 10 overs, the score was 32 for 2, and the West Indies looked nowhere near to fulfilling their dream, and then, it was time for ‘marvelous’ Samuels to come in and rescue the West Indies. He took the complete responsibility on his shoulders alone, blasting Malinga for 39 of the 11 deliveries. He probably played the innings which will show the world how determined he has come back after the two-years ban. He finished at 78 off 56 in the 18th over, because of his wicket, West Indies finished probably 15-20 short, but a very good total after that horrible start.
It was the easiest of the targets for Sri Lanka, chasing 138 to win the world cup, especially after seeing the English Women team almost chasing down the target of 143 against Australia in the afternoon. Some magic was needed for the West Indies to boost the whole team. It was provided by Rampaul, getting Dilshan bowled with the ‘ball of the tournament’. Sangakkara and Mahela took it easy from there, they tried to take singles and did not use the ‘hit hard and get out’ approach. But, probably they played to the occasion and not the actual game, which meant asking rate kept going up, though a low target to chase. And finally when it needed the big guns to start stroking the big shots, Sangakkara fell to Badree, and then in span of another 21 runs, next five also came and went, including the captain. West Indies already started celebrating, but Kulasekara, for a moment interrupted their fun. With some help from Rampaul due to wayward bowling, Kulasekara raised the hopes of the crowd again with 22 runs in the 16th over. But Narine came for his 3rd over to stop the slight chance of a Sri Lankan fightback. And finally, it was all over when Malinga tried to smash a Narine ball over mid-wicket and ending up in the hands of Bravo.
Then came the moment that probably not only West Indian fans, but fans from India and Pakistan also wanted (and maybe the whole world except Sri Lanka). With the kind of fun and joy players play the game and people watch the game in West Indies, it always made the whole world smile and support them. It was Gangnam march by the whole team, it was cheers on every one’s face, it was joy of achievement, it was push-ups and swim dives by Gayle, and it was much more which as Sammy said, “Can’t be described in words”.
They have waited for this moment for so long since being a top cricketing force in the 80′s. It took them 29 years to reach a World Cup final. They were determined from the last 2 years to become a T-20 world champion team with the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Narine, Russel, Sammy, Samuels – all of them being the best players of T20 cricket in the world. They started as one of favourites of the tournament, but everyone had doubts over them, if they can play in a big pressure tournament. Gayle (and his Gangnam) and Narine, with the help of others took them up to the final, and Samuels and bowlers joined the party in the big final to achieve the best moments of their lives.
Hope, it’s a start of a new-bright day for West Indies cricket.