Everyone loves an underdog story, but remarkably there were many people this time who had called a West Indies win before the World T20 started. I was witness to two such calls by friends.
The argument was that any team with the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Bravo, Russell, Smith, and Samuels, all of whom are brilliant in T20s and have demonstrated their prowess in T20 leagues around the world, stands a very good chance of winning the tournament.
The argument prevailed. And how!
Despite these few people who called it right, the story of the West Indies winning this World T20 will remain one of the underdogs, the dark horses upsetting the major powers and lifting a world championship trophy.
Almost everyone, barring the Sri Lankans ofcourse, were rooting for the West Indies only to see them break into the Gangnam style dance moves that have become even more popular thanks to Chris Gayle and co.
I’m sure that even the Sri Lankans could not help bring on a smile when the entire Caribbean unit broke into those celebrations.
They were simply awesome!
So the West Indies sit on top of the world once again, winning a World Cup trophy after 33 years (not counting the Champions Trophy triumph in 2004).
What is the most interesting aspect of this victory is that there have been three occasions when a host nation has reached a final of a World Tournament and lost it – England in the ODI World Cup in 1979, England in the Champins Trophy in 2004, and Sri Lanka in the World T20 in 2012 – on each of these occasions the party poopers were the West Indies!
But I can’t help feel sorry for the Sri Lankans who lost their 4th final in the last 5 years. Making it to the final of two ODI World Cups and two World T20 tournaments in 5 years is a phenomenal achievement, but not winning a single one of them must hurt badly.
Here are some more highlights and interesting facts from the 2012 edition of the World T20:
- West Indies became the third team after India and Pakistan to win both the ODI World Cup and the World T20. They now have 3 World Cup trophies (2 ODI, 1 T20), equal to India’s, and one less than Australia’s 4 (all ODI).
- In 2010 England qualified for the Super 8s without winning a single match. In 2012 West Indies qualified for the Super 8s without winning a single match. All three went on to win the World T20.
- The hosts of the 2009 World T20 won it in 2010. The hosts of the 2010 World T20 won it in 2012. Will it finally be Sri Lanka’s chance in 2014?
- None of the T20 winning squad of the West Indies were born when the West Indies last won the World Cup in 1979.
- West Indies was the only team to score 200 during this World T20, and they were also the team that scored the lowest number of runs in the first 10 overs – 32 in the final. Their 32-2 in 10 overs was also the 4th lowest total ever at the end of 10 overs in all T20 Internationals.
- India had the best win:loss ratio among all teams in the World T20. They lost only 1 game in the entire tournament, 1 less than the eventual champions and runners up.
- Chris Gayle topped the sixes chart in the tournament hitting a total of 16. Shane Watson and Marlon Samuels hit 15 each, while Luke Wright hit 13. Each one of them hit more sixes than the entire Indian team that managed 12 between them in 5 matches.
- Besides Afridi, the two Pakistan cricketers that have been criticized the most are Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir. People don’t realize that both Hafeez and Nazir were among the leading run scorers of the tournament and the top two run scorers for Pakistan.
- Imran Nazir also has the 3rd highest strike rate among batsmen who scored at least 150 runs in the tournament. Nazir’s SR of 150 equalled that of Shane Watson and Chris Gayle.
- The highest run scorer for South Africa was JP Duminy with 106 runs in 5 matches. Brendon McCullum scored more than that in just 1 of his innings.
- Marlon Samuels 78 is the highest score in a World T20 final, surpassing the 75 scored by Gambhir in 2007.
- Ajantha Mendis’ 15 wickets in this World T20 is the highest number of wickets ever taken in a WT20 tournament, surpassing Dirk Nannes effort of 14 in 2010.
- Only two bowlers (with at least 5 wickets) averaged less than 10 with the ball – Ajantha Mendis and Balaji! Yes Laxmipathy Balaji from India!
- Jacques Kallis picked up more wickets than Steyn and Morkel in this tournament.
- Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul, who are the joint 2nd highest wicket takers in T20 Internationals, managed only 7 wickets between them in the World T20.
- Ajantha Mendis’ 4-12 is the best figures in a World T20 final, surpassing the 3-16 by Irfan Pathan, also in 2007. Mendis’ figures of 4-12 are also the best figures by a bowler in a losing cause in all T20 internationals.
- Dale Steyn and Raza Hasan were the only two bowlers (min: 5 overs) with an economy rate of less than 5.
- In a total of 11 overs in the World T20, Xavier Doherty did not concede a single four. However, he conceded the most number of sixes – 9.
Published with permission from Well Pitched - a cricket blog.