Monday, April 4, 2016

T20 World Cup Finals 2016

Women's Final - West Indies vs Australia
First the women's game. I actually enjoyed the women's game as much or even more. It looks so much more pure and innocent and even the game appears so clean. I was impressed with the way the Aussie batswomen batted - Lanning and Villani and Perry - clean hitting and lovely timing. But their 148, curtailed by a brilliant last over by Dottin who gave only a single away was chased with consummate ease by the West Indies. The way skipper Stephanie Taylor played, she is all class, and young Mathews played, fearless and clean hitting batting, took the game away from the Aussies.

I am a huge fan of the West Indian women's cricket team now and simply admire captain Taylor for leading from the front. The Aussies don't need to feel bad about it - the Windies were better.

Men's Final - West Indies vs England
Many of us have already taken our words back. If I felt the Windies lacked tactical acumen I did not think they would make up by simply believing they can chase any target down and that every one in the team can do it. That's the simple lesson they drilled in themselves and put it out, one by one. England seemed to have sewn up the match by the last over in which the Windies needed 19 runs,  but they did not think that Carlos Brathwaite would hit four effortless sixes, monster hits, to guide the Windies home. After the third hit I knew he would just hit the fourth six. I have not seen anything like this - Brathwaite should not be playing in this league.

For some reason England got off to one of those tentative stuttering starts when things could have gone wither way. Roy's early dismissal, Hales getting out the way he did - somehow they got themselves into the game and would lose out again. Almost as if they were up against a superior force that constantly threatened them. The final total was competitive but one felt was chaseable. But one spoke too soon as England gallantly fought back and kept the Windies and kept pegging wickets away until the last over when they needed those 19 runs.

Marlon Samuels played a gem of a knock and kept egging himself on, talking to himself and pulling out every trick he knew to keep the Windies in the race. He did the same thing in 2012 and he did it again. Wonderful stuff.

Stokes began his last over with an absolute horror of a ball, short and down legside and Brathwaite got a whiff of what his huge power can do as he dispatched it over the square leg fence. The next one, an attempted yorker went over long on, the next over long off and the last over midwicket. But before that, Brathwaite played a blinder of a scoop off a David Willey delivery over fine leg. He is special.

Phil Simmons tweeted 'Not bad for a team with no brains' after the game against India. Sammy said that his team has 15 match winners. Ambrose said coolly that he believed that his team would get 19 runs in the last over. he said they had firepower no one had. This team would not take any other result - and that's it.

This team came prepared, knew its job, shared responsibility, did not let go until it forced the result it wanted even against the highest odds and well you can't expect more from a champion side. This is the West Indian spirit we all wanted to see - not the lackadaisical approach they displayed for so many years. Something right is happening there - my guess is that the leadership is in good hands. The right people are in the coaching staff - Simmons, Ambrose. And they got it all right - everyone on the same page, everyone equal, everyone share the responsibility, everyone fight like hell till we win and we will chase down whatever total any team will set us.

Not bad for a team with no brains. Fantastic.

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