Memorable Windies' World Cup moments: Rally and remember their names!

West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite celebrates after hitting a six to beat England in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 tournament at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India.  AP PHOTO - AP
West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite celebrates after hitting a six to beat England in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 tournament at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India. AP PHOTO - AP

The ninth edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s Twenty/20 World Cup will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the US from June 1-29, and 19 cricket nations will put their skills to the test to try and dethrone defending champions England.

Co-hosts West Indies, similar to England, have won two T20 World Cup titles – the most in the tournament’s 18-year existence – and coach Daren Sammy’s charges will fancy their chances to become the first host nation to lift the coveted title.

Throughout the tournament’s history, West Indies have undoubtedly provided some of the most dramatic moments and remarkable victories – clinching their two titles in 2012 and 2016 against the odds and in quite extraordinary fashion.

West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels. -

Notably, Sammy captained the men in maroon to the crown on both occasions, and he appears to be making an attempt to rekindle the winning magic – particularly with last year’s reintegration of dynamic Jamaican allrounder Andre Russell. The 36-year-old Jamaican formed part of the Windies’ championship teams in 2012 and 2016, and he is expected to play a key role in the coming weeks if Sammy’s team is to become the winningest team at T20 World Cups.

It remains to be seen if West Indies will lift their third T20 World Cup title when the tournament concludes at Kensington Oval in Barbados on June 29.

Despite unsatisfactory performances at the 2021 and 2022 editions, the Caribbean team’s legacy at the T20 World Cup cannot be understated.

From Carlos Brathwaite’s four consecutive sixes against England in the 2016 finale, to Marlon Samuels’ scathing batting onslaught against ace Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga in the 2012 final, the Caribbean team has shown the penchant to rise to the biggest of occasions.

West Indies players celebrate winning the 2012 World T20 title. PHOTO BY CWI - CWI

From the tournament’s inception, powerful opener Chris Gayle, who is widely regarded as the best T20 player of all time, struck a brilliant 117 from 57 balls at the opening game of the 2007 T20 World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Windies posted a mammoth score of 205 for six.

The self-proclaimed “Universe Boss” gave the world a glimpse of what his broad shoulders could do, shattering a bowling attack which included South African stalwarts such as Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Vernon Philander.

Gayle’s century was both devastating and historic, as he became the first player to score a hundred in a T20 international match – eclipsing a brilliant 98 not out scored by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting in 2005.

As fate would have it, Gayle’s century proved insufficient, as a blistering knock of 90 from 55 balls by Herschelle Gibbs sent the Proteas to a convincing eight-wicket win with over two overs to spare – a victory which stands as the second-highest successful chase in the history of the competition.

Leg spinner Samuel Badree, left, celebrates a wicket while playing for the West Indies in the ICC World T20 tournament in 2016. -

A man accustomed to smashing records, Gayle stands tallest among all batsmen, as he holds the honour of scoring the most hundreds in the T20 format with 22. The Jamaican southpaw also has the distinction of being the only player to have scored multiple centuries in the history of the T20 World Cup.

In a group stage match at the 2016 tourney against England at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Gayle struck 11 sixes in a brutal innings which saw the Windies make light work of a 183-run target.

It was the first meeting between the two teams in the 2016 tourney, and it was the first of many wild nights for the Caribbean team in India that year.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle on his way to a brilliant 117 against South Africa in the 2007 T20 World Cup. -

In the inaugural tournament in 2007, the Gayle storm and the West Indies were unexpectedly blown back to the Caribbean after the group stage, though, as Bangladesh delivered the first major upset at the T20 World Cup when they sent the regional team packing with a six-wicket defeat.

But West Indies would have their time to shine on the world’s stage, and they had their first dance with destiny at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in 2012 after finishing as semifinalists in 2009 and hosting the competition for the first time in 2010.

After Sammy elected to bat first against Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and the hosts Sri Lanka, the West Indies were restricted to a modest score of 137 for six – a total which looked well under par.

It’s worth noting how the Windies even got to the total, as Samuels played an innings which stands as one of the best in a T20 World Cup final – if not all-time. After losing Johnson Charles (duck) and the hard-hitting Gayle (three), West Indies crawled to 14 for two after the power play and progressed to 32 for two by the end of the tenth over – leaving them way behind the desired run rate.

Samuels then did the unthinkable by taking on Malinga, whom he hit for five sixes during his innings of 78 from 56 balls. The stylish Jamaican right-hander hit Malinga for three sixes in the 13th over, and struck him for two sixes in the 17th over as the Sri Lankan speedster conceded 54 runs from his four-over quota. Known for his deadly yorkers, Malinga was dispatched beyond the mid-wicket and long-on boundaries with disdain.

West Indies’ Lendl Simmons stuns India in the 2016 World Cup semifinal. -

Perhaps shell-shocked by Samuels’ counter-attack, Sri Lanka were dismantled for 101 in 18.4 overs as the Windies put on a performance for the ages. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine led the Windies’ attack with marvellous figures of three for nine from 3.4 overs, accounting for the wickets of captain Mahela Jayawardene (33) and number eight batsman Nuwan Kulasekara, who threatened to snatch the game from West Indies’ hands with a cameo of 26 from 13 balls.

West Indies relegated Sri Lanka to their second T20 World Cup final loss, and Samuels was named Man of the Match – his first of two such accolades in a World Cup final.

To borrow a basketball term, Samuels cemented his clutch gene in the 2016 finale when the Windies got a thrilling four-wicket win with two balls to spare against England at the famed Eden Gardens venue in Kolkata.

Before Samuels starred in the final with an unbeaten 85, Sammy and West Indies fans the world over would have been grateful for the match-winning knock of 82 not out played by Lendl Simmons in the semifinal, as the Caribbean team stunned the hosts India by chasing a daunting 193-run target in Mumbai.

On two occasions, Simmons and the West Indies were given reprieves as the Trinidad and Tobago batsman was caught off no balls, with Ravi Ashwin and Hardik Pandya being the guilty parties.

It’s safe to say the hosts paid a heavy price for overstepping, and Simmons and Russell (43 not out off 20 balls) put India out of their misery with an unbeaten 80-run stand to steer West Indies into the final for their second meeting with England in the tournament.

In the group stage meeting between the two teams, Gayle put the English bowlers to the sword.

In the 2016 final, much like the 2012 equivalent, both Gayle and Charles were sent back to the pavilion cheaply as West Indies slipped to five for two in pursuit of a 156-run target after a swift double strike by part-timer Joe Root, who bowled the solitary over in the match and conceded nine runs. Charles and Gayle opened up their arms to clear the respective long-on and long-off boundaries, but only succeeded in giving simple catches to Ben Stokes.

Eoin Morgan’s decision to bowl Root in the power play looked like a masterstroke, and England were well and truly in the ascendancy when Simmons was dismissed for a golden duck in the third over as the Windies slipped to 11 for three.

In Samuels, West Indies had a trusted hero. And on this occasion, he was ably supported by Barbados allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, who made an unbeaten 34 off just ten balls. Brathwaite also did a fine job with the ball by returning figures of three for 23. Brathwaite did most of his destruction with the willow in hand, though.

Samuels received the Man of the Match award for another brilliant innings under pressure, but the game is mostly remembered for Brathwaite’s four consecutive sixes off Stokes in a final over which started with the West Indies needing an improbable 19 runs for victory.

After the early blip, Samuels consolidated the Windies innings with a 75-run partnership with Dwayne Bravo, who made 25 off 27 balls. After Bravo’s dismissal at 86 for four, West Indies needed 70 runs off the last six overs to secure victory.

The dream appeared to be dashed in the 16th over when David Willey landed two quick blows to leave West Indies on 107 for six – leaving the West Indies with 49 to get off the last 27 balls.

Brathwaite joined Samuels in the middle, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The pair helped Windies’ score to 137 for six after 19 overs, and with Stokes entrusted to bowl the last over, many would have backed England to get over the line.

Brathwaite, who was drafted into the Windies 15-man squad before the tournament as a replacement for Kieron Pollard, showed off his brute strength as he hit a wayward Stokes to all parts of the Eden Gardens ground.

Delivering full leg-side deliveries, Stokes was pumped over the backward square leg and long-on boundaries with his first two balls as the equation was reduced to seven off four balls. Stokes missed with length with a yorker off the third ball, which was emphatically drilled straight down the ground for another six.

And for the final act, Brathwaite thumped a massive six over the mid-wicket boundary before he was swarmed by Samuels and his teammates for pulling off the most incredible of heists.

With words which have now become synonymous with Brathwaite’s feat, former West Indies pacer and esteemed commentator Ian Bishop echoed the statements, “Carlos Brathwaite, Carlos Brathwaite. Remember the name!”

Eight years on, the cricketing world certainly remembers Brathwaite’s jaw-dropping contribution.

On June 29, Windies fans will hope to chant another name aloud as the regional team embarks on conquering the T20 world once more.


"Memorable Windies’ World Cup moments: Rally and remember their names!"

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