Underdog West Indies becomes new ICC T20 champions

BY RUMIT GAMBHIR ’15
Contributing Writer

Dating back to the 16th century, cricket is one of the oldest contemporary sports. Through the years, several new forms of the game have developed, starting from the classic five-day test matches and one-day internationals to the most recent format: the short, entertaining ‘Twenty-20s.’

Twenty-20s are four-hour games in which each team bats for only one inning and each inning is restricted to 20 ‘overs.’ This form of cricket has received both praise and criticism. Most of the older crowd criticizes Twenty-20s for being a rash format where each team just tries to smash around the ball without displaying any technique or class. On the other hand, our generation is all for the game as it is filled with all they want to see: big sixes (equivalent to a home run), quick wickets, and, of course, cheerleaders.

The third international T-20 World Cup ended last week. The previous two had been held in South Africa and England, respectively. The third, hosted by Sri Lanka, was a competitive world cup with some nail-biting matches. In the first round there were no upsets and all the expected teams qualified to round two. However, in the second round one group had all the strongest teams namely India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa.

In the first match of this round, Australia thrashed India by chasing their target of 140 runs in 15 overs with nine out of 10 wickets remaining (which is a really bad defeat). India however, did not lose their confidence and won comfortably against Pakistan in their next match. In their third match India was under a lot of pressure as they desperately needed to win in order to have a shot at the semi-finals. Despite losing two matches prior to this, South Africa gave India a run for their money but ended up losing to them by just one run. Even though India, Australia, and Pakistan won two matches each, only Pakistan and Australia ended up qualifying for the semi-finals owing to their net-run rate (net-run rate is determined by how well a team wins a match).

Meanwhile, in the other group, West Indies and Sri Lanka emerged victorious quite comfortably.

The first semi-final was rather disappointing for all Pakistani fans. Even though Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to a measly total of 139, their batsmen failed at keeping their wickets and Pakistan crumbled putting up only 123 runs on the board. In the second semi-final, West Indies surprised everyone by inflicting a crushing defeat on Australia, one of the best cricket teams.

The finals came down to a face-off between West Indies and Sri Lanka. The home team had managed to reach the finals and the stadium was packed with Sri Lankan fans going absolutely crazy with excitement. West Indies managed to score 137 runs in 20 overs, with Marlon Samuels hitting 78 runs of only 55 balls. Looking at Sri Lanka’s previous record, chasing this should have been a piece of cake, but the West Indian bowlers gave it all they had, and got them all out for only 101 runs, making West Indies the new Twenty-20 world champions.

Questions? Email Rumit at rgambhir@fandm.edu.

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