Starting and finishing well is the key to holding the advantage in a T20 match. West Indies lifted the World T20 title because they managed to pull this off.
More specifically, it boiled down to Samuel Badree and the four sixes by Carlos Brathwaite. Badree’s spell cost West Indies 16 runs in four overs while Brathwaite smoked 24 runs in four deliveries.
Where England lost out was setting West Indies a good target. That was because they were never sure of what would be a good target. It was one of those matches where losing the toss turned out to be more significant. Still, the responsibility was on Eoin Morgan and Joe Root to steer the team out of the early setbacks.
“We let ourselves down tremendously with the bat. We were probably 40 runs short. Both sides let themselves down with the bat,” said captain Morgan. West Indies didn’t bat well, but this was a team that backed itself to take chances in the death.
When it came to the last over, West Indies dealt in sixes. England never had that firepower. In light of that assessment, England should have looked to get at least 180. That looked within their reach at the end of the 13th over when they were 103/4. Instead, they lost three wickets in the space of five deliveries and Root and Ben Stokes left the team in a lurch. Morgan didn’t agree but it also looked the team had been affected by the elaborate celebrations of West Indies at the fall of every wicket.
West Indies were better than England at taking the game to the last over. But they were also checked regularly by a great bowling effort by England. David Willey picked the crucial wickets of Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell and Sammy but equally impactful was Chris Jordan with his deliveries that almost always arrowed in the batsmen’s block-hole. It was Jordan’s yorkers that gave England a 19-run cushion in the last over. But Brathwaite had other plans. Even Morgan had no idea where they got it wrong in the last over.
“Cricket can be a cruel game. I thought we did extremely well with the ball. At no stage did the West Indies get anywhere near where they wanted. But I still don’t believe what happened,” said Morgan.