Carlos Brathwaite’s stunning four consecutive sixes off the first four balls of the last over helped seal West Indies’ four-wicket win over England and their second World T20 title in Kolkata on Sunday.
Here are HT’s five takeaways from that last-over thriller:
No Narine but cheers to Barrackpore
People of Barrackpore rejoice, your boy has made you proud. This isn’t the erstwhile cantonment town located on the northern fringes of Kolkata, but the Barrackpore in Trinidad and Tobago. But just like the spinner named after Sunil Gavaskar, Samuel Badree turned out to be another West Indian owning Eden Gardens as if it was his backyard.
His figures of 4-1-16-2 may have gone unnoticed but it was pure gold, especially that wicket maiden. At Rs 50 lakh, Badree can now be considered a bargain buy for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Never underestimate the part-timer
Underestimate the part-timer at your own risk. The best method is just to play him out. Isn’t that what the coach says? Not for any reason you see. Even Joe Root can turn on the heat by tossing up dollies. You know you want to hit them out of the park but almost invariably it goes wrong.
Johnson did it. Chris Gayle saw everything from the other end but decided to take his chances at his own peril. No harm done for West Indies at the end of the day but definitely a lesson for everyone.
Throw your back for the catch’s sake
Another of those cricket adages --- catches win you matches. And who must absolutely adhere to it? Why of course, the wicketkeeper! At 25, a wicketkeeper is expected to put Superman to shame. And here was Jos Buttler not even throwing himself in front to collect a lazy nick from Marlon Samuels, then on 27. Had that catch been taken cleanly, England could have pocketed the match. Instead, they gave Samuels a second life.
There is no challenging brute power
You can be as athletic as you want, sprint between the wickets like a hare and stop boundaries by sliding like an eel. But sometimes you have to bow to brute power. Take the case of gentle giant Carlos Brathwaite. He ambles in while bowling and is as shy in front of the media as a third grade kid.
But the operative word here is ‘giant’.
You don’t want to pin him to the wall. Once you do that he can summon insurmountable strength to make you see stars in daylight. And that’s not a great feeling.
Even a neutral venue can rock the party
There was a hint of anxiety among some of the organisers when India failed to make it to the final. Tickets were up for resale and friends with access to complimentary tickets were put in a fix.
Somehow, however, all turned out well for Eden Gardens. Kolkata knew this could be too good a game to miss. Relieved of the pressure to watch India play a final, they cheered for the sixes and yorkers and produced Mexican Waves at T20 pace.
Biggest compliment for the Eden? Both captains claiming after the match that the crowd was on their side.