ICC World T20 review
West Indies were crowned T20 kings in Colombo. We pick out the main talking points from the event
By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs. Last Updated: October 8, 2012 12:10pm
"It'll be quite a party" - West Indies team manager Richie Richardson tells the world what we already know after watching his players lift the World Twenty20 title under lights in Colombo.
It may not have been a popular result for locals in the Sri Lankan capital, however the rest of the cricketing world will certainly not begrudge West Indies, the team who lit up the tournament in more ways the one, their moment in the limelight.
Here is a review of the main talking points from the 2012 event...
Team - West Indies
There will be plenty of sore heads and sleep-deprived bodies on the Caribbean today after West Indies silenced host nation Sri Lanka to land their first T20 title in Colombo. While England appear to view the Indian Premier League as a nuisance, the standard of the West Indies' T20 cricket has undoubtedly improved as a result of the multi-million pound event. Players such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine have honed their skills in sub-continent conditions and transferred them to the main stage in Sri Lanka to help West Indies taste glory on the world stage for the first time since their ICC Champions Trophy triumph in 2004. Darren Sammy's men performed consistently well throughout the tournament, annihilating Australia in the semi-finals before digging deep to defeat Sri Lanka on Sunday evening. In Gayle and Pollard the Windies have two of the most destructive T20 batsmen in world cricket, but it was Marlon Samuels who took centre stage in the final with a vital innings of 78. Fielding has so often been the team's Achilles heel in recent times, however Windies now boast a formidable set of athletes, who would deservedly have been dancing, 'Gangnam Style', into the early hours .
Player - Shane Watson
It is rare that Australia ever enter a world tournament with so few people talking about them as potential winners but Shane Watson at least gave them a sniff in Sri Lanka. Finishing as the leading run-scorer in the tournament and the second-highest wicket-taker, Watson almost single-handidly dragged the Aussies into the semi-finals before West Indies sent them packing with an emphatic victory at the Premadasa. With a distinct lack of leaders in the current Australia set-up, Watson appears to be thriving on the responsibility he has within the team.
Innings - Brendon McCullum
New Zealand's destructive wicketkeeper-batsman scored 123 of his 212 tournament runs in one innings to give the Black Caps a flying start against Bangladesh. McCullum, now the only player to score two T20 international centuries, feasted on the Tigers' toothless bowling attack to register the only century of the competition. The right-hander from Dunedin found the rope 11 times and cleared it on seven occasions in Pallekele - reaching three figures in just 51 deliveries! He went on to surpass Richard Levi's world record knock of 117 and post the highest-ever Twenty20 innings ever.
Under-achievers - South Africa
England ran the Proteas very close for this award but the fact that the world No.1 side failed to win a single Super Eight match sees them sneak it. After playing such superb cricket against England leading up to the tournament, South Africa entered the World Twenty20 as the bookmakers' favourites to end their title drought. They showed glimpses of quality early on but when it came to the crunch in the knockout stage they simply failed to deliver. It's hard to put your finger on why they struggled so much. In Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Johan Botha and Jacques Kallis, South Africa have all bowling options covered, while Hashim Amla, Kallis and AB De Villiers are just three reasons why big totals should be achieved with the bat. I don't want to mention the C word, but mud is certainly beginning to stick...
Match - South Africa v Pakistan
The turning point in South Africa's campaign could well have been in Colombo when they grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory against Pakistan in their opening Super Eight fixture. Seemingly dead and buried on 76-7 chasing 134 for victory, Pakistan found an unlikely batting hero in Umar Gul as the match turned completely on its head. The 'Gul-dozer' hit Kallis for back-to-back sixes to start the fightback and Umar Akmal finished the job in the final over to seal a remarkable win which the Proteas never recovered from.
Talking point - Dead rubbers...
Sparse crowds and dead rubbers blighted the tournament somewhat. Surely there should never be a 'meaningless' match at a World Cup tournament?? The previous format with points taken through to the Super Eight stage from the groups worked much better and should be brought back for the next event.
Team of the tournament
Chris Gayle (West Indies)
Shane Watson (Australia)
Virat Kohli (India)
Mahela Jayawardena (Sri Lanka - capt)
Luke Wright (England)
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand - wicketkeeper)
Marlon Samuels (West Indies)
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)
Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka)