India's skipper Suresh Raina won the toss and chose to field, a trend that was common even in the triangular series. India went in with three T20 debutants, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Naman Ojha. Piyush Chawla, flown in for the T20 series, got the nod ahead of Ravindra Jadeja whereas R Vinay Kumar returned from injury to be the second pacer alongside Ashok Dinda. Murali Vijay was given the nod ahead of Dniesh Karthik with Ojha taking over the gloves. Zimbabwe made two changes, with Ed Rainsford and Chamu Chibhabha coming in for Coventry and Cremer.
The South Africans were dealt a big blow before the toss as the previous match's half-centurion, Jacques Kallis was ruled out with a slight niggle. This paved the way for a debut for the youngster David Miller, who had come to the Caribbean with a reputation of being a hard-hitting batsman. Roelof van der Merwe and Charl Langeveldt also made way from the Protean line-up for Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.The West Indians decided to strengthen their batting line-up and brought in veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul in place of off-spinner, Nikita Miller. Chris Gayle won the toss once again and sent the South Africans in. The Proteas never found the going easy and worked hard to get to a total of 120, courtesy a 57-run prtnerhip between Miller and Johan Botha for the 6th wicket. The hosts in response lost early wickets, but Bravo and Chanderpaul got the chase on track. Unfortunately, neither of them could stay till the end. Darren Sammy nearly won the game in the final over, but fell just short.
South Africa came out on top in the first of two Twenty 20 internationals against the West Indies on the tour of the Caribbean. Both the teams had come under severe criticism after being ousted in the Super-8 stage of the recently concluded ICC World T20 and hence had a point or two to prove. South Africa, led by a fighting half-century from veteran campaigner Jacques Kallis managed to put up a challenging total of 136 on a rather difficult wicket. The home team never seemed to be in the chase and the final victory margin of 13 runs seems to be much closer than the match actually was. Ryan McLaren did the damage with the ball for the Proteas, producing the second best figures ever in the history of T20 cricket, 5-19, to bowl South Africa to a win.
The square at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium had been re-laid and it was a mystery as to how it would play. Chris Gayle's decision to field first and have a look at the pitch seemed to be the correct one, but his team failed to utilise it to their advantage and fell short of the target set up in front of them. This result further adds on to the disappointment of the home fans, who had already seen their team getting knocked out of the World Cup held in their own backyard.
The third T20 World Cup has finally come to an end with Eng
land lifting their maiden championship title in an ICC event. The cricketing extravaganza at the Caribbean brought together some of the best T20 players in the world and the spectators were treated to some breath-taking action. Some big names like Yuvraj Singh, Shahid Afridi, Tillakaratane Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya who had done wonders in the previous editions didn't live up to the expectations, whereas some not so well known players like Craig Kieswetter, Steven Smith and Salman Butt chose the biggest stage to make the world take notice of them.
The grounds in the West Indies are not small by any means and thus the batsmen had to strike the ball well to clear the ropes. As a result, the spectators were well entertained by some good clean striking. The wickets were not the flattest either, and that coupled with the decently sized boundaries meant that the bowlers had their moments too. The bounce at Barbados assisted the faster men and the Aussies exploited that in all their matches at the venues barring the final. The bounce also helped the spinners and the likes of Graeme Swann and Harbhajan Singh made good use of it. Guyana was more suitable for the slower bowlers, whereas St. Lucia offered a bit of help for everyone who was prepared to make the effort.
Starting from the toss, everything seemed to be going right for England. Paul Collingwood's decision to put Australia in paid off right-away as his bowlers responded with early wickets and though Australia staged some sort of a mini-recovery in the latter half of their innings, a total of 147 was never going to be good enough for the in-form English batsmen, who knocked off the required runs with three overs to spare.
Pakistan, put into bat by Michael Clarke put up their best batting display of the tournament to reach 191 with the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran leading the the way with the bat. The Australian strategy of bouncing the opponents didn't pay off and once that happened, there was no back-up plan to cover up. Pakistan had upper-hand till the last five overs or so when Hussey joined in and snatched victory for the Aussies from the jaws of defeat.
A clinical bowling performance by England followed by some reassuring batting was enough to clinch a resounding seven wicket victory over the hapless Sri Lankans at St. Lucia in the first semi-final of the ICC World T20. Some superb bowling led by Stuart Broad restricted the Lankans to a below par 128/6 before the openers got England off to a flying start in pursuit of the modest total. Kevin Pietersen, returning after the birth of his first child, provided the icing on the cake with a brisk unbeaten 42 as England reached their first finals in an ICC event since 2004.
Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat on a damp pitch. Both sides made expected changes to their squad, with Sri Lanka bringing in Ajantha Mendis while England welcomed back the prolific Kevin Pietersen who made it back from England just in time for the semi-final.
- Australia thank Windies for their hospitality, knock the hosts out of the T20 World Cup
- Sri Lanka edge closer to semis, knock India out of T20 World Cup
- Naik, Raj propel India into Women's World Cup semis, New Zealand beat Pakistan
- England send New Zealand packing, Pakistan qualify for T20 World Cup semi-finals
- Pakistan knock South Africa out of T20 World Cup, give themselves a glimmer of hope
- Australia down West Indies to top Group A in Women's World T20
- T20 World Cup: Australia thrash Sri Lanka to all but book Semi-final spot
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