World T20 2016 recap: West Indies' golden T20 generation wins second world title

·9-min read

It certainly has been a while since the T20 World Cup was last hosted. The biggest event in the shortest format returned to the Indian subcontinent for a third consecutive time after being hosted by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2012 and 2014 respectively, but it was India that was awarded the hosting rights this time around, making it the first ICC event hosted in the country in five years and the third overall, alongside the 2006 Champions Trophy and the 2011 ODI World Cup.

The tournament would unearth a few superstars along the way and would be defining moment in the careers of a few, including and especially Carlos 'Remember the Name' Brathwaite who played a blinder of an innings in the final at the Eden Gardens to help West Indies beat England in a thriller and extend their domination of the shortest format. It would also be the last time MS Dhoni captained India in an ICC event, as he would quit captaincy in January, 2017 to allow Virat Kohli to take over the leadership of the team in all formats of the game.

As we build towards the Super 12s stage of the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, which is already underway with the preliminary round and the warmup matches, we revisit the sixth edition of the event and some of the key moments that made it an event worth remembering:

Preliminary Round:

Much like the current event taking place in the Arabian Peninsula at the moment, the 2016 ICC World T20 began with the preliminary round that featured eight teams divided into two groups. Group A consisted of Bangladesh, Netherlands, Oman and Ireland, while Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland and Hong Kong featured in the other group.

Unlike the 2021 edition however, only the team finishing on top of their group advanced to the next stage, i.e. the Super 10s, and in this case, it was Bangladesh and Afghanistan topping Group A and Group B respectively, the latter featuring in their second ICC event after the ODI World Cup in Australia and New Zealand the year before.

Bangladesh joined hosts India along with Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand in Group 2, while Afghanistan were put alongside West Indies, England, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group 1.

Super 10s:

Team India were off to a horror start in their campaign after getting bowled out for a paltry 79 after restricting New Zealand to a modest 126/7 on a rank turner at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Stadium. Mitchell Santner (4/11) and Ish Sodhi (3/18) tore through the Indian batting lineup, with just three batters making it to double figures including skipper Dhoni's run-a-ball 30.

The defeat could have cost India dearly had they not bounced back in their subsequent games. India next faced arch-rivals Pakistan at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, restricting their neighbours to 118/5 with the match reduced to 18 overs a side after a brief spell of rain.

The Indians got off to a shaky start as Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Sami ran through the Indian top-order, the latter accounting for Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina's wickets off consecutive deliveries, before Kohli once again came to India's rescue, this time forging a match-winning partnership with Yuvraj Singh and remaining unbeaten on 55 to keep the Men in Blue's 100 percent World Cup record against Pakistan intact.

India's road to the semis was by no means an easy one thereafter, as Bangladesh nearly handed them a knockout punch in Bengaluru in their next game. Needing 11 to win from the last six deliveries, Mushfiqur Rahim struck back-to-back boundaries to bring the equation down to two runs from three balls, and broke into premature celebrations after the second boundary.

What followed was one of the most thrilling finishes witnessed in cricketing history, as Hardik Pandya kept his composure to dismiss the two set batters €" Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah €" off the next two deliveries. Needing two off one, keeper Dhoni took his right glove off in anticipation and bolted towards the ball after Shuvagata Hom missed and ran towards the opposite end, catching Mustafizur Rahman short in the end to effect a one-run victory.

India ultimately sealed their qualification into the last four thanks to yet another chasing masterclass from Kohli, his unbeaten 82 off 51 balls against Australia in Mohali recently voted the greatest moment in the history of the ICC T20 World Cup as India once again recovered from a slow start to ultimately chase the 161-run target down with five balls to spare. They finished second in their group, with New Zealand the other team from Group 2 moving to the semis after winning four in four and with a Net Run Rate touching almost 2.

England opened their campaign with two high-scoring games at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, resulting in a six-wicket defeat to the West Indies and a thrilling two-wicket win over South Africa respectively €" Chris Gayle starring in the run chase with an unbeaten 100 off 48 balls in the first instance. West Indies followed up their victory over England with a seven-wicket thrashing of Sri Lanka, before sealing their spot in the semis with a hard-fought three-wicket win over the Proteas in a game that went down to the last over.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, punched above their weight towards the end of their Super 10 campaign when they ended up beating powerhouses West Indies by six runs in Nagpur. They had put in impressive performances in each of their previous three outings despite them ending in defeats, but held on to their nerves this time around as Mohammad Nabi bowled a terrific final over to halt Brathwaite's late charge when the Windies were left needing 10 from the final over.

Despite the defeat, Windies finished on top of the group thanks to their superior run-rate to England, who also finished on six points with three wins from four games.

Semi-finals:

New Zealand were in a solid position at 91/1 in the 11th over with skipper Kane Williamson and Colin Munro at the crease. Williamson's dismissal, offering Moeen Ali a catch off his own bowling, however turned things around in the Englishmen's favour, as the Kiwis kept losing wickets at regular intervals thereafter while their run rate never really picked up. From looking set for a total in the range of 180 at one stage, the Black Caps finished on 153/8.

England got off to a similar start thanks to a blazing innings from opener Jason Roy, who lit up the Feroz Shah Kotla (now Arun Jaitley Stadium) with 11 fours and two sixes in his 44-ball 78. While they did stutter in their middle overs with Sodhi striking off consecutive balls, Jos Buttler provided the finishing act with a 17-ball unbeaten 32 as England smashed their way to a seven-wicket win with nearly three overs to spare.

It was a similar story on India's western coast as the Men in Blue suffered yet another heartbreak in a knockout game despite riding on Kohli's unbeaten 89 to post a challenging 192/2. The West Indians lost the wickets of Gayle and Marlon Samuels with just 19 runs on the board, before Johnson Charles and Lendl Simmons began a counterattack and put West Indies' trophy hopes back on its feet with a 97-run third wicket stand.

Simmons took over after Charles was dismissed for 52 off Kohli's bowling, and ensured they didn't suffer any further scares along the way as the 2012 champions coasted him by six wickets with two balls left.

Final:

The summit clash between West Indies and England at the hallowed Eden Gardens was an occasion to remember, and had a plenty of moments which could have stood out, had it not been for the last four balls of the match.

Root and Buttler forged yet another fighting partnership to rescue England from a shaky start, with David Willey providing some late touches to help Eoin Morgan's side finish on 155/9. Not exactly a big total on paper, but an occasion as enormous as the World Cup final, anything was possible with an early wicket or two.

And striking early they did, as the trio of Charles, Gayle and Simmons all found themselves back in the dugout with just 11 runs added to their total. Marlon Samuels, who would lay the foundation for the victory with a 66-ball 85, fought back alongside Dwayne Bravo as the pair added 75 for the fourth wicket. The West Indians were in a spot of bother again as Andre Russell and skipper Daren Sammy departed in a space of a couple of deliveries, but Samuels' presence was assuring enough.

West Indies needed 45 from the last four, and while they lost no further wicket, they weren't quite getting the big hits that would have kept the asking rate under check. Jordan bowled a couple of brilliant overs, conceding 15 from two including eight from the penultimate over that left the Windies needing 19 off the last six.

Few, however, would have expected Brathwaite to simply tonk the ball out of the park off four consecutive deliveries off all-rounder Ben Stokes in the final over. "Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name," screamed former West Indian pacer Ian Bishop in the commentary box after the Jamaican smacked the fourth one over deep midwicket to complete one of the most emphatic victories for the West Indies in their glorious cricketing history.

What made the victory even sweeter was the fact that their U-19 team had beaten India in the final in Bangladesh in February that year, while the women's team had also clinched the T20 World Cup on the same day as the men, leading to joint celebrations between the two teams.

Also See: T20 World Cup 2021: West Indies backing Chris Gayle to do well, says skipper Kieron Pollard

T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam says 10-match winning streak gives Pakistan the edge over India

T20 World Cup 2021: Backing Virat Kohli to win the trophy on captaincy swansong, says former chief selector MSK Prasad

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