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CHAMPIONS ONCE MORE

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Caribbean leaders and cricket officials have sent congratulatory messages to the West Indies team after winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Accolades continue to pour in from around the cricketing world for their stunning victory.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in her congratulatory message said the; “victory of the West Indies cricket team as World Twenty20 champions is testament to the resilience and tenacity of the region’s never-say-die spirit and serves as a reminder to West Indians that international greatness and talent is not determined by the size of our nations, but rather by the extent of our drive and passion.”

She noted that eight of the 15-member squad were Trinidad and Tobago nationals.

“This World Twenty20 Championship title certainly reminds us of the power of sport to inspire and unify people of all races, classes and creeds. As a region we are all buoyed by this victory,” she said.

West Indies pulled off an amazing victory in Twenty20 history to win the World Cup by 36 runs against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Jamaican Marlon Samuels played simply the best Twenty20 international innings ever seen when Sri Lanka had the West Indies against the ropes in the first 10 overs, blasting 78 in his team’s 137 for six, which included six massive sixes. Sri Lanka could muster only 101, all out with eight balls left.

So stunning was Samuel’s innings that Lasith Malinga, Sir Lanka’s main strike bowler went for 0 for 54 from his four overs. Samuels hit him for three sixes in one over - the biggest six of the tournament at 108 meters.

West Indies were 14 for 2 after the Powerplay and 32 for 2 after 10 overs, the fourth worst scores at these points in the history of Twenty20 internationals. They even took 17 balls to score their first run off the bat.

Captain Darren Sammy also contributed big to the win, scoring 26 off 19 balls. When Samuel got out, West Indies were still 108 in the 18th over. They needed a strong finish to keep fighting and managed to score 29 runs in the last two overs ending with 137 for six.

Sammy’s team silenced the 30,000 partisan crowd at the R Premdass Stadium, recovering from the slow start after having the luck of winning the toss in the highly anticipated final.

It was the first time since 2004 when Brian Lara’s team captured the Champions Trophy in England that West Indies had won an international limited overs title. It was the West Indies fourth ICC title.

Speaking after his team’s victory, Captain Sammy said, “For the last two years we’ve shown the never-say-die attitude, but we haven’t had the results. This moment we’re going to live forever.”

“The team has been going through a lot in the last 10 years. The mission was to win the Twenty20 World Cup. The belief we left the Caribbean with has pulled us through,” he said.

Updated 5:10 pm, October 8, 2012:
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