Windies vs England WT20 final: Will West Indies be second time lucky?

Andre Fletcher West Indies CricketerKolkata: The second semi-final was played in Mumbai’s Wankhede between India and West Indies. India had won a thriller against Australia in their previous game, whereas West Indies were coming into this having lost against Afghanistan in the last game. West Indies won the toss and put India to bat first, the pitch seemed excellent for batting but the problem at Wankhede is you never know what is a good enough score.

Dhoni made two changes going into this game, one out to of choice and the other was forced: Rahane replaced Dhawan and Manish Pandey replaced Yuvraj Singh.

The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Rahane worked for India. They both scored 40 plus scores and put up a partnership of 62 for the opening wicket, the highest for the opening pair by India in this World Cup. Once Rohit Sharma departed it was time for India to expect fireworks from their inform batsmen, Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli was the difference for India in the previous game against Australia, he scored a terrific 82 of 51 balls and the fans were expecting the same from him in the semi-final.

Virat Kohli had two excellent partnerships in the semi-final, the first with Rahane worth 66 runs and the second with Dhoni worth 64 from just 27 balls. He scored 89 runs from 47 balls living up to the fans expectations and putting his team in a strong position. His innings included 11 fours and 1 six. Rahane and Dhoni did very well too, they both gave Kohli as much of the strike as possible as he was able to score the boundaries of the West Indies bowling.

India scored 192, setting a target of 193 for West Indies to chase. India was confident and knew if they get early wickets they pretty had the game in their hands, however the bowling needed to be good on this pretty much one sided track.

West Indies didn’t get off to a good start. First, they lost the early wicket of Chris Gayle in the second over for just 5 runs and then Samuels for just 8 in the following over. At the end of 3 overs West Indies were 19-2 and India seemed like they were going to wrap this game up in no time. However Charles and Simmons had other ideas. They both managed a partnership of 97 runs taking West Indies to a strong position going into the second half of the innings.

The party was not yet over, at 13 overs West Indies were at 116-3 and in stepped Andre Russell. He had a partnership with Simmons worth 80 runs, taking West Indies home safely. Russell completely tormented the Indian bowling scoring 40 runs in 20 balls; his innings included 3 fours and 4 sixes.

Lendl Simmons batted exceptionally well scoring 82 runs of 51 balls. However we must not forget the enormous luck he possessed on the day. He was given 3 lives by the Indian bowlers. He was out 3 times but luck worked for him. Twice he was given out, for no balls (as the bowlers stepped their line) and the third time he was caught out but Jadeja had stepped onto the advertisement hoarding which means he was not only not out but also scored a six of the ball. All that said, Lendl Simmons took advantage of the situation and guided the West Indies to victory. His experience with the Wankhede track (plays for Mumbai Indians in the IPL) provided a huge bonus for the West Indies team.

Virat Kohli was the stand out performer for India. He not only scored runs off the bat but also provided the breakthrough wicket of Johnson Charles in the 14th over. He was given the ball again in the 20th over but wasn’t able to stop the West Indies onslaught, as they finished the game with a six taking them to 196 runs with 2 balls to spare.

West Indies will now face England in the final at Eden Gardens on Sunday. Both teams will pay tribute to the victims of the flyover collapse at Kolkata by wearing black armbands. The flyover collapsed on March 31st.

Which team will be the first to win the ICC T20 World Cup more than once? Let's wait and see as England face off West Indies!