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World T20 2012 recap: West Indies’ tough path to success, India’s forgettable campaign and more

The West Indies are currently the most successful team in the history of the ICC T20 World Cup, having won the competition on two occasions. The first of those wins came in 2012, when they beat hosts Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final to lift the trophy.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, Firstpost takes a look back at some of the best storylines from the tournament:

West Indies’ difficult road to success

Inclement weather played a big role in the Windies’ group stage campaign, in which they were paired with Australia and Ireland. In the first match of the group, Australia handed a severe thrashing to Ireland, winning by seven wickets and chasing down a target of 124 in just 15.1 overs.

In the second tie of the group, West Indies were beaten by Australia on the D/L method, after the match was rained out. Heading into the final match against Ireland, they had a net run rate which was superior to that of their opponents, and they needed it to remain so. Ultimately, the match was abandoned due to the rain, and with only one of three matches in the group stage having been played to completion, the Windies managed to scrape through into the Super Eights.

In the Super Eight stage, Windies began on a winning note, beating England by 15 runs, a win which was crafted, in large part, thanks to a knock of 84 from 56 balls by Johnson Charles. Their next match, however, didn’t result in quite as successful an outcome, as they were handed a crushing nine-wicket defeat by hosts Sri Lanka, in what would serve as a preview of the final.

With one relatively narrow win, one heavy defeat and a compromised net run rate, the equation was quite clear for the Windies. They either needed a win against New Zealand, or would need Sri Lanka to beat England in the final game of the group. Their match against the Kiwis was tight from the off, and with a runout of Doug Bracewell on the very last ball as he attempted to make the winning run, it was all level and it headed into a Super Over.

Marlon Samuels was given the ball, and he was hit for 17 by Ross Taylor, including a six and a four. West Indies had their task cut out for them. Samuels was given a shot at instant redemption though, he would come out with Chris Gayle for the deciding over. Tim Southee was bowling. The first ball was a no-ball, and it was hammered over long-off by Gayle for 6. It was a great start for the Windies, but the next four deliveries yielded just six runs. They needed a boundary off the final ball. A four would tie the match, and five would win it outright. Samuels opted to go for six, and dispatched a low full toss over deep midwicket to send the Windies into the semi-finals.

From that point on, it was all smooth sailing for the West Indies. They absolutely hammered Australia in the semis, winning by 74 runs as Chris Gayle scored 75 and Ravi Rampaul picked up three wickets. Then, in the final, they eased past Sri Lanka, beating them by 36 runs as Samuels hit a 78 and Sunil Narine bagged three wickets and gave away just 9 runs.

India’s forgettable tournament

This T20 World Cup was ultimately not great for India, but it began on a very strong note, as they picked up two wins in the group stage to finish atop their group. The first win was perhaps predictable, with the Indian side being clear favourites against Afghanistan, who they beat by 23 runs.

However, their second victory was quite remarkable, as they scored 170/4 thanks to a half-century from Rohit Sharma, before bowling out England for just 80 to win by a staggering margin of 90 runs. Harbhajan Singh was one of the standout performers from that game, taking the crucial wickets of Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, as he ended with figures of 4-2-12-4.

The Super Eight stage though, was not as kind to India. They began with a pretty heavy defeat at the hands of Australia, who restricted them to 140/7 and then chased it down in just 14.4 overs for a nine-wicket win. They did manage to then beat Pakistan by eight wickets though, which gave them a little hope heading into the final match.

Pakistan had a net run rate of +0.273 and four points in the bag. India needed to beat South Africa by a margin that would be enough to raise their own net run rate above Pakistan’s. India batted first, and scored 152/6, with Suresh Raina (45) top-scoring. It was all math from that point on. If South Africa scored 122 or more, India were out of the tournament. India began well, with wickets in the first and fourth overs, but ultimately, they could not constrain South Africa, who ended up scoring 151 runs. India had won the match, but they were out of the tournament.

Hosts fall short at final hurdle

It was also a disappointing tournament for Sri Lanka, who were the hosts of the tournament. They were looking to avenge their defeat in the 2009 final and get their hands on the trophy, and they began their campaign in the best possible way. They recorded an impressive win over Zimbabwe in the tournament opener, a match in which Ajantha Mendis took six wickets in a haul that is still the second-best T20I spell ever.

Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis celebrates after he dismissed Zimbabwe cricketer Prosper Utseya during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on 18 September, 2012. AFP

Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis celebrates after he dismissed Zimbabwe cricketer Prosper Utseya during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on 18 September, 2012. AFP

Despite losing to South Africa, they qualified for the Super Eight stage, in which they won all three of their matches convincingly, including a huge victory over eventual winners West Indies. In the semi-finals, they faced Pakistan, who had denied them glory in 2009. After scoring 139/4 in 20 overs, they then restricted Pakistan to 123/7, thus winning by a margin of 15 runs and knocking out the men in green. Eventually, it was just not meant to be, and they were beaten handily in the final. They would, however, go on to win the title the very next time the tournament was played, in 2014.

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