The West Indies’ men come to New Zealand as the current ICC Twenty20 World Champions, having won the title for a second time at Kolkata in April 2016. The 2012 champions met England in the final having already beaten them along with Sri Lanka and South Africa to top their pool. In an impressive display against the home side, they chased down India’s 192-2 in the semi-final with two balls to spare. Andre Russell hit 43 from 20 balls and Lendl Simmons 82 from 51 to earn the Man of the Match award.
After their loss to the West Indies, England beat South Africa, Afghanistan, and then Sri Lanka in pool play to reach the semi-final where they met New Zealand in Delhi. New Zealand were 89-1 after 10 overs, before finishing on 153-8. Colin Munro hit 46 from 32 balls, Kane Williamson 32 from 28, and Corey Anderson 28 from 23. Recent Canterbury Kings recruit, Ben Stokes had 3-26 from his four overs.
England opener Jason Roy scored 78 off 44 balls and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler 32 from 17 to lead England to a seven-wicket victory with 17 balls remaining.
In the final, Roy was bowled for a duck as England slumped to 23-3 batting first. Joe Root’s 54 runs from 36 balls and Buttler’s 36 from 22 helped England reach 155-9 in their 20 overs.
Root opened the England bowling with his off-spinners and took two wickets as the West Indies fell to 11-3 in the third over. Chris Gayle was out for 4 and Simmons for a first ball duck. A partnership of 75 between Man-of-the-Match Marlon Samuels (85* from 66 balls) and Dwayne Bravo (25 from 27) kept the West Indies in the game and they needed 45 runs from the last four overs. Tight bowling left them nineteen runs behind going into the final over, but Carlos Brathwaite, remarkably, hit each of the first four balls of Ben Stokes’ third over for six to seal the win by four wickets.
Like their compatriots, the West Indies’ women also come to New Zealand shores as World Champions. For them, however, their 2016 title was their first. With Australia having already won through to the final with victory over England, the West Indies and New Zealand squared-off in the second semi-final. Britney Cooper’s 61 helped the West Indies set a target of 144 which New Zealand looked like threatening until a 59-run stand between Amy Satterthwaite (24) and Sara McGlashan (38) was ended by captain Stafanie Taylor who claimed the pair in consecutive balls. The West Indies went on to win by 6 runs.
Taylor was a dominant force through pool play with both bat and ball as the West Indies finished second in Pool B. They beat Bangladesh comfortably and had narrow wins over India and Pakistan. Their only loss was against England, who won by 1-wicket on the final ball.
Australia’s path to the final also started with them finishing second in their pool after New Zealand looked to be the competition’s form team. The WHITE FERNS easily accounted for Sri Lanka, Ireland, South Africa, and the Australians before tripping up in the semi-final. Australia wouldn’t make the same mistake against England, holding on for a 5-run win.
In the final, Australia made 148 batting first – a total only bettered a handful of times through the tournament. Although they lost an early wicket, Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning each hit 52 at a strike rate over 100 to get Australia to their total.
While it may have seemed to be a challenging target, it proved no match for the West Indies’ top order as their openers put on 120 inside 16 overs. Hayley Matthews (66 off 45) and Stafanie Taylor (59 off 57) bettered their opposition’s effort before Deandra Dottin hit 18 off 12 to seal the 8-wicket win.