T20 World Cup 2016 Final: Do West Indies after their group stage win against England have the edge?

The T20 World Cup 2016 will finally come to its climax when England take on West Indies in the final at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Sunday. Earlier, West Indies eased past England in the group stage match, played at Mumbai, courtesy of a blazing century from Chris Gayle. England set West Indies a
stiff target of 183, but the team from the Caribbean chased it down convincingly with 11 balls to spare. Things have changed drastically since that game. England have remained unbeaten since that match on their way to the final, whereas West Indies lost to minnows Afghanistan in their final group stage game. 

That however is not their major concern. Since that ton, Gayle has managed to score a further 9 runs in two innings. But the good news is others such as Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons and Andre Simmons have stepped up and ensured that they make up for Gayle’s lack of form. England will know that just Gayle’s wicket is not good enough for them to win the match. Their opponents have enough firepower in their batting line-up and will be hard to contain, if they fail to be accurate with the ball.

Since that match, England too have turned a corner. They chased down a mammoth target of 230 against South Africa and then followed it up with a shaky performance against Afghanistan. But they dominated for majority of the game against Sri Lanka and despite Angelo Mathew’s blitz, England held on to their nerves in the death and emerged victorious. But they showed their resolve against a top class team like New Zealand in the semi-final, winning comfortably.

England’s death bowling has improved significantly. They have depended on Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes to deliver the goods for them in the latter stages and they have delivered. Jordan with his yorkers has been a big threat. Also Liam Plunkett coming in place of Reece Topley has worked in England’s favour. Plunkett has gone just over six in his three matches so far and also adds depth to England’s already powerful batting line-up.

England and West Indies have found new match-winners when it was required. They have not been over-dependent on one or two players, like a few other teams, which is perhaps the reason why they have made it to the final. While it is unlikely that England’s loss earlier in the tournament to West Indies will play in their minds, it is highly important that all their players give it their all in the final, else West Indies will pounce on a slight window of opportunity to get themselves back in the game. 

The runs have dried down at Eden Gardens as the games have progressed. Pakistan scored 200-plus in their first match of the Super 10s, but no other team has managed to even come close to that since. The pitch will assist a spinners. The likes of Samuel Badree, Suliemann Benn, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will take due note of that. Both teams have been dominant when it comes to chasing.

England may have lost to West Indies earlier in the tournament, but they will not be pushovers in the final by any stretch of imagination.

SOURCE - cricket country.

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