What a day for West Indies cricket.
Both the men’s and women’s teams won 31 March to clinch their respective spots in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.
The men’s team completed the second-largest chase in Windies international T20 history and beat India by seven wickets. The host country reached 192 and things didn’t look good for the Windies when Chris Gayle was out for five and Marlon Samuels for eight.
But Lendl Simmons, Johnson Charles and Andre Russell kept plugging away and put the Windies in a position where the Caribbean side needed three runs off three balls to win. That’s when Russell socked a six to clinch the victory.
“I think we have a lot of batting on paper,” Simmons said after the dramatic win. “It depends on the day which team performs. We couldn’t make 120 a couple days ago so batting on paper doesn’t say much. I think it’s on the day who gets off and this is the day I got off and I had an opportunity to win the game. Everybody played their part.”
The Windies now will face England in the tournament final on 3 April. West Indies beat England two weeks ago in the team’s tournament opener.
The women, meanwhile, took a six-run win over New Zealand to secure their spot in the finals.
Stafanie Taylor and Brittney Cooper produced a partnership of 60 runs and the Windies set the Kiwis a total of 144.
Taylor took three wickets in the New Zealand innings — including two crucial scalps in the 17th over — as the Windies emerged victorious.
“It was no time to play their game,” Taylor said afterward. “It’s time to play our game and I think that the way we played against them was fantastic.”
The women will play Australia in the final, also scheduled for 3 April.