Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes in the last over as the West Indies stunned England to lift the World Twenty20 title in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy and his rag-tag bunch of Twenty20 mercenaries had been on the verge of boycotting the tournament over a pay dispute with their board but ended it in a blaze of glory.
Two weeks since landing in India after the tumultuous build-up, at Eden Gardens they became the first team to win the World Twenty20 twice, courtesy of the most explosive batting ever seen in the climax to any one-day final.
They owed it to the blazing blade of their number eight Brathwaite who, facing the improbable task of scoring 19 off the last six balls to pull off their 156-run victory chase, smashed the first four balls for six.
It was an incredible finale, the 24 runs being the most ever in the final over of a Twenty20 international, surpassing Australia's 23 against Pakistan in Gros Islet in 2010.
Yet it had looked wholly unlikely when the West Indies had been reeling at 11 for three inside three overs before Marlon Samuels, with a superb unbeaten 85 that earned him the man of the match award, put their chase back on track.
Yet despite Samuels' heroics, few at Eden Gardens imagined he and Brathwaite had much hope of scoring 19 off the final six balls from Stokes, whose death-overs parsimony had been key to England's victories against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Yet unfortunately for England, Stokes' skills deserted him just when the 2010 champions needed it most.
Brathwaite kicked off the carnage by clobbering the first delivery, a juicy half-volley on leg stump, over the square leg boundary.
The next two deliveries disappeared over the long-on and long-off ropes before the fourth one, with just one run needed, was nonchalantly deposited in the stands over deep midwicket to trigger wild celebration by the West Indians.
As team mates came forward to console a distraught Stokes, Sammy and his men invaded the pitch. A pumped-up Samuels went topless and had to be restrained by his team mates.
It was their second win over England in the tournament, having beaten Eoin Morgan's men in the group stage a fortnight ago in Mumbai.
It was also the perfect answer from a bunch of West Indian cricketers who had complained throughout the tournament of hostility from sections of the media and a lack of backing from their home board.
For Brathwaite, it proved the most memorable night of his career.
Before he had smashed his unbeaten 34 off only 10 balls, the 27-year-old from Barbados had claimed 3-23 to restrict England to a modest 155-9 after Sammy had won the toss and elected to field.
"To see Carlos play like that at his debut World Cup was just tremendous," an emotional West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said afterwards.
England captain Eoin Morgan refused to blame Stokes.
"It's not his fault, we're all in this together, we enjoy our wins, and the pain will be shared tonight," he said.
Marlon Samuels anchored the West Indies' run chase of 156 with an unbeaten 85, including nine boundaries and two sixes, after England had posted 155-9 in their 20 overs.
After being reduced to 11 for three, Samuels single-handedly kept the Caribbean team in the hunt with his 66-ball blitz.
Brathwaite finished on 34 not out off just 10 balls as the 2012 champions completed a hat-trick of titles after the women's clinched their maiden trophy earlier on Sunday.
The Under-19 team had already lifted the youth World Cup in February.
"Everybody in the West Indies is a champion," beamed Sammy.
The Windies also became the first team to lift the World T20 twice.
England's batting hero Joe Root had hit Windies hard with a double strike when he shared the new ball with David Willey to get the West Indies' openers trudging back to the dug out.
Root struck on his first ball as Johnson Charles skied a catch to mid-wicket but the really big wicket came on the third delivery when Chris Gayle departed.
Gayle tried an ambitious slog after hitting a first-ball boundary but could only find the fielder at long-on to trigger wild celebrations in the English camp.
Willey then got semi-final star Lendl Simmons out leg before wicket for nought to leave the Windies tottering at 11 for three.
Samuels counter-attacked by hitting Chris Jordan for three boundaries in the sixth and last over of the powerplay that cost England 16 runs.
Samuels, who was given an early life after wicketkeeper Jos Buttler grassed a caught behind, stitched a 75-run partnership with Dwayne Bravo (25) to help the Windies rebuild.
Willey turned up for his second spell with a double strike to hurt Windies' hopes of reviving their chase as the asking-rate kept growing, but new man Brathwaite had other ideas.
Brathwaite managed an unbeaten 54-run stand with man-of-the-match Samuels to stun England.
Earlier West Indies' bowlers justified captain Darren Sammy's decision to field first as Samuel Badree and Andre Russell put England on the backfoot at only 23 for three in 4 overs.
Opening the attack for the Windies, leg-spinner Badree got Jason Roy clean out for a second ball duck and also accounted for struggling English skipper Eoin Morgan (5) in his third over.
Root (54), who struck his third half-century of the tournament, and Buttler (36) then came up with a fine re-building act to manage a 61-run fourth wicket partnership.
Medium-pacer Brathwaite got Buttler against the run of play when Bravo took a good catch at deep mid-wicket before celebrating with his customary 'Champions' dance.
Sammy soon cashed in on Bravo's catch to bring him on to bowl and the medium-pacer obliged with two wickets in his second over.
England's batting soon crumbled after Brathwaite got dangerman Root trudging back as a scoop shot turned out to be the in-form batsman's undoing.
Braithwaite and Bravo shared three wickets apiece to hit England hard.
David Willey's late cameo of 21 was studded with a boundary and two sixes and to give the England total some respect.
Meanwhile, Samuels also taunted Shane Warne as the pair had an infamous run-in during the Big Bash in 2013.
"I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say is 'this is for Shane Warne'. I answer with the bat, not the mic.
"In the practice against Australia I sat in the same seat and made a first-ball duck, so I said I'd go back in the same seat I'd do something special.
"I don't worry about semi-finals because when it comes to finals I always turn up and do well for the team. I grew up watching England cricket so all respect to the England players, we are champions again and want to continue to move from strength-to-strength. This is a win for the Caribbean. It means a lot. I didn't have much to say to Carlos, but told him to swing hard."
West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite smashed England's Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to snatch a sensational four-wicket win in Sunday's World Twenty20 final as the Caribbean side became the first team to win the title twice.
Needing 19 off the last over sent down by Stokes, Brathwaite exhibited nerves of steel to complete the chase in stunning style and trigger wild celebrations amongst his jubilant team mates who invaded the Eden Gardens pitch.
"We have a pastor in the team in Andre Fletcher, we keep on praying," West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said after becoming the first captain to lead a team to a second World T20 title.
"Good to see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup. Shows the Twenty20 depth we have in the Caribbean. Hopefully we will continue to improve."
The 24 runs Brathwaite scored off Stokes was the highest in the final over of a Twenty20 International, bettering Australia's mark of 23 against Pakistan in Gros Islet in 2010.
England's death overs hero Stokes was left distraught after failing to contain Brathwaite, who had a memorable night having scored 34 with the bat after earlier claiming 3-23 with the ball to restrict England to a modest total.
Man-of-the-match Marlon Samuels was not out on 85 but it was Brathwaite's blistering total off 10 balls that saw them home.
Put in to bat, England got off to a horrendous start before Joe Root hit a fluent 54 to help the 2010 champions post a competitive 155 for nine wickets.
"We didn't have enough runs on the board. It was a really good batting surface, maybe 180-90 was par," England's disappointed skipper Eoin Morgan said, though he was happy with his team's aggressive displays throughout the tournament.
"We showed an immense amount of character in the tournament, not quite done enough to win it. I truly believe this is only the start of something special."
Root added 61 to the England total in partnership with Jos Buttler (36), who hit left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn for back-to-back sixes before holing out in the deep.
Dwayne Bravo (3-37) struck twice in the 14th over and Root perished in the next trying to scoop a delivery from Brathwaite (3-23).
West Indies wobbled early in their chase after part-time spinner Root dismissed Johnson Charles and the dangerous Chris Gayle in his the first three balls to peg them back.
Samuels added 75 runs with Dwayne Bravo (25) to steady the ship before Brathwaite provided the remarkable late fireworks to secure an emotional victory.
The home crowd, whose team were knocked out by West Indies in the semi-final, gave a loud cheer when India's Virat Kohli was named man-of-the-tournament for his prolific batting.
West Indies have beaten England by six wickets and two balls to spare to win the World T20 final at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 156, a superb half century by Marlon Samels (85 not out) put them on course before Carlos Brathwaite lit up the City of Joy to take West Indies over the line with his massive hits off Stokes as England replied with 161-6 in 19.4 overs.
Brathwaite has smashed four consecutive sixes off Stokes to stun England.
West Indies need 19 off the las over.
England are back in the hunt after a double strike by Willey. WI 107-6, 15.3 overs.
Darren Sammy c Hales b Willey 2 (2b)
Andre Russell c Stokes b Willey 1 (3b)
Plunkett goes for 18 as Samuels whacks a couple of sixes and a boundary. WI 104-4, 15 overs.
Samuels completes a half century while Bravo mistimes the last ball from Rashid after hammering a six. WI 86-4, 14 overs.
Dwayne Bravo c Root b Rashid 25 (27b 1x4 1x6)
Billings may have dropped the World Cup after misjudging a catch off Bravo. WI 73-3, 12.3 overs.
Samuels returns to bat after being adjudged caught behind but replays showed Buttler had grassed it. WI 37-3, 6.1 overs.
Samuels gets cracking hammering three boundaries off Jordan. WI 37-3, 6 overs.
West Indies' run-chase is in tatters as Simmons goes for a duck. WI 11-3, 2.3 overs.
Lendl Simmons lbw b Willey 0 (1b)
Gayle has gone after smashing a boundary first ball. WI 5-2, 1.3 overs.
Chris Gayle c Stokes b Root 4 (2b 1x4)
Root has struck with his first delivery as Charles slices to long off. WI 1-1, 1.1 overs.
Jonathan Charles c Stokes b Root 1 (7b)
A half century by Joe Root (54) helped England recover from a terrible to start to make 155-9 after being put into bat.
Jose Buttler (36) shared in a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket with Root after Badree (2-16) wreaked havoc.
Dwayne Bravo finished with 3 for 37 to stall England despite David Willey's knock of 21.
Bravo claims his third and West Indies begin celebrating like champions. Eng 142-9, 18.3 overs.
Liam Plunkett c Badree b Bravo 4 (4b)
Charles takes a diving catch to send back Willey. Eng 136-8, 17.3 overs.
David Willey c Charles b Brathwaite 21 (14b 1x4 2x6)
Willey heaves Bravo for a couple of sixes over midwicket and straight. Eng 131-7, 17 overs.
England's innings is in tatters as Root as Benn takes a low catch. Eng 111-7, 14.1 overs.
Joe Root c Benn b Brathwaite 54 (36b 7x4)
Double blow as Ali is adjudged caught behind for a duck. Eng 110-6, 14 overs.
Moeen Ali c Ramdin b Bravo 0 (2b)
Bravo strikes bouncing out the dangerous Stokes. Eng 110-5, 13.5 overs.
Ben Stokes c Simmons b Bravo 13 (8b 1x4)
Sammy is hit for a couple of boundaries in his first over as Root completes a 33-ball 50. Eng 103-4, 13 overs.
Buttler's cameo comes to an end as Brathwaite strikes. Eng 84-4, 11.2 overs.
Jos Buttler c Bravo b Brathwaite 36 (22b 1x4 3x6)
England are targetting Benn and Buttler is on the rampage clubbing two sixes. Eng 83-3, 11 overs.
Buttler hits the first six of the match slamming Benn inside out over extra cover. Eng 57-3, 9 overs.
Root shows he is a batsman in form slamming Badree through midwicket for a boundary. Eng 41-3, 7 overs.
Badree has finished with excellent figures of 4-1-16-2.
England are in deep trouble as the skipper is gone failing to read a wrong 'un from Badree and edging to slip. Eng 23-3, 4.4 overs.
Eoin Morgan c Gayle b Badree 5 (12b 1x4)
Benn goes for 14 with Morgan getting a couple to get into his stride. Eng 23-2, 4 overs.
Root gets his second boundary getting on the back foot and driving Benn through the covers.
Badree is in the action again taking a blinder to send back Hales. Eng 8-2, 1.5 overs.
Alex Hales c Badree b Russell 1 (3b)
Root hits the first boundary of the match drilling the first ball from Badree through the covers. Eng 7-1, 1 over.
Sensational start for West Indies as Badree strikes with the second ball of the match castling Roy taking his leg stump. Eng 0-1, 0.2 overs.
Jason Roy b Badree 0 (2b)
West Indies have won the toss and invited England to take first lease of the wicket in the World 'T20 final at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
England and West Indies will battle to become the first two-time winners of cricket's World Twenty20 when they face each other in the tournament's final Sunday, in a game that promises to be a six-hitting slugfest.
Eoin Morgan's England will hope to complete a remarkable resurgence after exiting the 50-over World Cup a year ago in disgrace after losing to minnows Bangladesh and failing to progress from their group.
The West Indies are also a born-again side inspired by the laid-back, huge-hitting Chris Gayle, and featuring a phalanx of stars such as Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons who have all had success plying their trade in money-spinning T20 leagues around the globe.
Having been embroiled in a players' pay dispute at Test level, the West Indies have faced a barrage of criticism about their poor performances in the five-day game. But skipper Darren Sammy hit back on the eve of Sunday's final at Eden Gardens.
"People just paint us as money-grabbing cricketers for our success in T20 cricket, but yet they still don't respect us in that (Test) format," Sammy said.
Gayle, already the only man to have scored two hundreds in World Twenty20 history, will look to crack another landmark as the first batsman to record a century of sixes in T20 internationals, having already smashed a record 98.
Gayle has 11 of those in the current tournament. Ominously for England they all came in his 100 not out as the West Indies chased down 183 to beat Morgan's men in the group stage.
"We know we are a boundary-hitting team," added Sammy. "So it's about keeping our faith."
England are adept at clearing the rope themselves and their tally of 34 sixes is the most by any team in the tournament, underlining their remarkable 12-month transformation under Irish-born Morgan.
Opening batsman Jason Roy, one of the stars of the new-look England, promised they would come at their opponents "with all guns blazing".
"It's going to be an incredible experience but we are going to play our natural way and the brand of cricket we have been playing for the last year," said Roy, who pummelled 78 off 44 balls as England beat New Zealand in the semi-final.
England won the 2010 World Twenty20 and the West Indies took the honours in 2012.
Both will be looking to become the first team to lift the trophy for a second time, but the atmosphere in Kolkata has been subdued in the lead-up to the final after India, seeking to become the first nation to win the World T20 title on home soil, lost to the West Indies in the semi-final.
The deadly collapse of a partially built flyover in the north-eastern city on Thursday, which killed 26 people, has also cast a pall ahead of the match.