We have 15 potential match-winners: Darren Sammy
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The West Indies team made it two wins in two games after they managed to beat Sri Lanka at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru. Opener Andre Fletcher scored 84 from just 67 balls and was the chief architect in the win today for West Indies.
West Indies were set a target of 123 runs to chase by the Lankans who were put into bat first by Darren Sammy. The Lankan batsmen looked wobbly by eventually managed a functional score with the help of Thisara Perera’s brilliant cameo.
There was a wave of unhappiness in the stadium when the second innings commenced. Gayle had hurt himself while fielding and was not in the condition to come out. However, Andre Fletcher did let anyone feel his absence as he thrashed the Lankan and almost single-handedly helped West Indies win the match by 7 wickets.
Losing skipper Angelo Matthews agreed that the team should have put a good batting performance. He said that the team is quite inexperienced as compared to the 2014 side which won the title. Mathews said: “I thought we were 20-30 runs short and we horrible in the field. If we had taken our chances, it would have been a close game. Unfortunately, we did not. In the middle order, we kept losing wicket after wicket. It was really difficult and we started to reassess the wicket. We wanted to get 150, but we fell short. Winning an ICC tournament is always special. We have quite an inexperienced team compared to 2014; the seniors are doing their job by teaching the youngsters.”
The jubilant Darren Sammy showed his rock solid confidence in his pack and said that the tournament is a spin-dominated one and his spinner did extremely well, taking total advantage of the situations. Sammy: “We always had some close battles with Sri Lanka. The record in World Cups is not good for us, but it was good to see the way we came out and bowled, restricted them to a total that almost became competitive. Fletcher coming in for his first game was just brilliant, I am happy with the way he batted. He was picked in the original squad, but was left out because of Charles’s form, but today he came good. I am really happy for him. Look at the games played at Nagpur and here today, the spinners seem are the ones getting the wickets. My spinners, Badree and Benn bowled in the powerplay and came back and continued to take wickets, especially Badree who came back to pick three wickets. This World Cup is very special. We had a few difficulties before the tournament, but we are here to win it. Hope so (talking about Gayle’s injury). We showed that it was not a one man show. It was a bit shaky in the middle, but Fletcher stepped up. We have 15 potential match-winners. It is always a great experience. The only thing missing was the red flags (referring to RCB’s flag). Chris is like a local, hopefully for the rest of the tournament, they come out and support us in the same way.”
Andre Fletcher was undoubtedly the Man of the Match and stated that Chris Gayle is his mentor in T20s. Fletcher said: “It was a bit easy to bat earlier and it got a little tough when the ball became old. So I tried my best to bat through. Chris is my mentor in T20s. Before I went to bat, he told me that I would have a big day today. So I want to thank him for having that confidence in me and I happy that I did well. I don’t think anyone could take Chris Gayle’s job (smiles, when asked if he had taken Gayle’s job with this knock). I always back myself to be positive. Good to see the likes of Bravo, Carlos do the job. It’s good to have another win. We are gelling well as team. We don’t want to get complacent.”