Dangerous throughout: We aren’t a one-man team, says Simmons
MUMBAI:Opening batsman Chris Gayle usually hogs the headlines but West Indies’ advance to the World T20 final has shown they are by no means a one-man team, according to semi-final hero Lendl Simmons.
Gayle scored an unbeaten century in the Caribbean side’s first pool match against England, who they now face in the final tomorrow. But since then, he has scored just nine more runs.
The left-handed opener was dismissed for five in the semi-final against India before Simmons smashed 82 from 51 balls, while Andre Russell scored 43 from 20 to guide their side into the showdown with Eoin Morgan’s team.
“I think England will certainly be aware that it’s not a one-man show in this team,” Simmons told reporters. “Chris Gayle didn’t get off but we still managed to get over the line and it was a big total. Even when he didn’t perform, we were still able to get up and fight and that shows a lot of character from our players.”
Sammy hopes to help Caribbean fans smile again
The team has needed to rely on their character and collective will after a turbulent few months in which they have been pilloried for their performances in Tests and ODIs. They have also been galvanised by yet another bitter pay dispute with their board, who less than two months ago threatened to send a second-string side to the tournament in India unless the squad accepted their offer.
Since Gayle’s blistering start to the tournament, others have assumed the mantle of trying to chase down the totals they have been set in all five games. Andre Fletcher scored 84 not out in their seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka, while Johnson Charles (32) and Marlon Samuels (43) saw them to a three-wicket win over South Africa.
“Every one of our players are match winners,” added Simmons. “We have a lot of batting power and I think we can chase any run total; we always back ourselves to chase totals.”
World T20: Simmons rides luck to carry West Indies into final
Stunning win helps Windies smile again
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he hopes to help Caribbean fans smile again by completing a unique hat-trick at the World T20.
An emotional Sammy said the West Indies had their backs to the wall before shocking India by seven wickets to emulate their women’s team, who also won their semi-final hours earlier.
After the West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup in February, a double victory in Kolkata on Sunday would seal an unprecedented treble and hint at a cricketing revival for the islands after years of decline.
“We came here on a mission. We were inspired by the U19 boys earlier this year, the ladies won earlier, now we have two West Indies team in the final,” said an emotional Sammy at the post-match presentation. “We feel it is this West Indies team against everyone else.”