It was a double whammy for the West Indies on Thursday. After their women’s team entered the final, Darren Sammy men booked a berth in the title round with a stunning seven-wicket win against tournament favourites India in Mumbai. (India Out Of World T20 Despite Virat Kohli’s Valiant Effort)
The match was billed as a contest between Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle but the script unfolded very differently. While Kohli smashed a brilliant 89 off 47 balls, Gayle was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah for 5 to give India an early advantage. (India vs West Indies World T20 Semis: Bad Toss to Lose, Spinners Ineffective, Laments Mahendra Singh Dhoni)
But Lendl Simmons pummeled the Indian attack and rode two chances to score a 51-ball 82 to knock India out. Simmons and Andre Russell (43 off 20 balls) took the game away with a 80-run stand that left India gasping for breath. (India vs West Indies, World T20: Two No-Balls That Cost Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Men A Final Berth)
Sammy was all praise for his batsmen who handled the pressure very well in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium rooting for the home team.
Massive step for West Indies: Sammy
“We knew it was going to be a massive step, against a very good India team, I must commend the whole team, we knew halfway they were 10 runs short. Even when we lost Gayle, Simmons, Charles and Russell took the responsibility,” said Sammy.
“I was just praying we win the toss, I surprised myself winning five out of five. We came here on a mission, we were inspired by the U-19 boys earlier this year, the ladies won earlier today, now we have two West Indies team in the final.
“We feel this is this West Indies team against everyone else. Everyone said Chris is under pressure but I said it, we have 15 match winners,” said Sammy.
One of my better innings: Lendl Simmons
Man of the Match Simmons was cool about his knock and the stunning win. He came in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Andre Fletcher and delivered in his first match.
“I slept the whole flight, I had got a call after the Afghanistan game and they asked if I was fit to play, I said yeah … I played for Mumbai, I enjoy this pitch. I think it was one of my better innings … I got the opportunity to prove myself to my fans
“Playing on this pitch I know 180-190 was a par score. The guys said they were 10 runs short, I believed that … I got three chances, two no-balls and a six went my way and I cashed in.”