There is a reason why, as captain Darren Sammy pointed out a day before yesterday's match, West Indies are often the second favourite team of cricket lovers around the world. Part of their identity is providing entertainment and joy through their actions, and that is perhaps why Australian all-rounder James Faulkner's comment a day before their match that he did not much like West Indies irked the Caribbean skipper. Faulkner paid a dear price for his words -- he was the bowler who Sammy hit for consecutive sixes in the last over to seal a memorable win.
The joy of Caribbean cricket was evident when Sammy came to the post-match press conference amid cheers and out of breath from the rousing celebrations. "I must thank the Almighty for this wonderful victory. Like I said in the pre-match press conference: talk is cheap," said Sammy when asked about whether it felt good to punish his detractor. "Cricket is a game of action, you can talk all you want, but it is the action that matters. West Indies acted today. Faulkner will not like us anymore.
"I don't care who was bowling. We had to get 12 runs. But you feel better when it is the guy who was talking a lot before the game. He bowled some good yorkers but I stayed low and got under the ball. We handled pressure better than them," said Sammy, who scored a match-winning 13-ball 34 after Chris Gayle had set it up with 53.
Gayle's flying start -- he raced to 41 from 17 balls -- pleased Sammy, who said it was also a part of a ploy to get the Australians under early pressure in chase of a challenging target of 179. "I told you that he was hitting the ball very well. He played two knocks [against India and Bangladesh] which we were not used to seeing. Once he gets going, anything is possible.
"Most times when pressure is on, they don't respond quite well. From the start we put them under pressure when Gayle went after [Mitchell] Starc," Sammy added.
Gayle and Dwayne Bravo -- whose 12-ball 27 was as crucial as Sammy's innings -- celebrated the win like a trophy win, but Sammy said that it was more to do with what went on before the match. "We will celebrate today alone. We have not won the tournament. Playing against Australia with the build up, we have celebrated hard. But we will focus on Pakistan next."
With the loss Australia are staring at a possible early exit from the World Twenty20. Skipper George Bailey blamed the batting more than the bowling for the crucial loss. "Once again I don't think we batted particularly well. All of the top six probably played pretty ordinary shots or shots at inappropriate times. And again we probably let ourselves down in the field with some chances. All three disciplines were not up to the standards that we set," he said.
12:00 AM, March 29, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015