The hat of umpire Rod Tucker (R) is sent for a ride by strong wind, which was followed by hailstorm and heavy rain, during the ICC World Twenty20 first semifinal between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. PHOTO: FIROZ AHMED
No matter how disappointed Darren Sammy gets, he always manages to leave a press conference with a vibe that leaves almost everyone happy and wishing that the West Indies were not eliminated. When asked as to how disappointing it was to exit the tournament through a rain-curtailed game, Sammy said something that not many expected.
"I took it like, you know what, we have won a World Cup. But today I guess two gentlemen who have given a lot not only to Sri Lankan cricket but cricket on the whole… I guess the Almighty want them to leave on a high. They have one more game to leave on a high and I guess that's the reason why God put a hand on this game," said the West Indian captain, while referring to Sri Lankan legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who are retiring from T20Is following this tournament.
"I am sure we will have another shot to play in T20 World Cup. We are looking forward to win it in the near future," added a smiling Sammy.
West Indies fielding was absolutely brilliant in the first ICC World T20 semifinal against Sri Lanka at Mirpur yesterday. Here a diving Tillakaratne Dilshan is still short of his ground as a direct hit from Lendl Simmons dislodges the LED bails. Photo: AFP
Sammy felt that they had given away too many runs in the final overs and that's what cost them the game.
With the batting too, they began slowly with their openers, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith, consuming plenty of dot balls. He however refused to criticise them.
"When you lose a cricket game, people tend to point a finger at all kinds of areas. Yes there were dot balls, it's not ideal for this format of the game, but I guess we have developed a formula in which that works for us. We know we got to improve on rotating the strike.
"The way Gayle plays, he normally gives himself some time, and then catches up. Marlon is probably not batting well for us as of now. But he is one of our better batsmen and people have a few dips in form, hopefully we can dust ourselves and come again," said Sammy, adding that he thought the West Indies, who needed 81 runs off the last 37 balls before rain intervened, had a chance to win the game.
It was something that the player-of-the-match, Angelo Mathews, too agreed to.
"It would have been great if it was 20 overs, and a close game as well. We deserve to be in the final, because we have played very good cricket. After the first half, we heard there might be bit of rain. But one can't play according to that. We just had to keep them tight because they have some big hitters," said Mathews.
Mathews was key to Sri Lanka's fighting total. He came in towards the end and helped them score 40-odd runs in the last three overs.
"I never got a signal. We just had to calculate who to attack. We had to choose our options and [Sunil] Narine wasn't one of them. We wanted to get 7-8 runs off Narine and look for runs from the other end. From the 16-over mark, we just had to take the risk," said Mathews.