Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2014 Contents A58
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt March 30, 2014
West Indies men team captain
Darren Sammy said it after the
defeat of Australia---"We were
They were totally euphoric, letting
out steam that obsess sports bodies
and minds and using a clause that is
almost uniquely Australian to denote
utter energies needed and used in
Seldom does anyone see Chris
Gayle dancing "Gangnam Style," last
time being when WI won this similar
competition in 2012. Beating the Aus-
tralians on Friday brought out the
calisthenics moves once again!
South Korean musician Psy could
use Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Sammy
in videos when their playing days are
over, even now, as the Jamaican,
Trinidadian and St Lucian displayed
real Caribbean rhythm.
West Indies men still have much
work to do to get to semi-finals. They
have the similarly mercurial Pakistanis
to deal with Tuesday, so the job is
not yet done, but the men s team is
much sharper now.
What a difference a week makes.
Last Sunday, in their first match agaist
India, WI played like damp squibs,
certainly not operating like defending
champions, meekly going down to a
seven-wicket loss, making only 129,
courtesy of India s strangling leg-
spinner Amit Mishra and medium-
fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Vast improvements were needed
immediately versus Bangladesh, and
wonderfully provided too, by a still
struggling Gayle and a revamped
Dwayne Smith, who played the
Twenty20 innings of his life for that
well-constructed 72. The platform
that they provided for the first wicket,
97, was pivotal for that win.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree, with
an impressive spell, 4-0-15-4, his
and West Indies best in World T20s,
and left-arm medium slinger Krish-
mar Santokie, equally good with 4-
0-17-3, bowled excellently.
Then came that match against
Australia, with Aussie left-handed
all-rounder James Faulkner igniting
the already simmering WI keg with
his jibe that "I do not like West Indies."
So, simply, they did not like him back!
Gayle looked immeasurably more
mobile, and his half century was a
useful tonic for his team, while Bravo
played well too.
Given the mood that Sammy was
in at the crease, he was also right to
confirm that he could not care who
was bowling at the game s end, as he
would have given the same treatment
to any bowler.
But it was great irony that Sammy
clobbered the needed last two sixes
in Faulkner s and Australia s last over,
to win the game and start the cel-
ebrations. Faulkner will probably now
be banished from Australia.
WI men did beat Bangladesh and
Australia, but their batting has wob-
bled some. Had it not been for their
bowlers, especially Santokie and
Badree, WI would have been in worst
Now it is on to Pakistan, to com-
plete the first circle, to get to that
Conversely, West Indies women
have been simply sailing along, some-
what under the radar, while being
extremely efficient without even being
lauded at all.
They have certainly confirmed their
highly regarded status and have kept
their promises too, so far.
Captain Merissa Aguilleira has gone
on record to suggest, boast even, that
her team, "with certainty," will win
the ICC Women World T20. That
is real confidence for anyone who
wants to listen.
With successes against highly
favoured England, Bangladesh and
Sri Lanka, WI women are well on
their way to at least a semi-final berth
too. All they need to do next is to
beat India s women.
Against England, Kycia Knight,
with 43, the indomitable Stephanie
Taylor with 56, and Aguilleira, 11,
were the only ladies to get to double
figures, the total of 133 being just
A superlative spell of 4-1-12-4 from
medium-fast bowler Deandra Dottin,
a cousin of WI men s team coach
Ottis Gibson, put paid to hopes that
the English women had; Windies
women winning by a meagre nine
Against Bangladesh, WI women
faltered batting-wise again, making
only 117, with Dottin batting this time,
scoring well for 34 and Stacy-Ann
King getting a useful 20.
Again, bowlers held their nerves,
demolishing the Bangladesh women
for 79, with serious Tremayne Smartt
(3-0-9-2), veteran Anisa Mohammed
(4-0-22-2) and teasing leg-spinner
Shaquana Quintyne (3-1-5-3).
Against Sri Lanka, it was easier still
for WI women, Smartt again among
the wickets with figures of 3.5-0-15-
3, as SL women blundered to only
84. Left-arm medium pacer Shanel
Daley was even better with 4-0-15-
4. For good measure, Taylor was 56
not out, keeping up her good form
as WI women won by eight wickets.
WI women need to beat India
women to keep that winning "mojo"
going as winning is also a habit, and
they will need all of the confidence
that they could get for the semi-
If WI men beat Pakistan and win
their semi-final too, then they could
play India again in the final as also
predicted by Sammy. What a
humdinger that would be between
the world s two best T20 teams.
WI women will probably have their
normal nemeses Australia women or
New Zealand women to deal with in
semi-finals, so their path to the final
is still fraught with serious danger.
But, it would be magnificent if both
WI teams play the same semi-final
day, then get to finals too. Enjoy!
Windies teams sizzling at World T20
COLIN EH CROFT
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