Once again Marlon Samuels has proved that his name must be one of the first to be penciled in on any selection of a West Indies team.
Samuels, the elegant and classy batsman from Jamaica, was in fine form as he took Australia’s bowling attack apart in a stroked filled 92 runs, which in the end, helped West Indies to win their second game of the tri-nation series that is currently taking place in the Caribbean.
Australia had earlier batted and set West Indies a target of 266 runs. The West Indies chase of the total owed much to Samuels’ fantastic knock of 92 runs which propelled the home team to overtake Australia’s total.
At the end, West Indies posted a total of 266/6 (45.4 Ovs) to Australia’s 265/7 (50.0 Ovs).
“It’s all about delivering for the team and keeping us in contention in the competition,” Man of the Match Samuels said.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons credited the team’s top order for driving their four-wicket win over Australia for the first time in many years.
Simmons was asked after the match about Samuels and his relationship with the Australians.
“Just the fact that he has taken us to victory in the game so to speak, would be enough for him. I don’t think he’s still worried about what some people in Australia said. I think he answered that in the T20 World Cup final so I think he has left that there,” said Simmons.
He also described Samuels batting as classy and said it’s nice to watch him bat when he is on the go.
Simmons also highlighted the importance of having a mixture of youth and experience on the side.
“In every team you can see there’s experience. You have to have experience all through the team,” he said.
“Most of the teams in the world, you have young guys coming in, but only one or two [youngsters] and the rest of the team is experienced veterans, you would call them; after five years, you are a veteran. It’s great to have him, it’s great to have Pollard back because he’s experienced in limited-overs cricket, young Bravo is getting there. So it’s great to have that sort of experience especially where Jason is a young captain and Carlos [Brathwaite] is young,” he continued.
He was also quick to point out the importance of set batsmen carrying on and finishing the game — he views this as an area of concern within the context of batsmen getting out when they are on song.
“Marlon and Bravo finishing off the game rather than somebody getting out. It’s a case where we have two guys who have put us in a position and they need to carry on. I think there can be a little bit of improvement,” he said.
“We are always looking to improve our fielding, which I think today was as good as it has been. And I think we are looking to improve on where we bowl in the first 10 overs and things like that,” he added.
Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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