Darren Sammy is not the one to throw tantrums, but after being taken off the attack, the allrounder was not able to hide his disappointment.
Jason Holder promised UAE aggression and that’s exactly what he delivered. Midway through his first over, Holder bowled the first of several back of a length balls, knowing UAE’s batsmen were uncomfortable. Andri Berenger had no choice but to play at one that angled away and took the outside edge. Berenger immediately turned his head and watched nervously as the ball flew over the slip cordon. Darren Sammy jumped but his fingertips were not long enough. Even as UAE breathed a sigh of relief and took the four runs, they would have known more was coming.
The almost five-for
With West Indies making steady progress through UAE’s line-up, and Holder closing in on a career-best, the captain kept himself on in a marathon spell. He almost got the reward when Nasir Aziz pushed at a full delivery and got the outside edge. It died on Sammy, who collected what he thought may have been a catch and alternated between appealing and tending to a finger that seemed to bend backwards, which immediately suggested he was not sure if he had cleanly collected. Holder wanted the five-for though and the umpires sent it upstairs for a closer look, which revealed the ball probably hit the ground before Sammy’s valiant effort. Almost.
The Sammy sulk
He is not the player you would pick to have a mini-tantrum but Darren Sammy was not impressed when he was taken off after just one over and seemed to drift into his own world as Dwayne Smith took over. Holder went to his former captain to try to explain the decision but Sammy wasn’t buying it. They shared some choice words before Holder dispatched Sammy to the long-off boundary for an over and then brought him into the ring in the next over. The lesson had been learned as Sammy eagerly chased after everything that came his way, and even some that didn’t.
After Amjad Javed and Nasir Aziz had stoically taken UAE to the point of a respectability with a 107-run stand for the seventh wicket, they sensed a need to accelerate as they entered the last 10 overs. Trying to smash one towards long-on, Javed was bowled but two balls later Mohammad Naveed got it right. He aimed squarer over the deep mid-wicket boundary and sent the ball into the stands. It was the boldest shot by a UAE batsman on the day and showed their ability to produce some glory shots amid the grind.
Johnson Charles had not played an ODI in over a year and was not part of this squad till Darren Bravo was withdrawn but he understood the urgency better than anyone when he began the chase. He hit the second ball he faced through extra cover for four and sent the third over long on for the biggest six of the match, at a towering 89 metres. Welcome back.
Marlon Samuels’ talent should be a source of celebration but the man himself takes it for granted so often, that it has become the opposite. With West Indies well set to finish the chase quickly, Samuels grew careless and played a casual cut straight into the hands of the man at backward point. Berenger did not have to do anything but accept the gift and Samuels ended what could have been a matchwinning knock by fizzling out.