It was Afghanistan’s first win in the Super 10s, it was their first win in any format against a Full Member side other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and they had done rather well to beat West Indies, but the West Indies captain was in no mood to praise his opponents. An uncharacteristically tetchy Darren Sammy instead said his team should have had the match in the bag, that they should have easily chased 124, and failed to do so only because none of their batsmen took the responsibility of anchoring the chase.
“[I] don’t think it was difficult,” he said, when asked about the challenge of batting against Afghanistan’s spinners on a slow, grippy pitch. “At the end of the day, we just didn’t play smart enough. We backed ourselves. The games we have won, every match somebody took responsibility to bat through. Chris [Gayle] did it in the first game, [Andre] Fletcher did it in the second game, Marlon [Samuels] did it in the third.
“This time nobody did it. Nobody took responsibility, just left it for the next man to come. Like I said to the guys tonight, we just leave this game here in Nagpur. It’s a new focus now, which is the semi-final which is the first step and we just have to be ready to face whoever it is in Mumbai.”
In a closely fought match decided by a six-run margin, Afghanistan ran 11 twos, while West Indies only managed five. Sammy didn’t think this had been a key difference between the two sides in the game, and repeated his belief that West Indies should have won the game comfortably.
“This ground is probably one of the biggest grounds in India,” he said. “Plenty [of] twos were on display, especially when you are trying to save the boundary. Batsmen, depending on how quickly the ball is coming to you, always [have] two on offer particularly if you run the first one hard. Yeah, look, at the end of the day, we were really happy chasing 124. We should have gotten it. We lost the game, they didn’t win it.”
While disappointed that West Indies had lost, Sammy was happy they had won their first three games and to be among the final four teams left standing in the World T20.
“They [Afghanistan] are a side we were supposed to beat, and we just didn’t do that today. But the main objective of the Super 10 was to qualify for the semis and that we did.”
Fletcher retired hurt after the sixth over of West Indies’ innings, while batting on 10. He returned to the crease in the final over, with West Indies needing 10 off the last three balls, but looked in clear discomfort, hobbling the last run of his innings. Philip Spooner, the West Indies media manager, said he had injured his right hamstring.
“We will assess him tomorrow early and a decision would be made,” he said. “At this stage, as you could see, he is struggling, but a full assessment will be made tomorrow.”