JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Captain Darren Sammy said Sunday there was never any doubt his West Indies side could produce a world record chase to beat South Africa in the second Twenty20 International at the Wanderers.
Set 232 for victory, the Windies pulled off the highest ever run chase in the history of T20 Internationals, to steal a thrilling four-wicket victory with four balls to spare.
“It’s probably one of the best matches that we’ve been involved in. This tops it all,” Sammy said afterward.
“For me it was the attitude at half time from the guys in the dressing room. No one thought we couldn’t chase down 230-odd and when you have an environment like that, it breeds success where everybody is confident and supporting and backing each other to go out and do the job.”
Opener Chris Gayle blasted 90 off 41 deliveries, with nine fours and seven sixes, and posted a record 152 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, whose 60 required 39 balls.
And though these two innings proved decisive, Sammy believed the victory came as a result of team effort.
“With Chris and (Dwayne) Smith and then Chris and Marlon, everybody did their part because even after Chris got out, we still needed to score and ten, 11 runs an over so it took a team effort to do that,” Sammy pointed out.
“I believe once we continue to play with that team spirit and energy we’ll be very dominant in this format.”
The Windies performance overshadowed South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis’s brilliant 119 off 56 balls, his maiden T20 hundred, which lifted the hosts to the fourth highest T20 International total, after they were sent in.
du Plessis counted 11 fours and five sixes and combined with David Miller, who struck 47 off 26 balls with four fours and three sixes, to put on 105 for the third wicket.
Sammy said a number of factors had gone in the Windies favour, which had helped win them the game, and also praised the innings of Samuels.
“They scored 230 but to be honest they could have scored 240 plus and I think Jason (Holder) and (Dwayne) Bravo’s final two overs bowling to (Farhaan) Behardien I think, we had a few dot balls in between there and that in the run chase proved very crucial for us,” Sammy explained.
“[But] just the way Chris went about batting [was great] but I think the key was Marlon’s innings. Chris was on the go and we needed two guys to be on the go and Marlon stepped up to the plate allowing us to have that finish.
“At half time we said if with five overs left we were chasing 70 runs we would win the game and at five overs I think we needed 50 something.”
West Indies survived some anxious moments, however, losing five wickets for 38 runs in another mid innings slump. Sammy then arrived to play a cameo, smashing an unbeaten 20 from seven balls to finish the game in style.
“I went in to join Brav (Bravo) and Brav and I always bat well together in T20 cricket and sometimes in one-day cricket as well, so we saw we needed 40 off 20-something [balls] when we went in to bat and we just said it is a similar situation to the World Cup or against England in the Caribbean [last year], and once we bat out the overs we will win the game,” Sammy pointed out.
“We said we would target the 17th and 18th over to make sure we get a big one and we did get a big one in the 19th over. It is just amazing to be part of a team which has so much confidence in the players in the dressing room.
“To chase down 230-something in South Africa against a good team it shows that … the West Indies team can be destructive.”