'One of the highlights of my career' - Sammy
Allrounder Darren Sammy will become the 27th player to represent West Indies in 100 one-day matches when he takes the field against Pakistan on Tuesday. On the eve of the second ODI, Sammy confessed to not having thought of such records when he started out, but considered it one of his best moments.
"All I really wanted to do was represent the West Indies and give my all on every occasion out there on the field," he said. "But I will approach it as any other game before, preparing myself both physically and mentally and make sure I am match-ready if selected, for tomorrow's match. I see this as one of the highlight moments of my career"
Having made his debut in 2004, Sammy has scored five half-centuries and has a top-score of 84 off 50 balls at No. 9 against Australia. He has taken 71 wickets at an economy rate of 4.56. His crowning achievement was leading West Indies to the 2012 World Twenty20 title by beating the hosts Sri Lanka in the final in Colombo.
West Indies, however, are trailing 0-1 in the ongoing series against Pakistan, having suffered a 126-run defeat on Sunday. The hosts, after restricting Pakistan to 54 for 5 in 21 overs, collapsed spectacularly as Shahid Afridi plundered 76 runs off 55 balls and took 7 for 12.
But Sammy, who had captained West Indies to a 2-2 draw against Australia and a 4-1 win against New Zealand in March and July 2012, believed that the team's return to winning ways was just a matter of piecing together consistent performances.
"We have been through times like this before, but someway and somehow we found a way to bounce back," he said. "We had a good start from the spell Jason [Holder] gave us, but we did not capitalise on that and that is something we really got to improve on, which is driving home the advantage when we have teams in critical positions with our bowling."
Fast bowler Jason Holder, who wrecked Pakistan's top order with figures of 10-4-13-4, echoed Sammy's optimism.
"Obviously we did not get the result we wanted but I think the guys will be looking to bounce back, while I will be looking to continue the same form by putting the Pakistanis under pressure early.
"It was a good pitch to bowl on especially after it dried out. It spun in the second half and like I said, it is not a bad pitch. We just need to apply ourselves a bit more and get the runs."
Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi's 120-run stand for the sixth wicket eventually took Pakistan to 224. In contrast, West Indies managed only two double-figure partnerships, one of which was for the ninth wicket between Sammy and Sunil Narine, when the match was already all but lost.