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July 21, 2013
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels rued the interference of rain during his team's defeat to Pakistan in the fourth ODI in St Lucia, hinting at the possibility of a different result had the weather held good. A formidable 262-run target, masterminded by Samuels' fifth ODI century, was revised to 189 in 31 overs, which was chased down courtesy rapid fifties from Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq.
"If the rain didn't come today, then definitely we would have been in the driver's seat," Samuels told WICB media after the game. "It was a lot of runs on the board and the Pakistan batting has not been clicking consistently. We know we have quality bowlers, so I think that we could have put some pressure on them today and it would have been a different game."
Samuels steered West Indies after a difficult start, playing cautiously to begin with, as was demanded. He added 57 runs with Chris Gayle, who came in at No. 5, to prepare a foundation for a late-order charge that he led himself, having gained confidence from reaching his fifty - his first since his century against Bangladesh in 2012. With Lendl Simmons for company, he smashed his way to a hundred in the next 35 balls.
"I had a good talk with Dr Scott Hamilton [West Indies' sports psychologist] and I was trying to refresh my memory of the way my style of play is," Samuels said. "My style of play is give myself a chance and push it around, and then I can definitely make up at the end. I've been doing that job for the past two years and it was just for me to refresh my memory and continue along the road that I was on.
"They [Pakistan] have a high-class bowling attack but when I see a bowling attack two or three times, I sum it up properly. I've been watching a lot of tapes with Richard Berridge [video and statistical analyst] and by just summing them up, I realised who I'm going to target and who I'm not going to target and get as much singles as possible, so I batted to a plan today and it actually worked."
Rain arrived in the 17th over of the chase and stole over an hour from the game, reducing it to a 31-over sprint. Then, Pakistan captain Misbah and Hafeez's partnership of 72 runs in 55 balls put the game beyond West Indies' reach. "We were looking to exploit the pitch but the rain came early," Misbah said. "It was like a normal T20 game, Hafeez and I wanted to play normal cricketing shots. It was a case of not panicking. We needed eight an over and I had to adjust. The team will gain from the momentum today."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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