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Mohammad Isam in Mirpur
March 28, 2014
'Faulkner bowling the last over was the cherry on top' - Sammy
The ball flew out of the middle of Darren Sammy's bat and cleared the sightscreen below the press box. Sammy, though, wasn't concerned about where it went or landed, though. He took off well before the ball had thudded back into the ground, took off towards his onrushing teammates, who were about to put together one of the most memorable and spontaneous celebrations seen on a cricket field.
Sammy had flung away his bat moments after turning towards the dressing-room, and Dwayne Bravo followed suit. Bravo had thrown it so high the spidercam was threatened, and since James Faulkner was still sulking somewhere in the vicinity of the pitch, it could have fallen on him.
By this time, Chris Gayle was still making his way past his teammates. He tackled Sammy and started to dance the Gangnam. Having treated the crowd to three Gangnams, he spotted a camera and made a gesture that said everything: too much talk man. The crowd lapped it up and there were howls of laughter in the press box as everyone kept their eyes fixed on the TV screens.
Gayle had led the Gangnam dance when West Indies had won the World T20 two years ago, but this was different. He had never looked as worked up as he did now. Before the game, Faulkner had said he didn't "particularly like" the West Indies players. It was quite prophetic George Bailey had given Faulkner the ball when West Indies needed 12 to win off the last over.
"Like I said in the pre-match press conference, talk is cheap," Sammy said, moments after the reporters at the press conference had given him a surprise ovation. "Cricket is a game of action. You can talk all you want but it is the action that matters. West Indies acted today. It feels very good to bring it home. We fought for it. Faulkner will not like us anymore.
"The DJ was playing Gangnam Style. Chris is the leader of our dance group. We are just happy. We play with flair and passion. It was not pre-planned, it just comes out with the celebrations. It feels good to beat the Australians."
That Faulkner had got under the West Indies players' skin was evident from the start of the game. When Glenn Maxwell and Faulkner were caught in the boundary by Bravo, the send-offs had an extra edge to them. Maxwell was shocked by Samuel Badree's reaction to dismissing him, and he gave some of it back during the West Indies innings when he caught Gayle on the boundary. With the bat in hand, Gayle had started aggressively against Mitchell Starc. Sammy had even celebrated after hitting his first six.
So on to the final over with Bailey handing the ball to Faulkner, who had conceded only 15 runs in his first three overs. The sight of Faulkner invigorated Sammy. He knew what he needed.
"I didn't care who was bowling," Sammy said. "We had to get 12 runs. But you feel better when it is the guy who was talking a lot before the game. He bowled some good yorkers but I stayed low and got under the ball.
"It is just a good feeling, it was a crucial match for both teams. We handled pressure better than them.We needed two big hits and we back ourselves as a six and four-hitting team. Two sixes in the end there was what we needed."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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