Sri Lanka v West Indies, World T20, semi-final April 3, 2014

Sammy defends wait-and-watch approach


Was it the rain? Or was it Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels? West Indies needed 81 to win from 37 balls with six wickets remaining when a hailstorm ended the first semi-final of the World T20, leaving Sri Lanka winners by 27 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis method. Gayle made 3 off 13, and Samuels was unbeaten on 18 off 29 when the rain came down.

Darren Sammy said it was disappointing to go out under the rain rule, and refused to answer when he was asked whether West Indies could afford Gayle and Samuels taking as much time as they did. When he was asked a related question about the high number of dot balls faced by Gayle and Samuels, Sammy admitted that both had not been able to deliver in this tournament, but said that both had performed in the past.

"When you lose a cricket game, people tend to point out all different areas where that should have happened, this should have happened," Sammy said. "But I am sure if you look at all the games we have played, there are more than 27 dots [25, between Gayle and Samuels].

"Probably 50-something dots. It's not ideal for Twenty20 but we've developed a formula in which that works for us. We know we are a boundary-hitting team. We know we have got to improve in rotating the strike but if you look at the way Gayle plays, he normally gives himself some time to get used to the wicket and catch up in the end. But the thing is, in this tournament he has not carried.

I guess the Almighty wants them to leave on a high, so I guess they have one more game to try and win a World Cup and leave on a high
Darren Sammy on Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene

"Marlon has not been batting well for us. It is one area - we always tell him, whatever rate you walk into, you try to keep it at that or increase it. Yes, we could say Marlon has not had the best of tournaments but he is one of our better batsmen and in the last World Cup (in 2012), he was the star for us. People have a few dips in form."

West Indies began with 17 runs off the opening over but scored only 13 off the next five of the fielding restrictions. Sammy and Dwayne Bravo had catapulted them home against Australia in a tense chase and also nearly doubled the score against Pakistan in the last five overs. The captain pointed to that and said West Indies could have pulled it off again.

"Gayle and [Dwayne] Smith have a very clear idea of how they want to go and play. The first over, we were off to a flyer but they brought on the offspinner (Sachithra Senanayake) and (Lasith) Malinga who bowled really well at Gayle and Smith. We were again behind the eight-ball and just when Bravo looked like picking it up like he did in the last game, he got out but we still had the belief that we could get 12 runs an over in the last six. I guess we have been doing that in this tournament. It is just disappointing but there is nothing we could do about it."

Sammy praised Sri Lanka for their display and said the rain gods had intervened because they wanted Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, both of whom will be retiring from T20 internationals at the end of the tournament, to win a world limited-overs title after four losses in finals in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

"Disappointing to come out of the tournament like this but credit to Sri Lanka. They won the toss, batted first. Probably they knew that some (bad) weather was around. But we have had a good run in this tournament, it is just sad that we got knocked out by the D/L system. But that's life. You move on and we will start planning for the next T20 World Cup.

"I took it like 'you know what, we have won a World Cup'. We are a praying team, we know God normally answers our prayers but today, I guess two gentlemen who have played for Sri Lanka, given a lot not only to Sri Lanka cricket but cricket on the whole, I guess the Almighty wants them to leave on a high, so I guess they have one more game to try and win a World Cup and leave on a high. Probably that's the reason why God put a hand in this match. I am sure I will have another shot at playing the T20 World Cup and we are looking forward to winning it again in the near future."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Dear Sammy You wish has come to reality. Our prayers were answered by the almighty, to give a big farewell to the grate cricketing heroes, Sanga and Mahela. Grace to be God. Best wishes for next time

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Sammy - You truly a sportsman and I love the way west indies approach the cricket as a whole with the super sportsman ship.

  • Dummy4 on April 5, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    @SLMaster ...I agree SL has a different bowling attack but WI have proven time and again that they can demolish any bowling attack including SL. Why do you think SL lost the last T20 world cup to WI...didn't the bowling get taken to the park then and in front of their home crowd? Malinga was slaughtered by Samuels or have you forgotten already? Why is it that Sangakkara and Jayawardene still can't win a limited overs title even though they have been in four finals in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. C'mon stop hating on Sammy and the WI...just count yourselves lucky the rains came down...otherwise SL would've been crying all the way home again. The brand of cricket WI plays is why they are loved and adored the world over. Push love not hate. And you should know better than to compare WI to NZ...seriously?

  • manjula on April 4, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Come on Sammy...SL is different bowling attack. Everyone agrees that SL cannot be taken to the parks. "We can score 12 runs an over when we need to.." seriously Sammy. That is what NZ said when they only had to chase 119.

  • Dummy4 on April 4, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    sammy you are a great captain. it is rare we see a captain praises opponent team players. respect from sri lanka. yeas mahela and sanga with a world cup lift is our pray too. wish you all the very best for the future. and all these wishes for sri lanka for the victory!!!

  • A-Gunnie on April 4, 2014, 17:14 GMT

    You ought to know that the approach needs to be diff when chasing Capt you can't leave the last 5 or 6 overs to get all the runs as you do when batting first.Every game have to be approach accordingly and not like the Aust game before.Live and learn I guess but I agree with the others it was Gayle,Samuels lost it in the end after Russell started in the bowling area.

  • Android on April 4, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    because they performed in the pass doesn't mean they will perform NOW when you need them.

  • Android on April 4, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    You can't defend two fading stars who are can't rotate the strike or go after the bowling from ball one. both are too old to b pay cricket anymore (Gayle and Samuels)

  • Sevarino on April 4, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Congrats to the SL team for making it to the Final. WI lost even before the match started, the INJURY to Dwayne Bravo which meant he could not bowl was all the persuasion needed to play Ravi Rampaul. Russell was carted all over the oval just as his deliveries were. I would have settled for 3 Rampaul overs in place of Russell based upon Rampaul's BIG game experience. Gayle is not 100% fit all the smiles and dancing cant hide it, he is injured the blow he sustained yesterday just added to the misery. What baffled me even more was he knew he cant take singles quickly and he was reluctant to wake up to attack at any point in this innings. Marlon Samuels has struggled for this entire tournament with the bat and his fielding, he bowled well but batted below average. He slowed down the momentum of the innings on too many occasions by soaking up too many deliveries which is why he should have come in after Bravo. Let this lose be a lesson to the WI. Time to groom the reinforcements for 2016

  • Steve on April 4, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Respect to Darren Sammy, a fine bloke and a real fighter, but with all the will in the world, you cannot support players failing to recognize the need to score, rotate strike, in the face of a good bowling /fielding effort. The danger in the Gayle / Samuels method was highlighted by a previous cricinfo article, magnified by the impending storm! It wasn't even an imposing total to chase. I don't know if Dwayne Smith hates running too, but batting with Gayle you might as well forget about it. Would have loved to see how Hussey or Bevan would have coped with Gayle refusing all their tight twos! Bravo and Sammy ought to be livid, they end up forced to go big from ball one.

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