West Indies were taking on Ireland, a potential banana skin, without three key players - captain Chris Gayle, first-choice spinner Sulieman Benn and spearhead Jerome Taylor - in their opening game of the ICC World Twenty20 in Guyana. They needed someone to perform powerfully to secure two points ahead of a tougher contest against England. And Darren Sammy did, with bat, ball and in the field.
The hosts were struggling for momentum, having slipped to 83 for 5 in 13 overs, when Sammy made his entrance. He soon lost Narsingh Deonarine as well but boosted the innings with 30 off 17 balls. He struck two fours and two sixes during his cameo and finished as West Indies' top scorer, leading them to a total of 138 for 9 on a slow pitch.
In the field Sammy damaged Ireland's top order with his catching, and the lower order with his bowling. He caught four of the top five batsmen and Ireland were soon reeling at 55 for 6. When he came on to bowl, he dismissed the hard-hitting Kevin O'Brien and took two more tail-end wickets to finish with 3 for 8 in 3.4 overs. The 70-run victory virtually sealed West Indies' spot in the next round. No surprises then that Sammy was Man of the Match.