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Sammy says it with bat


Philip Hackett

Sammy says it with bat

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DARREN SAMMY has again silenced his critics.
With his side struggling on 151 for six the West Indies captain hit a powerful half-century, helping to earn his side a comfortable 96-run lead on first innings in the first Test at Kensington Oval as West Indies scored 307 all out in reply to Zimbabwe’s 211.
Zimbabwe then limped to 41 for three in their second innings to leave West Indies in control of the match.
“I just backed myself. I played my natural game,” the West Indies captain told reporters at the end of the second day.
“I just had to be selective, and today that partnership with [Denesh] Ramdin really put us in a good position,” he said, while admitting that his team was originally looking to bat the entire day.
His top score of 73 from 69 balls, laced with four sixes and eight fours, was just what the Windies required with the innings seemingly in crisis.
“Today for me it wasn’t about survival. I backed myself to go out there and play the proper shots. They gave me some loose balls and I put them away and that’s cricket. You respect the good balls and when you get the bad ones you put them away. So it was about execution today,” Sammy said.
He also acknowledged the contribution of Ramdin, who was celebrating his 28th birthday and also participating in his 50th Test.
“It was good to see that Denesh, playing as the sixth batsman and myself, scheduled to be at No. 7, put on a hundred.”
The skipper noted that his vice-captain seemed to enjoy playing at Kensington Oval as his highest Test score of 166 came against England at this ground and there was a similar score made for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados.
“He gave himself a good birthday gift. I know he will be disappointed that he didn’t get a hundred, but I think that he would take that 50 on his birthday in a Test match any time.”
Recognizing there was still work to be done, Sammy is now looking forward to finishing off his opponents and extending his side’s winning streak.
“From the time Zimbabwe came down, our focus has been on winning. We have won four and from the start of the Test, we said we wanted to win this one.
“We will take it game by game, day by day; and so far, we are heading down the right track. [Today] I’ll remind the guys that the game is not over.
It’s cricket, a game filled with shifting fortunes and glorious uncertainties.
“We have to go out with the same attitude we had this afternoon, come out with the same mentality to get early wickets, set them on the back foot and bowl them out very cheaply,” Sammy said.

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