One step at a time, says buoyant Sammy
The West Indies are one step closer to the World Cup quarter-finals after their awesome demolition of Bangladesh, but captain Darren Sammy is not getting carried away.india Updated: Mar 05, 2011 10:43 IST
The West Indies are one step closer to the World Cup quarter-finals after their awesome demolition of Bangladesh, but captain Darren Sammy is not getting carried away.
"We are taking it step by step," Sammy said after his team bowled out Bangladesh for their lowest one-day total of 58 to win the crunch group B match by nine wickets in Dhaka on Friday.
With only their second win in their past 11 one-day internationals, the West Indies have four points from three matches, the same as group leaders South Africa, who have played one match fewer.
One more win in their remaining group matches against Ireland, India or England will almost certainly ensure Sammy's men a place in the knockout rounds.
But the captain stressed it was important for the West Indies to focus on their next match against Ireland in Mohali on March 11 rather than dream of the quarter-finals or the remaining group matches.
"We have got to focus on each game," said Sammy. "We are focusing only on Ireland, not the quarter-finals, not India, not England. We will gradually move forward after each performance."
Sammy, 27, who replaced Chris Gayle as captain in October last year, led from the front with three wickets as lanky spinner Sulieman Benn grabbed 4-18 and fast bowler Kemar Roach took three.
Bangladesh were dismissed in 18.5 overs and the West Indies surpassed the low target in their 13th over even before the lights could be switched on for the day-night game at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
"We did not expect it to be so easy," said Sammy. "We expected Bangladesh to come out and play hard. That's how they play. But it shows that if all the guys execute their plans properly, anything is possible."
Sammy paid tribute to his predecessor Gayle, who hit an unbeaten 37 off 36 balls to end the match in quick time despite being ill for two days.
"It shows how committed he is to the World Cup cause and to West Indies cricket, the captain said. "He wasn't feeling too well over the past few days but he opted to play.
"Before he went out, he gave us a pep talk, telling us not to underestimate Bangladesh. He is the kind of player the guys respond to. It was very good of him to step up and let the guys know that we have a job to do out there.
"Chris has been an inspiration for us, and we went out there confidently and got the job done."
Sammy said the West Indies, who won the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979 and also ruled Test cricket for two decades, were on the right track to regain old glories.
"We are aware of the history and legacy the West Indies have," the captain said. "We have taken innovative steps to move forward. As a leader I want my team to improve. It is a process.
"People back in the Caribbean needed this performance. We look to move forward from here as a team and be as consistent as we can."
The West Indies were drubbed by seven wickets by South Africa in their opening game, before bouncing back to trounce the Netherlands by 215 runs a few days later.
Roach, who grabbed a hat-trick in his 6-27 against the Dutch, already has 10 wickets in this tournament, second behind Shahid Afridi's haul of 14.