Windies not all about Gayle

West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons playing a shot during the semi-final against India. His unbeaten 82 was matched by Virat Kohli's 89 not out at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium but it was the Caribbean side who nicked the match with two balls to spare.
West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons playing a shot during the semi-final against India. His unbeaten 82 was matched by Virat Kohli's 89 not out at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium but it was the Caribbean side who nicked the match with two balls to spare. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Simmons' 82 to eliminate India is warning to finalists England they're no one-man show

MUMBAI • Lendl Simmons has warned England that the West Indies are not a one-man show, as both sides head to Kolkata for tomorrow's final to decide who will be the first team to win two World Twenty20 cricket trophies.

Simmons, who dropped into the tournament a few days ago to replace the injured Andre Fletcher, played a match-winning hand of 82 not out, off 51 balls, as the West Indies overhauled India's 192 for two to knock the hosts out of the tournament on Thursday.

He enjoyed some good fortune. He was caught twice off no-balls (on 18 and 50) and then, on 68, it looked as if Ravi Jadeja and Virat Kohli had combined well for a relay catch on the edge of the boundary. However, replays showed that Jadeja was in contact with the sponge with the ball still in his hand and a six was given instead.

While there were solid contributions from Johnson Charles (52) and Andre Russell (43), Chris Gayle managed only five. His six-ball innings was a far cry from the devastating 100 off 48 deliveries that made England's total of 182, also at the Wankhede Stadium, look like a minor inconvenience in their opening Super 10 group game.

Simmons sees their semi-final performance as a warning shot.

"England will be aware that there's not a one-man show in this team," he said.

"Chris Gayle didn't get off tonight, but we still managed to get over the line and chase a big total. It shows a lot of character from our players."

Simmons was also keen to highlight that the West Indies did not need to call on Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy or Carlos Brathwaite to see off India.

"Every one of our players is a match winner in our team. And with the batting that we have, I think any total that anyone makes we can chase it," he added.

He was quick to stop himself from getting carried away. As impressive as the win against India was, it was on a good batting track, at a ground where chasing is the norm. It was here that England chased a world-record 230 to beat South Africa. Eden Gardens will be a different prospect. Many expect the pitch to take spin and that is not something the West Indies deal with particularly well.

"We shouldn't be over-confident," Simmons said. "We have to go to Kolkata and analyse the situation of the game. The conditions will be different."

Meanwhile, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni laughed off talk of retirement as he put a brave face on the seven-wicket loss.

The 34-year-old came into the tournament amid widespread speculation that it could be his last international outing. After India's stunning defeat, an Australian journalist put the burning question to Dhoni.

Dhoni then asked Sam Ferris of the cricket.com.au website onto the dais, put his arm around him, and turned the tables by becoming the interviewer.

"Do you want me to retire?" he said. "Do you think I am unfit, looking at my running? Do you think I can survive until the 2019 World Cup?"

When Ferris replied that Dhoni indeed looked more than capable of staying in shape until the next 50-over World Cup, the laughing wicket-keeper responded: "Then you have answered the question."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


WORLD T20
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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'WINDIES NOT ALL ABOUT GAYLE'. Print Edition | Subscribe