World T20 2014: Pakistan Failed to Tackle West Indies Mantra of ‘Stay Still and Hit over the Rope with a Smile’

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By Shruthi SU | April 2, 2014 5:53 PM EST

West Indies can now afford to smile having reached the semis. Reuters
West Indies can now afford to smile having reached the semis. Reuters

Power hitting is no new concept in the West Indies camp, but if 106 runs come off the boundaries (4x13, 6x9), it sure redefines power hitting. If Pakistan thought they were safe in the first 15 overs going for only 84 runs and sending back five batsmen, the next five overs turned the game in West Indies favour going for 82 runs with a sixth wicket partnership between Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo that added 71 runs in 5.2 overs.

"We had nothing to lose, we were under pressure," Bravo said after the match. "So I said to Sammy, as long as we stay still, don't worry about picking Ajmal or trying to rotate, just stay still, keep our eyes on the ball, we're powerful enough if we get close to the ball to hit it over the ropes. Our aim was to get at least 135 to 140 with the start we got, but the self-belief we have, the form and the power we have, the momentum went with us, we finished positive and got to 160."

Even if there was pressure, it didn't look like it for viewers as the duo inched ahead. West Indies do rely on Chris Gayle to fire at the top, but, if he doesn't they don't complain because they have many stand-and-deliver options till the very end of their batting line-up.

"This is the first game that we lost wickets in the first six overs, so we were trying to consolidate, but at the same time, whenever we got a boundary we keep losing a wicket again. So in the middle overs, it calmed down. We've proved ourselves, in Twenty20 cricket we know how the game plays, if you take the game right down to the end, anything is possible, as long as we don't give up and keep faith and have that self-belief that if we bat 20 overs we're going to get a decent total.

"But we have to bat 20 overs, so at no point can we let what happens in the middle overs get the better of us - that comes with experience and self-belief. We still had Andre Russell and Sunil Narine to bat. It's good we did not panic at 84 for 5 and take the game all the way down to the end. We showed in the Australia game what the difference can make as long as we have clean hitters at the wicket, so that's our aim, that's our strong point and we use it to the best of our ability."

The match against Australia had a little bit of tension as James Faulkner had said before the face-off that sledging helps a team get together. But, Bravo knew better.

"It's important that we leave our legacy as players, not only West Indian players but cricketers," Bravo said. "We have young kids looking up to us, so I don't see the sense in trying to sledge the opposition, so that actually gets us going. West Indies is a team that you should try not to upset. We don't step on anyone, we play hard, we play with a smile on our face, we compete fairly, whether we win or lose it doesn't matter as long as we have a good game."

A good game they had, and how.

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West Indies can now afford to smile having reached the semis. Reuters
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