Best of Best comes to the fore for WI
Basseterre, St Kitts — The lion-hearted Tino Best bowled his heart out for West Indies on Saturday with four wickets as the home team again knocked over New Zealand to seal a superb series win.
A fired up Best bowled at close to 150 kph on a flat pitch and marked his return to the starting XI with four for 46 off 10 overs. It helped the Windies win the fourth Digicel ODI by 24 runs at Warner Park, to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the Digicel One-Day International Series.
“I love this feeling...winning feels good...really, really good! We worked hard and we have received our reward. We were made to work hard for this win and I’m happy I played a crucial role in bowling the team to victory. I bowled quick and I got wicket. That’s the job of a fast bowler,” Best said after the match.
The 30-year-old produced the second four-wicket haul of his ODI career to bowl out the Black Caps for 240 off 49.3 overs. He got the key wicket of Ross Taylor for 110 and that effectively won the match for the Windies.
Before Best’s heroics, Marlon Samuels (46), Keiron Pollard (56) and rookie keeper Devon Thomas (37) batted the West Indies to a fighting total of 264 off 49.5 overs. At the end Darren Sammy blasted 26 off 22 balls and Andre Russell smashed 29 off 16 balls to set a stiff target of 265.
In the second half of the match, Sunil Narine again proved a thorn in the flesh of the New Zealanders with the impressive figures of 10-1-20-2. He made the difference and won the Digicel Man-of-the-Match award.
Speaking about his game plan, Best said: “I went for a few (runs) in my opening spell and I knew I had to hit back second time around. I had a chat with captain Darren Sammy and he told me it’s better to bowl the ball ‘flat’ side rather than look to hit the seam. I took his advice and it worked.
“I was up on pace and I knew once I got the ball in the right areas I could make it quite difficult for the batsmen. From last night (Friday night) when I found out I would be playing, I was mentally prepared for this match.”
Best added: “It was a crucial match and the selectors put a lot of faith in me to deliver. I was happy to get that opportunity to perform for the people. Right now I feel great and I know the people across the West Indies feel great as well.”
Near the end of Best’s spell the large crowd chanted “TINO, TINO” as the pacer steamed in looking for the final wicket. Best said that support from the fans warmed his heart.
“I must say it was great the way the crowd got behind me and the team and urged us on. They came here today expecting us to win and we gave them something to celebrate. During the series against Australia earlier this year, the fans came out and supported us and it’s truly wonderful to see the people come out and be part of this success,” he said.
The two teams return to Warner Park on Monday for the fifth and final Digicel ODI.
DIGICEL 2012 SERIES - New Zealand to West Indies
Upcoming matches (All times local)
Digicel One-Day International Series
July 5: 1st Digicel ODI – West Indies won by 9 wickets at Sabina Park, Jamaica
July 7: 2nd Digicel ODI – West Indies won by 55 runs at Sabina Park
July 11: 3rd Digicel ODI – New Zealand won by 88 runs at Warner Park, St. Kitts
July 14: 4th Digicel ODI – West Indies won by 24 runs at Warner Park
July 16: 5th Digicel ODI – Warner Park – 9:30 a.m.